Social conservatives shouldn’t settle for a moderate Republican nominee, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says, because there’s no question President Obama will be defeated in 2012.
“I think that cake has already been baked,” Bachmann said. “People have made that decision that he won’t have a second term. So if that is the case, my message is this: why would we settle? Why would we settle on a moderate? Why would we settle on someone who’s not clear on the issue of life, on the issue of religious liberty, on the issue of marriage between a man and a woman?”
Bachmann was in Des Moines today for a press conference with the Faith and Family Council, where she was joined by about a dozen pastors and other members of the faith community.
“If there’s any election when we can have it all, it’s this election,” she said.
Abortion, marriage and other issues important to the faith community are not addressed often enough during presidential debates, Bachmann said.
“In the midst of the number one issue, which is jobs and the economy, we don’t want to forget the issue of life,” she said. “Because you can get a lot of things wrong, but you can’t get life wrong. And that’s why in this particular election it’s important that we not settle, we not settle for a candidate that doesn’t stand up for life.”
The faith community is told every four years to settle on a moderate candidate, Bachmann said, and it’s time for their voices to be heard.
“They’re patted on the head and told to stand against the wall and they’re told ‘well not this time, this time we have to have someone who’s electable, someone who’s a moderate,’” Bachmann said.
Pastor Bill Tvedt of Jubilee Family Church in Oskaloosa said social issues and the country’s economic woes are intertwined.
“It’s something that many people in the faith community feel like these kinds of issues get denigrated to a place that it should not be,” Tvedt said. “One of the reasons we’re in the economic mess that we’re in is we’ve lost our moral way as a nation, and I appreciate candidates like Michele that will put these issues at the forefront for us.”
And Pastor Mike Demastus of Fort Des Moines Church of Christ in Des Moines said social issues are very much a determining issue for those that hold strong values.
“It may not be the majority of the people, but those who do consider that an important issue, it is very much a swing issue,” he said.
Bachmann today also toured the Informed Choice of Iowa clinic in Des Moines, which opened in June and offers pregnancy services and counseling. The clinic is modeled after a similar clinic in Iowa City.
Brad Sherman, chairman of the board of Informed Choice of Iowa, said the group offers religious counseling to clinic users as well.
“What happens then is the opportunity to bring God’s truth, God’s work into their hearts and that’s what changes lives and then we can bring them into the church,” he said.
Sherman, who is also pastor of Solid Rock Church in Coralville, added that other candidates have not been as unwavering on social issues as Bachmann.
“I think some of these candidates have made it very clear in their debates that they support gay marriage, that they support pro-choice issues,” he said. “So like I say, anyone can say the right thing during the campaign. The main issue is have they historically taken a strong stand on those issues and never compromised.”