Romney turns down DeMint Labor Day forum
August 24th, 2011
11:23 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney turns down DeMint Labor Day forum

(CNN) - Mitt Romney will not attend a Labor Day forum in South Carolina organized by conservative kingmaker Sen. Jim DeMint, who endorsed Romney's run for president four years ago.

Romney spokesperson Ryan Williams, citing scheduling conflicts, said the candidate will instead spend the day in New Hampshire, sending another signal that the former Massachusetts governor is not focusing on the early Southern primary state like he did in 2008. He was not previously listed as attending the event by the organizers.

Last week CNN confirmed Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and businessman Herman Cain will participate in the Palmetto Freedom Forum, to be held Sept. 5 in downtown Columbia. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accepted the invitation Tuesday becoming the fifth participant, the campaign confirmed via Twitter.

Also invited were two Republicans still flirting with a bid: former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Though unexpected, if they choose to accept they have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to indicate they will participate.

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 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 five 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."

- CNN  Political Reporter Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Jim DeMint • Mitt Romney • South Carolina
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    "Keep your Powder Dry" is using "CODE WORDS" and there is no other way of explaining DeMint's group.

    August 24, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Yet , I cant vote for a hawk as commander in chef who has five sons that avoided military service in favor of a on wall street.
    So candidates for President are expected to force their children into joining the military??? Honestly.... how absurd.

    BTW, when you have a volunteer military, it is impossible to "avoid" anything. It is a personal choice to serve, which you seem to want to eliminate for the children of Presidential candidates. I thought all you Dems and lefties were all about freedom of choice?

    August 24, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Yeah...before the GOP started it's decades long ideological freak dance over the Civil Rights Act and New Deal and the changing demographics of the country.
    Need to read your history books. It was largely the REPUBLICANS that passed the Civil Rights Act because there was no support from southern Democrats.

    And the "New Deal" is now the more aptly called the Old Deal. Huge government programs that did nothing to fix the underlying problem. Or maybe you're referring to social security, which was created so that only those that exceeded their life expectency would recieve benefits? Of course, it was not designed intelligently to keep up with the times and is now imploding under the weight of it own bad design. But of course the Democrats think the only way to fix it is to keep throwing more money at the albatross in order to get it to fly.

    As for changing demographics, I assume you reference the total lack of enforcement of our immigration laws by our own government. As we are a nation of laws, not men, it seems it is expecting too much of the Democrats to enforce the laws they swear to uphold. So you think enforcing our laws is a "freak dance"? What color is the sky on your planet?

    August 24, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Indy

    Warfare :

    Three YEARS of record unemployment, record deficits and record debt is "on the right track"???

    It is Governors like Romney (47th) that are responsible for unemployment in their states and congress has some responsiblity for spending and Boehner and clan ran on jobs but produced ZERO results.If Governors cant create jobs how and the heck are you going to put 100% blame on Obama ?

    August 24, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Cosmo

    "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"

    How about the "Keep Your Mind As Narrow As Possible Caucus" or the "Keep Your Hand Off Of My Stack, Jack Caucus". Don't these people ever get out of the little cacoon that they live in?

    August 24, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Mitt Romney - He`ll Say ANYTHING To Get Elected

    It appears that the recurring kabooki dance of pontentially electable Republicans with the rabid Teapublican faction – goes on. Mitt Romney wants their vote but is smart enough to distance himself from the "Earth is Flat" crowd.

    Once again, evangelical, Christian, rightwing theocracists will be used and discarded. The question is, will they vote for a Mormon in the general election or stay home. According to that paragon of southern politics [Herman Cain], they`l be staying home!

    August 24, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This is an oppertunity to connect with the tea party-hardiers that Romney would need to win the nomination. He may be the front runner now, but Perry is catching up.

    August 24, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. maf

    Since all the scheduled candidates have no platform apart from "Cut Spending", and they all spout the same GObP line, what are they going to do with the extra 15 minutes that they are allotting each candidate? Lots of dead air and the other 25 minutes will be spent blowing nothing but hot air!
    If nothing else, this nomination process is fun to watch. The Republicans eating their own. The Party of NO becoming the Party of NOTHING. 2012, the election that brings about a one-party system in the US. I will take the value of people over money any and every day!

