- Katherine Turner
The Republican candidates for president will meet in a megachurch in Iowa Saturday to discuss key issues in the campaign, such as which one of them most opposes gay marriage. The “Thanksgiving Family Forum” is being hosted by sponsors who don’t believe in separation of church and debate.
The event, at the First Federated Church in Des Moines, will be moderated by pollster and Fox News regular Frank Luntz. “It has the potential to be the most important forum of the primary presidential campaign,” Luntz says humbly on the website of the Family Leader, a sponsor of the forum. There will be “no gotcha questions,” he says, but instead “just an authentic discussion among the people who seek to lead this great nation.” He told the Des Moines Register he may ask the candidates, for instance, “What do the words ‘so help me God’ mean to you?”
Given the bigoted views the Family Leader expressed this summer, a better question for the candidates might be, “Why aren’t you sitting this event out?” Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are doing just that. But the rest of the squad—Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum—will be fighting like the devil to win over the faithful.