Last night, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Tom Tancredo, businessman John Cox, Sen. Sam Brownback, Rep. Ron Paul, Rep. Duncan Hunter and Ambassador Alan Keyes (in the order of their random podium placement) faced 53 questions from pro-family leaders at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
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I'm writing this on Monday before the event, but I want to be on record with five predictions.
- I predict the Values Voter Straw Poll will unify the pro-family movement and determine the nominee. Unlike other straw polls that are flawed by design, where candidates have bussed in supporters or paid for their tickets, more than 600 delegates to the Values Voter Debate Straw Poll were submitted by 40 national leaders to accurately represent America's largest voting block.
- I predict the "Values Voter Guide" DVD will saturate the nation and make the largest voting block even larger.
- I predict that the candidates who chose not to attend will regret the decision to snub us because they will not win without us.
- I predict that there will be a Values Voter Presidential Debate in every presidential election from this point forward.
- For too long values voters have been pushed to the back of the bus; last night they moved into the driver's seat.
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The questions asked of the candidates are below. Their answers can be seen at www.ValuesVoterDebate.com. Prediction No. 6: This election just took a turn in the right direction.
OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS ROUND 1:
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- American Family Association, Buddy Smith – MARRIAGE
Marriage has been a socially protected union between a man and a woman for the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual reproduction of children in every culture and at nearly every time in history. States have a secular interest, and human beings have a psychological, emotional and spiritual interest in man-woman couples that stay together to rear children. If elected, would you support a Federal Marriage Amendment, and what else will you do to protect the institution of marriage?
Recently a federal judge ordered the Indiana Legislature to censor their prayers. Specifically, the federal judge ordered the Indiana Legislature to never allow anyone to offer an invocation prayer in Jesus' name. Will you, as president, consider impeachment a possible remedy for this judicial activism?
Janet Folger, Faith2Action – LIFE
ROUND 1: SHOW 4-D ULTRASOUND VIDEO
[As you can see by the ultrasound video], science confirms the undeniable unique human being or "person" in the womb.
In Roe v. Wade, author Harry Blackmun himself stated: "If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses"
By the author's own words, Roe v. Wade has collapsed. If elected, what will YOU do to make our laws consistent with our science and restore legal protection and full rights of personhood to every American waiting to be born?
ROUND 2: LIFE/DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD
The Mexico City Policy states that as a condition for a foreign organization to receive federal funds, they "will neither perform nor actively promote abortion." Would you work to apply this Mexico City policy to organizations WITHIN the United States as well as abroad?
Jewish Action Alliance, Rabbi Aryeh Spero – ISLAM/TERROR
There is no question that jihadists have as their goal the harming of America and its citizens. What would your strategy be to protect our streets, our people and our American way of life from the dangerous explosive growth of radical Islam in America and around the world?
Do you agree that the excessive and overbearing use by liberals of "multi-culturalism" is weakening the unique American culture that has historically shaped the identity of America, and will lead to a harmful balkanization and unnecessary divisions among the citizenry?
Calvary Chapel, Ft. Lauderdale, Doug Souter – GOD
My name is Pastor Doug Sauder, of Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale. Thanks so much for coming. Can you tell us a little about your faith in God?
Eagle Forum, Phyllis Schlafly
At President Bush's press conference in Canada last month, Fox News asked him this question: "Can you say today that the Security and Prosperity Partnership is NOT a prelude to a North American Union, similar to a European Union?" Bush did NOT deny that goal; he just ridiculed the question. Will you assure us that you will abolish all plans to promote the economic integration of North America, which consists of open borders among the United States, Canada and Mexico?
Will you oppose all plans for amnesty, path to citizenship, guest workers, and seasonal passes until the very high unemployment rate of our own minority youth, and college and high school students seeking summer jobs, has dropped to 5 percent?
Paul Weyrich, Free Congress (via video) – HOMOSEXUALITY
What do you intend to do to counteract the agenda of the homosexual movement?
ROUND 2: YES/NO QUESTIONS – "THE SPEED ROUND"
The Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), Star Parker – SOCIAL SECURITY
My name is Star Parker from the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education. Estimates for the unfunded liabilities of our Social Security system are as high as 10 trillion dollars. Would you revive President Bush's attempt to introduce personal retirement accounts as a way to reform Social Security thus allowing all Americans, and particularly low-wage workers and the self-employed, an investment in their future and ownership in the inheritance they pass on?
