So, looks like we front-pagers here at Balloon Juice failed to set up a timely liveblogging post for yet another GOP debate. I would say that we ‘missed’ it, except I don’t feel like I missed very much, nor that many of you cared about the omission, either. Per Steve Benen, at his Washington Monthly Political Animal blog:
The “Thanksgiving Family Forum” was organized and sponsored by three groups: the James Dobson-founded Focus on the Family, a religious right powerhouse known for its bizarre cultural agenda; the National Organization for Marriage, perhaps best known for its unintentionally hilarious anti-gay commercials; and The FAMiLY Leader, an Iowa-based group of extremists that put together “The Marriage Vow” for GOP candidates, which argued, among other things, that slavery wasn’t that bad for African-American families.
Despite — or more likely, because of — the radicals behind the forum, six GOP presidential hopefuls showed up to pander to the religious right voters, each vowing to be more pious than their rivals. The only two candidates who weren’t there were Mitt Romney, who declined an invitation, and Jon Huntsman, who wasn’t invited at all.
The result was an event that was tough to watch.
Looking to court this state’s critical voting bloc of evangelical Christians, Republican presidential candidates sharply attacked secularism and the Supreme Court while calling for greater restrictions on abortion and gay rights at an event here on Saturday.
At a forum on moral values, which was held at First Federated, an evangelical church in Des Moines, the six candidates in attendance largely stuck to Republican orthodoxy and avoided criticizing one another. Instead, they called for dramatic changes in current law to achieve conservative aims…
Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM has more detail on the “Doomiest And Gloomiest Debate Of All“:
DES MOINES — The Republican candidates for president (with the exception for Mitt Romney who declined and Jon Huntsman who wasn’t invited) met at a large church here Saturday night for a debate aimed at Iowa’s social conservatives.
For the most part, the debate stood our for its focus on doom, gloom and widespread Christian persecution. Except for the part when Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and new frontrunner Newt Gingrich teared up under some personal questioning from Frank Luntz. That was different.
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