Four GOP candidates sign up for DeMint presidential forum
August 22nd, 2011
03:17 PM ET
3 years ago

Four GOP candidates sign up for DeMint presidential forum

UPDATE: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also accepted an invitation to participate in the forum.

(CNN) - Four presidential candidates have accepted invitations to participate in a Labor Day forum in South Carolina being organized by Sen. Jim DeMint, a conservative kingmaker who has yet to pick a horse in the 2012 race.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and businessman Herman Cain have agreed to take part in the Palmetto Freedom Forum, to be held on Sept. 5 at a convention center in downtown Columbia.

Invitations to the event went out to eight candidates Monday, a Republican source told CNN.

Also invited were former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, along with two Republicans still flirting with a bid: former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

But event organizers - a small group of well-connected DeMint supporters calling themselves the "Keep Your Powder Dry Caucus" as they search for a 2012 candidate to get behind - did not invite to two declared candidates, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

Organizers said early on that to be invited, a candidate must surpass the 5 percent threshold in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls. Santorum and Huntsman have yet to do so.

The forum, officially titled the "American Principles Project Palmetto Freedom Forum," will be fronted by DeMint, Iowa Rep. Steve King and Robert George, a conservative legal scholar and the founder of the American Principles Project.

Candidates will take turns fielding questions from the trio of panelists for roughly 20 minutes at a time.

According to organizers, candidates will be asked to "engage in a thoughtful, substantive discussion of their stances on critical issues facing our country."


Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Jim DeMint • Michele Bachmann • Rick Perry • Ron Paul • South Carolina
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    They'll all pick on Ron Paul, and Cain is just a token to pacify most of the populace of SC.

    Get real. Not a one (other than Ron Paul) even worth considering. A bunch of fascist traitors, and their only interest is their own $$$$$ and their corporate buddies.

    August 22, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. MTATL67

    "GOP may OK tax increase that Obama hopes to block" – Since CNN has not discussed this story yet.

    "GOP take a wait and see approach" is that the leadership that all these candidates have been screaming about. In othe words they are waiting to see how angry American get over this so they can play the same political game they always play.

    "It's always a net positive to let taxpayers keep more of what they earn," says Rep. Jeb Hensarling, "but not all tax relief is created equal for the purposes of helping to get the economy moving again." The Texas lawmaker is on the House GOP leadership team. MY GOD, the GOP and the fiscal Terrorist in Congress were willing to allow the United States to default on its bills than close the loop holes for corporations but us do not even warrant a debate. Straight from the mouth of the GOP. The man is literally saying screw the average American worker.

    August 22, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. A Repulbican

    LOL!!! You couldn't make this stuf up!!! Don't make cut if not running at 5% polling but make the cut when you haven't even said you're running for president! I can't stop laughing a my party!!!

    August 22, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Marvelous, a battle of wits between unarmed opponants. Will they discuss Soviet-American relations, Elvis' birthday, Evolution, Islam, the evils of the Federal Reserve, Praying Away the Gay/ Bad Weather, or will they talk about Kim Kardashian's wedding? This is a talk-point fest with some of the least creative minds in America, people who can deliver a punchline, but will never offer a solution BECAUSE THEY HAVE NEVER SOLVED A PROBLEM OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE!

    August 22, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    What better than an endorsement from Sen. Demented? You need his endorsement to win hickville South Carolina.

    August 22, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Indy

    This list just proves DeMint is an idiot, he invited Sarah Palin, 911 Rudy,Bachmann, Perry and Cain ! With people like this who needs enemies. Romney,Paul, Huntsman are the only viable candidates but the Republicans are all about who is the biggest whack job and gets the most headlines for saying the darndest things. This proves they dont care about who is best for the country, they just want the most notorious ot popular right wingnut they can find, be dammed with what the people want and need.

    August 22, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Ed Texas

    This sounds like a extreme right wing group's attempt to have a hate group social forum but call it "economic" in disquise.

    August 22, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Blackman in America

    WOW............................how bad is this GOPers have to discriminate against their own...................what a bunch of clowns.

    August 22, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Laverne

    Of course it was them 4 who signed up. It is obvious there is no room for a moderate in the race, Mitt Romney is trying to pretend he has such a conservative record, if he was a smart man, he would run away from trying to be nsync with the tea party and republicans, but since he is so desperate to be president, he would rather sell his soul to the devil in order to get to the white house.

    August 22, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. vet in texas

    I just don't understand how followers can't see that conservatism is not possible, all of the current list of candidates should be unelectable based on conservative beliefs yet money is donated and frontrunners are mentioned. Anyone who signed a pledge should be out, anyone whose taken subisdy money should be out, anyone whose mandated anything in the form of healthcare or HPV vaccines should be out, anyone who used to be a democrat should be out, anyone who doesn't know about Israel's right of return should be out, anyone who quit their post should be out, and anyone who claims Iran has a right to own nukes should be out. The only people left standing is Huntsman and the other no names (Gary Johnson), and OJ Simpson has a better chance then they do of getting the popular vote. The fact that all of these people runnning should tell you something, either there is no such thing as conservatism, the president really isn't as bad as fox and talk radio say, or all of the above.

    Not everyone who is a democrat is looking for a handout, and those that are looking, don't pay enough attention to politics to matter, take that negative connotation away from being a democrat, and you have a bunch of republicans scratching their heads with their pockets turned inside out seeing the person they donated to fly away in their corporate jet. Wake up and look at their actions for yourself, and ask yourself who do these actions benefit from and who will actually benefit from that action immediately. Any action that requires waiting for it to come down to you..............start scratching your head!