    August 24, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. TEA PARTY Mike

    The person who really needs to attend and listen is Obama, he would lean something.
    I see today White House is trying to make a big deal out of cutting government regulations that will save business 10 billion over the next 5 years. Sounds like a lot of money but in reality it is just a drop in the bucket of what is needed and does not touch regulations that business is most concerned with. Obama is just not listening or does not care.
    Here is the response from the US Chamber of Commerce.
    Officials at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce quickly called the "lookback" on old regulations a step in the right direction but said it did not go nearly enough given the mountain of new regulations the President created with health care and financial reform.
    "The administration's findings and determinations, on their own, are a worthy effort at making technical changes to the regulatory process, but the results of this lookback will not have a material impact on the real regulatory burdens facing businesses today," said Bill Kovacs, the chamber's senior vice president of environment, tech, and regulatory affairs.
    Chamber officials note The Affordable Care Act created 159 new agencies, commissions, panels, and other bodies. The Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform has 447 new rules that are either required or suggested.
    Also top on the Chambers list is the new EPA regulations that threaten sharp increases in the cost of energy for businesses and consumers alike.
    This is consistent with what Obama has done in the past. Make very small changes and try and convince the public they are big. Just like the last budget proposal he sent to congress that only froze spending for a couple of years at the current unsustainable spending levels. He tried to make a big deal out of it and claimed it put our fiscal house in order, which of cour is did not even come close to doing. No one bought it.
    As long as Obama continues to deny reality and is in office there is little chance he will work with Republicans to make the kinds of changes that are really needed to get our economy going again and create jobs.

    August 24, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. maf

    @ Sniffit You never cease making my day! Keep on trying to keep 'em honest and thinking. I know for most of the Party of NO posters, that is impossible, but thanks for trying.

    August 24, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Republican class warfare - destroying the economy - destroying the country

    Republicans have aided corporations in their quest for higher and higher profits at the expense of millions of Amercan tax-paying workers. What is more un-American than a policy that gives tax breaks to corporations while they continue to give American jobs to communist chinese workers. In an economy where 70% of the GDP is consumer spending, taking pay checks from USA and sending them to the Peoples Republic of China seems at least very short sighted. When GOP class warfare has finally succeeded in transfering all the wealth from the bottom 90% to the top 10% they will finally realize they have "killed the goose that laid the golden egg".
    GOP politicions are ignoring the FACT that small business owners need American workers spending their pay check to survive. Actually I think most small business would prefer long lines of customer coming in with money to spend even more than another tweaking of the tax code. Lets face it more customers = more sales = more profit = more jobs = more consumers this is the circle of American capitalism that made USA great. The GOP promotion of job killing policy has broken the cycle of capitalism and set us on a path to becominga second rate nation ( behind China ).

    August 24, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Repubs prey on the middle class/small business

    Three years of Repubs stopping or minimizing every effort toward economic recovery.
    More than thirteen years of Repubs terrorizing US citizens.

    August 24, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    a Labor Day forum in South Carolina organized by conservative kingmaker Sen. Jim DeMint, who endorsed Romney's run for president four years ago.
    Who has Demented crowned "king"?
    He endorsed Romney four years ago and I don't see a crown nor an Oval Office anywhere near Mittens. Matter of fact, that worked out so well for Herman Munster that he can't seem to put enough distance bewteen them.
    Those good 'ole Southern boys still hoping to get a chance to fight the war all over again and have it turn out the way they hope to re-write it in their new history books.
    Keep your powder dry indeed gentlemen the Yankees are coming....again.
    Good Gawd!

    August 24, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Repubs prey on the middle & working class

    Why would Mittens want to hang out with the Demented crowd on a national holiday set aside to honor LABOR.
    These elitist cacaka-lackey brained Repub politicians always had "other people" do their labor. How could they honor anything but Grand-daddy's old money that was handed down to them? "Hey you! Where's my silver spoon?!"