Foundation for Moral Law, Judge Roy Moore – RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
My name is Judge Roy Moore of the Foundation for Moral Law. Would you support Article III legislation, like the Constitution Restoration Act, that prevents federal courts from hearing lawsuits brought to stop state or federal officials from acknowledging the sovereignty of God in such ways as public prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance and the public display of the Ten Commandments?
Judicial Action Group, Phillip Jauregui – JUDGES
My name is Phillip Jauregui of the Judicial Action Group. If elected president will you nominate only judges and justices that are demonstrably faithful to the judicial role of following the text of the Constitution and who not only refuse to legislate from the bench, but are committed to reversing prior court decisions where judges strayed from the judicial role and have legislated from the bench?
Gordon James Klingenschmitt (via video) – RELIGIOUS LIBERTY/PRAYER
My name is Gordon James Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain who was punished for praying in Jesus' name, punished for quoting the Bible in the chapel, one of 68 chaplains now suing the secretary of the Navy. Here's my question. Over 300,000 Americans have signed a petition and 75 congressmen and 35 pro-family groups have requested an Executive Order to protect a military chaplain's right to pray according to the dictates of his conscience, and enforce the law that's been on the books since 1860. If you are elected president, will you sign that Executive Order and protect your military chaplains' right to pray according to their faith?
VCY America, Vic Eliason – FAIRNESS DOCTRINE
My name is Vic Eliason and I am the vice president of the VCY America Radio Network. I also host a radio talk show on 85 stations every day. As a Christian, I don't want to be forced by the government to broadcast morally objectionable material or give equal time to the opponents of our faith to comply with somebody else's idea of "fairness." If elected, would you veto any legislation that contains language of the so called "Fairness Doctrine"?
Samaritan Ministries International, James Lansberry – HEALTH CARE
I'm James Lansberry of Samaritan Ministries. Nations with socialized medicine reduce the cost of their health care systems by restricting patient access to needed treatments and health care rationing. Will you protect the availability of needed medical care by opposing current efforts to subject Americans to government-mandated health insurance and universal coverage?
Arlene Elshinnaway – HATE CRIMES
My name is Arlene Elshinnaway and I'm a 75-year-old grandmother who exercised my First Amendment Rights on a public sidewalk in Philadelphia on Oct. 10, 2004. I was arrested, jailed and charged under Pennsylvania's hate crimes law. I faced up to 47 years in prison and a $90,000 fine for attempting to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ at a homosexual pride event with those trapped in bondage to this lifestyle. People shouldn't go to jail for sharing the Gospel. If elected, could we count on you to veto any so-called "hate crimes" legislation?
Aaron Chamblee (via video) – BALANCED BUDGET
My name is Aaron Chamblee, In Fiscal Year 2006, the United States government spent $406 billion dollars of our money just on interest payments to the holders of the national debt – which is now $8.8 trillion. I don't have that kind of money. If elected, will you reign in this out of control spending and work hard to balance the budget?
Monica Ramos, wife of jailed border agent – BORDER ENFORCEMENT
My name is Monica Ramos and I am the wife of former Border Patrol Agent Ignacio Ramos. Currently, my husband sits in solitary confinement in a federal prison having served nine months of an 11 year sentence for shooting an illegal alien who was resisting arrest while smuggling 750 pounds of illegal drugs into our country. The drug smuggler was given immunity from prosecution for the drugs he was carrying, free health care and free border crossing cards by our government and is suing the government for 5 million dollars. Is this the kind of border enforcement policy we could expect in your administration?
Terri's Fight, Bobby Schindler – END OF LIFE
My name is Bobby Schindler. My beloved sister Terri Schiavo was starved and dehydrated to death in the land of abundance while the world watched – because she was disabled and unable to speak for herself. Would you pursue or support legislation that would protect the cognitively disabled and vulnerable people from being dehydrated to death by having their food and water taken away?
Vision America, Dr. Rick Scarborough – PORN
My name is Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America. In the Bush administration, the U.S. Department of Justice is enforcing obscenity laws only against those who distribute the most extreme hardcore pornography and only against small companies. This is despite the fact that illegal hardcore pornography is now so pervasive that it's found even in mainstream companies such as Marriott Hotels, Comcast and Verizon.
Will you agree to prosecute the broad range of illegal adult pornography rather that just the most extreme material, and prosecute all violators of federal obscenity law, including the new, so-called "white collar pornographers"?
