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The Gazette KCRG
Posted November 22, 2011
Family Leaders rules out endorsing Romney, Paul, Cain; board still considering four GOP candidates

Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich Caption: Republican presidential candidates, from left, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich listen to moderator Frank Luntz, right, during the Thanksgiving Family Forum sponsored by The Family Leader, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


An influential social conservative group in Iowa has narrowed the list of Republican presidential candidates it’s considering endorsing, ruling out Rep. Ron Paul and businessman Herman Cain.

The Family Leader said today it’s considering Texas Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum.

It said it did not even consider former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who appears to be ramping up his campaign in the state. He’s visiting Des Moines on Wednesday.

The organization’s announcement comes just days after 3,000 people gathered in Des Moines for a forum that drew several of the candidates.

“As difficult as this first step proved to be in narrowing the field to four, the next step of final selection and recommendations to our supporters will be tougher,” said Bob Vander Plaats, the organization’s chief executive.

The exclusion of Paul and Cain by the group’s board of directors is striking.

The Texas congressman nearly won the Iowa Straw Poll this summer and is thought to have an enthusiastic base of support in the state.
Meanwhile, Cain has led some of the polls here.

The group said today the stumbling block for Paul is his belief that abortion should be dealt with at the state level. As for Cain, the group cited “a narrative of questions versus clarity on the key issues of life, marriage, foreign policy and presidential readiness.”

Cain has had to explain his answers on abortion, Libya and China’s nuclear capability, leading some analysts — and some Republicans in the state — to question his readiness.

The group was blunt in dealing with Romney. “The board did not give consideration to Gov. Romney,” it said in a news release.

Romney’s past positions on abortion and gay marriage have been liabilities for him with social conservatives in the state.

It’s not clear when an endorsement might come, or even if it will. It said it was “praying for clarity” on whether to endorse and, if so, whom.


3 Responses to Family Leaders rules out endorsing Romney, Paul, Cain; board still considering four GOP candidates

  1. Mr. Cain is pro-life and pro-family.

    It was so encouraging to watch these video clips of Mrs. Gloria Cain, Herman Cain’s wife, as she described their marriage of 43 years and their courtship.


  2. Why does anyone listen to Vander Plaats?

    Although, I have to wonder why he ruled out Herman Cain and not Newt Gingrich, the serial adulterer.

  3. Wow, so Ron Paul wasn’t endorsed by this socially conservative group because he believes that abortion laws should be controlled at the state level? How ironic, considering that one of the bedrock beliefs of conservatives is that control of many aspects of government should be dealt with at the state, and not the federal level.

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