Politics

Potential 2012 Republicans attack still-undecided Daniels for social issues truce

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

Monday night, five potential Republican presidential candidates gathered in Waukee, Iowa to woo social conservatives in the early primary state with their conservative credentials. They panned the left, President Barack Obama, and even one of their own – Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who has yet to decide whether or not he will enter the Republican primary.

“You know someone suggested we call a truce on social and moral issues,” said Ralph Reed, Chairman of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, referring to Daniels’ call for a truce on social issues, in his introductory speech.

“I seem to remember Ronald Reagan fighting and winning the Cold War at the very time that he was restoring values and growing the economy,” Reed continued. “I don’t know about you but I’d like to have a leader that can walk and chew gum at the same time.”

He called a truce “unilateral disarmament,” contending that Obama would not hold up his end.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza Herman Cain, former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum touted their values at a forum hosted by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. The likely candidates – of them only Cain and Roemer have formed exploratory committees – talked about their pro-life values, and support for traditional marriage, among other things.

Herman Cain kicked off the night, faulting the Obama administration for suing the state of Arizona over its immigration law, “when they were simply trying to protect themselves,” and for telling the Department of Justice not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. He sounded calls for smaller government and entitlement reform, and touted his pro-life values.

He was followed by Gingrich, who called for the elimination of the Obama administration’s tsars, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, “reinstating conscious protection” for those who “as a matter of conscience, object to doing what the left wants done.” He, too, debunked the idea of a “truce” on social issues.

Buddy Roemer’s address seemed more geared toward introducing himself, having announced his candidacy only three days prior. He thanked god for the tea party, and declared his pro-life values.

Tim Pawlenty got in a jab at Obama early. “Well thanks a lot,” he said, as he walked to the podium. “Or as President Obama would say, you’re welcome.” He attacked abortion, affirmed that marriage was defined as between one man and one woman, and emphasized the importance of religion in our modern times.

“We need to remember,” he said, “as others try to push out or marginalize people of faith … the Constitution was designed to protect people of faith from government, not to protect government from people of faith.

Speaking last, Santorum gave a speech that was heavy on his opposition to abortion. The former senator spoke of a bill he had introduced to guarantee medical protection to a child that was born after a botched abortion. Then a senator, Obama opposed it, saying that it impinged on a woman’s rights as laid out by Roe v. Wade.“Now who’s the extremist in the abortion debate?” Santorum asked. He went on to compare entitlements to drug addiction. “Isn’t that what entitlements do? Make you dependent,” he said.

Santorum echoed the criticisms of Daniel’s call for a truce on social issues. “These moral issues that everyone says, ‘oh, maybe we should set to the side and have a truce on.’ You can’t,” he said. “It is who we are. It is the purpose of our country.”

  • sarainitaly

    Pleeeeeease Republicans – do not attack each other – run against Obama and the Democrats, and someone good will beat him. Run against each other, tear each other down, and we’re doomed in 2012.

    Pay attention to what Daniel’s said – and quit being idiotic, misconstruing what he said. Grow up, get your crap together, and run against Democrats. There is a boat load of issues to attack the Democrats on. Stop knocking a good candidate.

    The Republicans beat up the last presidential candidate so bad, no one showed up to even vote for him, and we got stuck with Obama. Please don’t do it again.

    (ok, sorry for the whine. I feel better now.)

  • ManassasGrandma

    What you people don’t understand is that our moral collapse came before our fiscal collapse and money woes are not the only thing- or even the most important thing- facing the country. How are you going to do away with the social safety net while endorsing social chaos? I would sit on my hands before voting for someone who is not pro-life, no matter how good he or she was on fiscal issues. Mitch Daniels either doesn’t realise or doesn’t care that the other side is not going to abide by a “truce.”

    • krjohnson

      This comment makes me even more sure that opponents of Daniels do not understand what he means by a “truce.” He’s not saying there should be a truce between social liberals and social conservatives, he’s saying there should be a truce among Republicans. That we should choose our candidates based on their fiscal conservatism regardless of their stance on social issues.

      You want to know what “social chaos” looks like? A dollar crisis. A US bond crisis. Hyperinflation. An inflationary depression. And that is exactly what we’re marching towards at record speed.

      What the heck is the point of electing a pro-life president? I can think of a lot of litmus tests for president that could make some sense, but that has got to be the stupidest reason to eliminate a guy from contention for president. If he believes in the constitution he’s going to appoint constitutional judges to overturn Roe v Wade and return the issue to the states. If he’s a fiscal conservative he’s going to stop federal funding for abortions, even a lot of pro-choice people are against that. There’s very little a President can do on top of those things.