    August 24, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Andrew

    Got to keep the Tea Party sentiments high, right Jim? Stir up the loyal party people and keep that we won't cooperate or compromise ideology front and center. Thank you for making governing responsibly almost impossible..way to go!!

    August 24, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Larry L

    He may have trouble getting a Klan outfit that could help him with that bunch in South Carolina. Romney is a weak candidate, but he's way less crazy than the Tea Party crowd and therefore an unlikely choice for the American Taliban Party.

    August 24, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  17. Patrick from Minnesota

    @ Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    80% eh? Who are you watching, Fox Opinion? Now that we're throwing numbers out of thin air, why stop at 80?

    August 24, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Dave Harris

    Since South Carolina has pretty much endorsed his chief opponant, Rick Perry, Romney is probably wise to avoid "Sen. Demento" and the craziest state in the union. It might even be dangerous, since they're all carrying guns.

    August 24, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. steven harnack

    I think that the powder that they want to keep dry must be some of that Columbian Marching Powder 'cause none of them seem to have much of a grip on reality, and they always seem to be going nowhere really fast.

    August 24, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. nagrom

    did not invite two declared candidates, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Hmm Invited Palin and Rudy but not these two? Clear signal that they are not well liked by the party. Two down 5 to go. And Romney? What's up with him? Already committing political suicide by snubbing them. You gotta love it. Wonder what they can talk about for twenty minutes. Let's see. Obama this and Obama that and Oh Obama also. But I betcha they won't have one solid recommendation on how to do things better. Just be a Christian and pray it all will go away.

    August 24, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. max

    Democrat Class Warfare...Blah Blah Blah..
    When are you going to get an education and stop spewing your ignorance? REALLY!

    August 24, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. cindy

    Demint getting ready for this shindig now....charging the people in Greer 10 to 15 dollars to see him. I'll keep my little money in my pocket. He offers NOthing for us "lowly" folks. Besides...air better outside.

    August 24, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Robert

    Three YEARS of record unemployment, record deficits and record debt is "on the right track"??? I guess thats true if you expect the track to end at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Luckily nearly 80% of the American do NOT share your opinion. I guess we remember when this country did much better.
    I don't remember this country ever doing better. I remember Ronnie Regan 'trickling down' something yellow on our heads.. turned out not to be gold... I remember reading Bush's lips when he said "no new taxes", but don't remember seeing his lips move for the 'for those making over $500,000'.... I remember the country doing amazingly under Clinton.. oh, wait, the GOP only remember him as 'Stud'.... I remember Double-ya.... 2 wars we never wanted, record inflation, taking the deficit from 2T to 10T in 8 short years, ruining our standing in the world... So, frankly, I remember watching the GOP pull the stopper from the sink and watch the water swirl away...

    Oh, btw, this garbage about 'Obama is driving our economy towards a cliff' is just that: garbage. If things would be left alone, and we'd switch from a Supply Side Economy (The Gop pipe dream that if we lower taxes and make money more available to businesses, they'll hire more.. you know, the one they've been trying to get to work for 30+ years, and has put millions into the pockets of BUSINESS OWNERS and not EMPLOYEES) to Demand Side Economy (Which Clinton tried to do, spending more money to jump start the capital engine, then raising taxes on businesses to increase revenue, so that, after a few years, taxes can be lowered, and subsidies cut back, so the economy takes over and starts growing) We'd be haling Obama as a hero today.. but, the GOP only seems to want their strategy to work out, and tries to stop a change over to Demand Side... Don't let them!

    August 24, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. w l jones

    We do not have a one shoe fit all country any more we are national country by which we all have a part in it. Bless.

    August 24, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. KDenver

    @Democrat Class warfare

    Clearly you are desperate for some attention. And since there is rarely a factual statement in your comments to have a grown up debate over, I will give you the advice I give to parents with three year olds; ignore the tantrum and wait until they can use their words to tell you what they need. Use your words, Democrat Class Warfare, then you will get treated like an adult.

    August 24, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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