Rhonda Hubbard (via video) – LIFE/EMBRYO RESEARCH
My name is Rhonda Hubbard. This is my husband, Gary, and these are our adopted children Joshua and Rachel. At one time both of them were "Snowflake babies." That means they spent the earliest part of their lives as frozen embryos. Can you look at them now and honestly tell me that it would have been OK with you if someone would have used them in medical experiments and snuffed out their lives? Is that your position?
Creation Studies Institute, Tom DeRosa – EVOLUTION
My name is Tom DeRosa, president of Creation Studies Institute. Today, as in the past, academic freedom has been threatened when questioning the theory of evolution as in the case of Iowa State Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez. His tenure was denied because of his work in Intelligent Design this May 2007. Censoring alternative theories and punishing those who hold them, dogmatic indoctrination has replaced scientific methods of inquiry. Will your office support and encourage a more open approach to education in the presentation of scientific facts that contradict the theory of evolution?
Tom Scott, president, Sky Angel – DECENCY/CABLE
My name is Tom Scott, president and COO of Sky Angel. Currently, the broadcast indecency rules apply only to local broadcast stations. Do you believe they should be expanded to cable networks as well?
Stephen Bennett – HOMOSEXUAL EDUCATION/PARENTAL RIGHTS
My name is Stephen Bennett. I used to think I was born gay and was sexually active in the homosexual lifestyle for 11 years. Now, I'm happily married for almost 15 years to my wife, Irene, and we have two wonderful children. Homosexual behavior is immoral and dangerous – I know: Many of my friends, both male and female, are now dead. Even so, schools across the nation teach our children that homosexuality is healthy, normal and unchangeable. I'm living proof that's NOT true. As president, would you support legislation ensuring that schools forfeit federal funding if they expose our children to homosexual propaganda that puts them at risk?
TheRebelution.com, Alex Harris – ABSTINENCE
My name is Alex Harris. I am 18. The National Institutes of Health reports one in five Americans currently have a sexually transmitted disease affecting one in four sexually active teens. Without even addressing teen pregnancy and abortion rates, it's clear that our public policies have not protected my peers. Meanwhile, 2.5 million American teens like me have taken public abstinence pledges to save sex until marriage – the only 100 percent effective protection from STDs. In the interest of fairness and effectiveness, would you bring abstinence education funding onto equal ground with contraceptive based education?
Simon Deng (via video) – PERSECUTION
I was made a slave during the government of Sudan's war against black Christians and animists of South Sudan. I am a slave no longer, but work to free tens of thousands of my brothers and sisters who remain in chattel slavery in Sudan. Would you endorse the creation of a commission to monitor the eradication of slavery in Sudan, the last legal bastion of slavery in the world?
Thomas More Law Center, Richard Thompson – RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
My name is Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center. The ACLU has challenged the Mount. Soledad cross, the centerpiece of a national veteran's memorial because it is a Christian religious symbol, as well as a cross that sits atop Sunrise Rock in the Mojave Desert. If you are elected president, will you take steps to preserve our national war memorials and landmarks which contain Christian symbols from organizations like the ACLU who seek to purge all religious symbols from the public square?
Tim Bono, Arlington, Va. – HOMOSEXUALITY/ ENDA
My name is Tim Bono. I own a motion picture film lab and came under fire by the Arlington, Virginia, Human Rights Commission because I refused to duplicate objectionable, pro-homosexual material. If elected president, would you protect business owners like me from being forced to violate our moral conscience by vetoing the so-called "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" and any other legislation that would add the phrase "sexual orientation" into federal law?
Pastor Mark Holick – RELIGIOUS LIBERTY/IRS CODE
My name is Pastor Mark Hollick from Wichita, Kansas. My church and I are currently under investigation by the IRS for "political involvement" due to my identifying politicians who support the destruction of innocent unborn children. If you were elected president, would you remove the gag rule from pastors like me and support a repeal of the portion of IRS Code Section 501(c)(3) that restricts churches and ministries from expressing our biblical convictions for or against a candidate?
Ken Becker, Texas – BORDER/JOBS
My name is Ken Becker. I'm from Texas and as a small business trucker for over 15 years, I know that allowing Mexican trucks into our county brings unsafe equipment driven by people unable to communicate in English, read highway signs or know our laws. This creates a serious safety concern and undermines American jobs – not to mention our roads and bridges. They are a threat to security, safety and American workers. Since Bill Clinton successfully kept Mexican trucks off U.S. highways, will you rescind President Bush's order that allows hundreds of Mexican trucks to drive on U.S. highways and roads?