    August 22, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. rhumba

    I think it's time to stop calling the crazies like DeMint "kingmakers". It makes them think they're actually important.

    August 22, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. NC

    Maybe they can stop by Clover, SC and help the homeless 51 year old grandmother living in the woods with her seven year old grandson.

    August 22, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. Jamie D.

    Good, I urge everybody to watch this and see how much sense Ron Paul makes next to all those Establishment politicians. He was the ORIGINAL tea party leader, the tea party was created by one of his money bomb fundraisers...don't believe the lies and misinformation, look up his TRUE policy ideas for yourselves...

    August 22, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Four presidential candidates have accepted invitations to participate in a Labor Day forum in South Carolina being organized by Sen. Jim DeMint, a conservative kingmaker who has yet to pick a horse in the 2012 race."

    How utterly embarrassing it must be to align oneself as GOPer in this day and age, never quite able to think for yourself, but must needs have some fool or another dictate your very thoughts for you. Seems to be a real epidemic within the Republican Party, from $arah to Perry, Bachmann to Santorum, Romney to Huntsman, Cain to Paul. Too much Rush Limbaugh and Fox News influence, I suspect, and not enough downtime.

    August 22, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. barry

    Oh shucks, Not another Hillbilly Hodown?? Deminted has to do something, to even be "Noticed" Those Teapartiers sure like to "Sweat their butts off??? And all for "Not" Obama 2012

    August 22, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. diridi

    when I heard this idiots, and Ryan's name, I laughed, laughed, and laughed...my tummy burst....my god, i am still laughing...these idiots...for POTUS...IT IS SO CHEAP IN USA....lord bless this nation from these GOP's corporate idiots....Oil thugs....

    August 22, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Jilli

    Oh, this is going to be great comedic fodder for SNL. I can't wait!!

    Wow, tough decision DeMint, which clown to support.

    August 22, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Larry L

    DeMint represents the ridiculous and radical element of the Republican Party that's leading our country down the toilet. They'd rather get elected than help America through tough times. The Party of No Ideas is run on hate, bigotry and rigid ideology – like the Nazis.

    August 22, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Tea Party Mike

    Obama needs to show up too so he can learn something about getting this economy going again and creating jobs. Hopefully he will take notes because sound economic policy seems very difficult for him to grasp. Obama is totally clueless and his policies have been a total failure. Obama's overall approval rating is in the low 40s and on the economy and jobs it is under 30%. Obama has nothing to offer voters that they want. No leadership, no success and no ideas outside of those that have already failed. But Obama is great at excuses. And that is all he will have to offer voters in 2012. He will try and offer them the excuse for voting for him, the excuse being that the other guy is even worse. I think by election day 2012 voters will have had enough of Obama's failures and excuses and be eager to give someone else a shot.

    August 22, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama's got them on these Republicans on the run as if they were Gadfahi. LOL

    August 22, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Name king

    Shhh all the lunatics will be congregating in one area. The lesson today is lying 101, talking point 102, and how to fool the gullible 103. These repugs claims that the stimulus didn't work after it took the American economy from an economic retraction of 9 percent to a 4 percent growth the best in history, from losing almost 800 thousand jobs "which was projected to reach 10 million at the end of the year" to 17 straight month of private sector job creation, from the worst financial crisis for big corporations to hoarding trillions in other countries on the sidelines hiding from
    the tax man. Now these repugs are saying that Obama made things worst refusing to look at the fact, because they know how much their followers hates the mention of that word. They scream the stimulus didn't work when facts shows the opposite, dam I forgot not to mention that word. Now it's time that we rebuild and modernize our infrastructure and transportation and put millions of people to work. Oh I forgot the repugs hates any progress that make Obama looks good. And they will do every thing in their collective power, to make Obama a one term president!

    August 22, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    me me me me me - look at me - look at me

    August 22, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    We are all waiting for the kingmaker to have his say then immediately go the other way.
    Who died and left this jack arse in power? Anything out of sc stinks!

    August 22, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Jim DeMint likes to style himself as leader of the Tea Party Caucus in the Senate. That means he only wants like-thinking individuals to attend his forum. Unfortunately for him, as Mitt Romney is ahead in every legitimate poll conducted in every place that was not part of the old Confederacy, he had to invite Mitt, too. Like I said in a post yesterday, the only thing that worries people like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Jim DeMint more than a second Obama administration is one with Romney, Huntsman or Chris Christie in the Oval Office.

    August 22, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    @Tea Party Mike

    Obama needs to show up too so he can learn something about getting this economy going again and creating jobs. Hopefully he will take notes because sound economic policy seems very difficult for him to grasp. Obama is totally clueless and his policies have been a total failure. Obama's overall approval rating is in the low 40s and on the economy and jobs it is under 30%. Obama has nothing to offer voters that they want. No leadership, no success and no ideas outside of those that have already failed. But Obama is great at excuses. And that is all he will have to offer voters in 2012. He will try and offer them the excuse for voting for him, the excuse being that the other guy is even worse. I think by election day 2012 voters will have had enough of Obama's failures and excuses and be eager to give someone else a shot.
    ___________________________________

    Fine then, by all means provide us with a viable alternative, not these idiots with no real legislative or executive accomplishments between them ( and Pizza Man does not count). BTW, do you really think your name will give you the image of objectivity, or do you really consider people to be that stupid?

    August 22, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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