Four GOP candidates sign up for DeMint presidential forum
August 22nd, 2011
03:17 PM ET
12 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. Rodney

    The problem for residents of South Carolina is that DeMint adheres to his ultraright-wing ideology even when it hurts the interests of his constituents.

    August 22, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Tea Party Mike

    This looks like a very strong Republican crowd. And could very well include the next President of the United States.
    A new Gallup poll shows Republicans trending up and Obama trending down.
    Here are some head to head results from Gallup poll on Presidential election.
    Romney 48% Obama 46%
    Perry 47% Obama 47%
    Paul 45% Obama 47%
    Bachman 44% Obama 48%
    Clearly America is ready to replace Obama with a Republican President.
    The unhinged and disturbed loony left that rant against all the Republican candidates only represent at most 20% of voters. That is the percentage polls show claim to be liberals or progressives. Clearly a large number of Americans much greater than the just the Tea Party do not see the Republicans in the same negative light as the left does. The polls are close, but they are trending up for the Republicans.

    August 22, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. What a surprise

    The four names come as a surprise to anyone? All are have goofy ideologies and can't get elected president.

    August 22, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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