The Palmetto Freedom Forum by Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) seemed designed for Tea Party candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. But in the Labor Day forum, it was Bachmann who tripped up at the end of questioning.
Bachmann was asked by panelist and Princeton Professor Robert George why she believes a government mandate to buy healthcare insurance is unconstitutional. She simply said it's "inherent" in the Constitution, but couldn't cite any particular provision of the Constitution. In point of fact, the federal government is a government of few and defined powers, and the specified powers do not include the power to force Americans to buy healthcare insurance.
Bachmann's ignorance of the Constitution was highlighted by subsequent candidate interviews, especially those of Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, who were able to hold detailed discussions of the 14th amendment with Professor George.
The American Principles Project that Professor George founded formally sponsored "Palmetto Freedom Forum," but Tea Party favorite Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) brought the star-power as a panelist, along with fellow panelist U.S. Congressman Steven King (R-Iowa).
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Photo of Rep. Michele Bachmann: AP Images