Shofar International, Christie Glesener – ISRAEL
Past American presidents have expected Israel to give up land – not for peace, but for the PROMISE of peace. With this mindset, President Bush introduced the "Roadmap" in April 2003.
Israel has evacuated many of her lands, yet over 60 terrorist acts are attempted and 300 rockets fall every month. Still, the U.S. continues to pressure Israel to relinquish land, divide her cities, with no recourse against the Palestinian/Hamas Authority and terrorist groups.
If elected president, will you solidly stand behind Israel not to give up land for unfulfilled promises of peace, even in the face of opposition of Allied, European and Arab nations?
Bill Devlin, Redeem the Vote – HEALTH CARE
My name is Bill Devlin, president of Redeem the Vote. Health care is growing at an accelerating rate and is estimated to consume up to 17 percent of the country's GNP if present trends in health care consumption continue. As a Christian and a physician, it appears that lifestyles that are based in moral principles would reduce health care expenditures. Would you support a health care plan that rewards behavior that promotes moral lifestyles, i.e. avoiding alcohol and tobacco consumption as well as obesity reduction, exercise and nutrition that promotes health?
Father Keith Roderick, Christian Solidarity International – PERSECUTED CHURCH
U.S. policy has thus far failed Christians and other non-Muslim minorities in Iraq. As their numbers dwindle under continued persecution, threats and violence, their very existence is threatened. This would be a tragic and ironic outcome of Iraq's liberation. Would you as president support their political goals by endorsing the creation of an autonomous administrative area in their ancestral homeland of the Nineveh Plains, as permitted under Article 125 of the Iraqi constitution?
Tom White, Voice of the Martyrs – PERSECUTION
Christians are being beaten, jailed, and expelled throughout the Muslim World. For example, the Washington Post reported, in Saudi Arabia, no Christian church buildings are permitted. Yet, Saudi extremist Wahhabis have built hundreds of mosques in the USA with funding from Saudi Arabia. If elected, will you take action to protest this gross injustice and persecution by denying visas or by imposing trade sanctions?
Father Thomas J. Euteneuer, S.T.L., Human Life International – UN/CEDAW
At the 1994 U.N. Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, the Clinton administration put the full force of the U.S. government behind the effort to make abortion a universal human right with such proposals as the U.N. Treaty on the "Rights of the Child, Discrimination Against Women" (known as CEDAW). Thankfully, the Bush administration changed our delegation to the U.N. and stopped supporting the radical abortion agenda. Will you promise to oppose all U.N. treaties that could be used to promote abortion as a "human right?"
Jamie Fussell, student – EDUCATION/SCHOOL CHOICE
My name is Jamie Fussell and I'm the product of school choice. I grew up in public schools and was recommended to repeat the seventh grade for a third year because of my deficiency in math and English.
My mother then sent me to New Generations, a Christian school. After ONE year there, my math improved five grade levels and my English improved three years. Today, I'm pursuing a nursing career. This was possible because of a Florida scholarship program that allows contributing corporations to receive a state tax-credit, rather than just a tax-deduction.
Will you support school choice for other students like me with similar tax-credit programs?
Pastor Reza Safa – STUDENT VISAS / RADICAL ISLAM
My name is Pastor Reza Safa. I am a former Shiite Muslim. U.S. policy of extending student visas to foreign students has been much too lenient. Many of the 9/11 hijackers received student visas. Thousands of students are on American campuses from countries who promote Islamic terrorism, 10,000 from Saudi Arabia alone, with U.S. agreement to increase that to 21,000.
As president, would you support continued issuing of student visas to nationals of countries that are state sponsors of terrorist groups?
Bob Fu, China Aid Association – TRADE
My name is Bob Fu, president of China Aid Association. My Chinese friend, Sarah Liu, was forced to make Christmas lights for Americans while in labor camps for six years where she was sent for the crime of being a Christian House Church leader. Thousands of prisoners of conscience like Sarah are forced to manufacture items that stock our American shelves.
At the same time, American manufacturing jobs are being moved to China because businesses can't compete with slave labor and wages as low as 30 cents an hour.
If elected, would you make future trade with China contingent on them measurably improving their record on religious freedom and human rights, eliminating their unfair trade practices, slave labor and sub-standard policies that poison our food, toothpaste and toys?
Do you support the NAFTA Superhighway presently under construction from Mexico to Canada, portions of which shall be under foreign control?
Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel
President Reagan rejected the U.N. Law of the Sea Treaty because it gives the International Seabed Authority dictatorial power to regulate all the oceans and the riches at the bottom of the oceans, plus the power to levy international taxes, and would make the United States subject to decisions of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The Law of the Sea Treaty was recently resurrected and will probably come to a vote in the Senate. Will you urge the Senate NOT to ratify this treaty?
ROUND 3: OPEN ENDED QUESTION TO INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES
Teresa Ippoliti, abortion survivor – RUDY GIULIANI
My name is Teresa Ippoliti. Eighteen years ago, an abortionist was hired to kill me, but I survived. I was wrapped in newspaper and tossed on a shelf struggling for my life. Nuns came and rescued me, took me to a hospital where I stayed for two months. I was then adopted by my heroic mom and dad. Mayor Giuliani, your position on abortion would have left me dead. Now that you see me, Mr. Giuliani, do you honesty still believe an abortionist had a right to kill me?
Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum – DUNCAN HUNTER
The United States has lost millions of manufacturing and other good jobs because of bad trade agreements and our government letting foreign countries get by with unfair trade practices. What will you do to stop the OUTSOURCING of good American jobs, and the loss of American jobs at home from INSOURCING foreign workers through H-1B and other special visas?
Peter Labarbera, Americans for Truth – MITT ROMNEY
Governor Romney, you are running as a pro-life, pro-marriage candidate, but you have a history of being strongly pro-abortion on demand and pro-homosexual. You supported Roe v. Wade and said abortion should be "safe and legal." In 2002, you opposed a state constitutional amendment to stop homosexual "marriage" in Massachusetts. You said homosexuals should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts, and as governor, you officially celebrated "Gay Youth Pride Day." You sat on Marriot's Board for 10 years while it sold pornographic, in-room videos. Why should voters trust you after you spent so much of your career aggressively promoting anti-life and anti-family positions? I understand a "change of heart," but a "change of position" on life, marriage, gun control, pornography, immigration all preceding your run for president?
Buddy Smith, American Family Association – SAM BROWNBACK
While we appreciate your work on pro-family issues in the Senate, please explain your support for allowing illegal aliens to remain here – which amounts to amnesty – and for bringing in more, so-called "guest workers." Please specifically address the depressed wages and reduced availability of entry level jobs for our citizens caused by these foreign workers.
Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel – FRED THOMPSON
While you were a senator, you opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment. Recently you stated you would support a marriage amendment that would prevent judges from imposing same-sex marriage so long as it would not prohibit state legislatures from adopting same-sex marriage. This reasoning is like saying you favor a constitutional amendment that prohibits judges from imposing slavery so long as state legislatures were free to do so. Does not your position fundamentally misunderstand the universal importance of marriage in the same way my latter example about slavery indicates a misunderstanding of human dignity?
Janet Folger, Faith2Action – JOHN MCCAIN
I was troubled by the lawsuit you and other members of Congress filed against Wisconsin Right to Life for airing radio and television ads to encourage the public to lobby their senators to oppose the filibuster of judicial candidates. While, thankfully, they won the lawsuit, was it really your goal to gag and prevent groups from being involved in the legislative process during the "no free speech zones" 60 days before a general election and 30 days before a primary as your Campaign Finance Reform Law required?
Pastor Doug Sauder – JOHN COX
Mr. Cox, You're not well known. What's prompted you to run for president and why should we take your candidacy seriously?
Rabbi Spero – TOM TANCREDO
There is a great deal of focus on revising policy toward stemming illegal immigration. What are the most urgent measures that you believe are necessary to reform legal immigration policy?
Rick Scarborough – MIKE HUCKABEE
It's clear Values Voters want less government and lower taxes. Some conservative groups have given you a poor grade for not limiting government enough while you were governor of Arkansas. What is your response?
Joe Glover – RON PAUL
Many libertarians oppose laws against same-sex marriage, prostitution and illegal drugs. Do you share this view?
Richard Thompson, Thomas More Law Center – ALAN KEYES
As ambassador to the United Nations, you must have had a first hand look at the problems that the United States faces in dealing with an organization that is wracked with corruption and frequently undermines core American values such as parental rights and freedom of our soldiers and leaders from standing trial in International Criminal Courts. You seem to remain a supporter, even though a great many conservatives are not. Why is this? Do you feel the U.S. is served by its continued participation in the U.N.?