A half dozen Republican candidates capitalized on their faith in an attempt to woo conservative voters in Iowa November 19, meeting with the faithful at an event entitled the Thanksgiving Family Forum (pictured are candidates Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum). Sponsored by a state organization called the Family Leader, with the help of Focus on the Family’s Citizen Link and the National Organization for Marriage, the event was “meant to mimic the holiday dinner, with six candidates — Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum — gathered around a table participating in a discussion moderated by [conservative pollster] Frank Luntz,” reported the Los Angeles Times. The Times identified the lead sponsor of the event as Bob Vander Plaats, “a three-time gubernatorial candidate [who] founded Family Leader to be a galvanizing force for social conservatives ahead of the state’s lead-off nominating caucuses.”
While the evening at Des Moines’ First Federated Church was devoted to conservative values, it began with Luntz offering individuals from the small army of “Occupy Des Moines” protesters two minutes to speak their mind. While no one from that group stepped forward, a man did take the main stage to make a comment about the Federal Reserve. “I think that we need to speak about this bank tonight,” he told the crowd, challenging that the Fed is “not part of the United States.”
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