Social Issues Bubbling Up In GOP Campaign


Mitt Romney is forced to defend his opposition to same-sex marriage. Newt Gingrich endorses a pledge to be faithful to his wife. Rick Perry runs an ad noting he’s against gays serving openly in the military, and abortion may take center stage Wednesday.

Three weeks before Iowa’s leadoff caucuses, cultural issues that have been virtually dormant in this Republican presidential campaign are bursting to the forefront as social conservatives — who make up the core of GOP primary voters and haven’t rallied behind any one contender — search for a candidate who shares their views.

“Everyone knows what Iowans want to hear and they will be willing to say those things,” said the Rev. Brad Cranston of Burlington, who is backing Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. “But I think it’s important that we examine their records.”

Almost daily now, GOP front-runners Gingrich and Romney are answering for records and backgrounds that are flawed in the eyes of these voters. And Republicans rivals looking to revive their struggling campaigns — like Perry — are turning ever more to topics that resonate strongly with this powerful segment of their party’s primary electorate in hopes of becoming their preferred candidate.

“There’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school,” Perry, the Texas governor, says in a TV ad blanketing Iowa ahead of the state’s Jan. 3 caucuses.

 Read More at OfficialWire By Philip Elliott, AP and OfficialWire


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