The 13th G.O.P candidacy debate took place at the First Federated Church in Des Moines, Iowa. The debate was opened with a plea from moderator Dr. Frank Luntz.
It was directed at the Occupy Wall Street protesters, asking for two hours of uninterrupted debate. In exchange for this, he allowed a short address from a senior protester.
The candidates entered to an immense applause. It should be noted that Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Jr. were absent.
The heavily pious event began with a question of oath intertwined with constitutional values. All candidates pledged their allegiance to God, with a short explanation of the importance of Jesus in their life.
Newt Gingrich made a statement on lost values, and how Americans need to get back on track,
“Our founding documents says we are endowed to our creator.”
Ron Paul then weighed in with his opinions,
“values should come from our family and our church”
The following question was on the candidate's world views. Michele Bachmann made a statement about the Declaration of Independence and the connection between God and United States founding fathers.
“God created government.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry said the United States should call for the severing of aid to China based on moral injustices.
Gingrich talking about the laziness of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He said with a form of jest, “go get a job right after you take a bath.”
On the discussion of the 10th amendment, a funny moment arose when Ron Paul was listing the systems that should be under federal rather than municipal government or vice versa. He was stating that education should be under local government, when Rick Perry interjected with “energy” and the room clapped and laughed. Ron Paul then held up his hand to motion five, “there’s five,” of course a re-enactment of the past debate blooper.
In the preceding minutes, Newt Gingrich, using his profound knowledge of the constitution and American political history, claimed, “The left is using the government to repress the people against their own values.” This was enjoyed greatly by the majority Republican crowd.
Personal strengths of the candidates was next on the agenda. Herman Cain spoke about his brush with cancer and the support he had from his wife of 43 years. He broke down talking about the memory.
Perry discussed his humble upbringing and how it’s stunning to him that a boy that “had no indoor plumbing, and a mama that used to sew my under wear” could have made it to the stage he is at now.
Paul spoke about his strong work ethic that was instilled by his family. He went onto say how the experience of medical school impacted on his views and value of life.
Bachmann brought to light her financial troubles as an adolescent, due to her parents' divorce. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum spoke emotionally about the painful revival of his infant daughter at five months, due to a respiratory disorder that kills 90 percent of those diagnosed. She is now three years old.
Newt Gingrich put forth his views on abortion, via a close friend's health problems.
One of the last question's basic premise was about personal epiphanies, improvements and identifying personal failures.
Gingrich spoke about his upbringing, which was mainly spent with his grandmother who drilled religion into him deeply.
Paul had trouble finding personal failures, however, he was extremely grateful about the blessed life he has lived.
Cain discussed his regret at not spending enough time with his children. Perry spoke about his gratefulness toward God for being so blessed.
Finally, the candidates discussed the moral justification of going to war. The general consensus was that the U.S. will get done what has to be done, whether the world thinks it is right or not.
This particular debate was designed to strip away the politics and arguments of previous debates, and paint the candidates in a more humane light. The heat was certainly taken out of the debate, and all of the candidates were given ample time to voice their opinions, with plenty of discussion on personal beliefs and sacrifices. The questions asked by the audience members were mainly focused on family issues; the majority of the candidates all agreed that the United States was in need of more deferral to the American constitution and the church.
The next debate is on Nov. 22 at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. It will be shown live on CNN.