Commentary

Social Issues Kicked To The Curb In GOP Debate

By Penny Nance | September 8, 2011 | 6:15pm EDT

Going into last night’s GOP debate I had hoped that social issues would get the spotlight they deserve. Both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have said in recent weeks that they would pick a pro-life Vice President, an unprecedented move since no candidate in recent memory has made such a statement.
 
This is clearly indicative of the strength of social conservatives at the grassroots level and within the Tea Party movement. I had hoped to see other important social issues like government funding for Planned Parenthood, embryonic stem cell research and end of life decisions brought up in the debate as well. 
 
I appreciate the candidates’ stated support for marriage being between a man and a woman but I want to know what they will actually do to protect this bedrock institution of our free society.  President Obama has forced the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell and has refused to defend the overwhelmingly bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act in court – he is the most anti-marriage president in history and I’d like to hear exactly what the Republican candidates will actually do on this issue if elected.
 
Unfortunately social issues were kicked to the curb. Social and economic issues go hand-in-hand and many social conservatives are also fiscal conservatives. Depriving the American people of the stances of the candidates is a disservice. I know most of the field is pro-life but I want to know if they will pledge to defund Planned Parenthood or stand for traditional marriage.
 
I hope the candidates are able to expand more on their social issue beliefs in the next debate because we are all watching carefully.

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