PRESS RELEASE from American Principles Project via   +

For Immediate Release
July 11, 2011
Contact: Luke Byars

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint Announces 2012 Presidential Forum to be Held in Columbia, South Carolina on Labor Day, 2011

Palmetto Freedom Forum to Feature Top GOP Candidates

Columbia, SC – Today U.S. Senator Jim DeMint announced a Presidential Forum – The Palmetto Freedom Forum – to feature the top Republican candidates for President.  The Forum is being sponsored by the American Principles Project and will take place on the afternoon of Labor Day (Monday, September 5, 2011) in Columbia, South Carolina, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.  South Carolina ETV will broadcast this innovative event live on the South Carolina channel.  Informational letters will be sent to current and prospective candidates this week and formal invitations will be extended in August, based on objective polling criteria (see below).

The Palmetto Freedom Forum will follow a unique format, designed to allow invited candidates to engage in a thoughtful, substantive discussion of their stances on the critical issues facing our country.  Candidates will be featured on stage one-at-a-time and will engage in a question and answer session with three panelists: U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), U.S. Representative Steve King (R-IA), and Dr. Robert P. George, founder of the American Principles Project and a professor at Princeton University.  The event will be moderated by David Stanton, a veteran of South Carolina presidential events and former local news anchor.

“I am pleased to be part of this exciting event that will help Republican primary voters make their choice for president,” said Senator DeMint. “America faces enormous challenges in the years ahead, and primary voters must thoughtfully select a candidate with the courage and conviction to fight to save it.”

“This event will present a vital opportunity for the 2012 presidential candidates to discuss their positions on a number of key issues and to outline their vision for the future of our nation,” said DeMint. “Instead of looking for ‘gotcha’ questions and sound bite answers, this event will offer candidates the opportunity to deliver their message directly to undecided primary voters in South Carolina and beyond.”

Representative Steve King (R-IA), who will join Senator DeMint on the panel, said, "Thirty  second responses do not allow the candidates to properly spell out their understanding of our founding and their vision for our way forward.  I appreciate Senator DeMint creating a venue that will let the candidates separate themselves on the issues."

A Palmetto Freedom Forum Advisory Committee has been formed to facilitate the event and is comprised of key South Carolina leaders including former SCGOP Chairman Barry Wynn, Columbia businessman Peter Brown, leading SC Republican Election Law Attorney Kevin Hall, former Public Policy Director for the South Carolina Baptist Convention Joe Mack, and former DeMint State Director Luke Byars.  It will be sponsored by the American Principles Project (

Founder of the American Principles Project, Robert George, concluded, “The South Carolina presidential forum rests on a conviction---the belief that the way forward for our country is a renewed fidelity to the foundational principles of our civilization and the constitutional principles of our democratic republic.  The forum will give those aspiring to the presidency an opportunity to demonstrate the depth of their understanding of our nation's core principles, and the strength of their commitment to governing in accordance with them.”


Participation Criteria:  The Palmetto Freedom Forum Advisory Committee will invite those individuals to participate who have achieved a 5% threshold in the 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination RCP Average as is posted on that site on August 22, 2011 at 1PM Eastern Daylight Time.  Those individuals who meet that criteria will receive a formal invitation.

PRESS RELEASE from American Principles Project
September 1, 2011


Labor Day Presidential Debate to Be Broadcast LIVE by CNN

GOP Candidates Will Descend on All-Important South Carolina

Washington, DC— Today, the American Principles Project announced that CNN will broadcast the “American Principles Project Palmetto Freedom Forum” live in Columbia, S.C. on Monday, September 5 at 3:00 p.m. EDT.  The event’s unique format will cut through the talking points and put the candidates to test in a crucial early nominating state.  The website will live-stream the event, including a roundtable immediately following it with analysis from the three panelists.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will join Texas Governor Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN), Rep. Ron Paul (TX), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and businessman Herman Cain are set to participate.  They be on the stage one-at-a-time and will participate in a question and answer session with three panelists: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), and Dr. Robert George, founder of American Principles Project and McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University.

The event will be moderated by David Stanton, a veteran of South Carolina presidential events and respected former local news anchor

Invitations were also sent to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The criteria set was at or above the 5 percent threshold in the 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination average at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22,  and therefore all qualified for invitations to the Labor Day afternoon event.

The American Principles Project is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving and propagating the fundamental principles on which our country was founded – universal principles, embracing the notion that we are all, “created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Ed. note: Despite the headline on the above release, the event was a forum, not a debate.  Each candidate appeared individually on the stage while the others were "sequestered' in back rooms.  Candidates started with three minute opening statements and then answered questions from the panelists.


For Immediate Distribution:
News Release
Sept. 5, 2011

Gov. Perry Cancelling Scheduled Events as Wildfires Persist in Texas
Statement by Ray Sullivan
AUSTIN - Ray Sullivan,'s communications director, made the following statement today regarding Gov. Perry's schedule:
“Gov. Perry is cancelling the remainder of his South Carolina schedule today, including the Palmetto Freedom Forum, and tomorrow’s California schedule to return to Texas. Gov. Perry’s first priority is to the people of Texas during this natural disaster. The Governor is in close communication with emergency operations officials regarding fires in Texas, including discussions with emergency management leaders over the weekend and this morning.”
RELEASE from NEWT 2012
September 5, 2011

Here's What They're Tweeting About

Newt's Performance at the Palmetto Freedom Forum

@RichLowry (Editor, National Review): newt absolutely nails it on dec of ind

@CharlestonPats (Charleston Tea Party): Nobody does American exceptionalism better than @newtgingrich opening remarks #scpol #palmettoff

@matthewhurtt: @NewtGingrich does an excellent job relating to the audience early on. #DeMintForum

@robertcostaNRO: Gingrich was impressive. Best 22 minutes of his campaign.

@yvonnewenger (Reporter, Post and Courier): Gingrich gets first response applause when he is talking about judicial encroachments

@chrisoviatt (SC GOP Executive Committee): Newt has gotten more applause in his first 10 mins than the previous candidates combined! #palmettoff #sctweets

@TheTonyLee (Chase 2012 Editor, Human Events): Newt on Melting Pot. Out of park! will be the color blind litmus test for GOP going forward this decade. Just watch. #CA1990s

@CharlestonPats (Charleston Tea Party): @newtgingrich points out super committee doesn't represent all the people #palmettoff #scpol

@amandacarpenter (Communications Advisor, Sen. Jim DeMint): GINGRICH: "Bad government has destroyed the city of Detroit."

@thestate (The State Newspaper): Gingrich is done. He got the most laughs/applause so far. #palmettoff

@_DavidMReed: @newtgingrich laid out THE BEST plan for a New America. The DeMint Forum has been incredible. #GOP #GOPDebate

@Bill_Bruner: Newt best candidate tonight: on life issues, role of Creator in public life, jobs & energy policy, borders & judicial overreach! #palmettoff

See more Tweets at @Newt2012HQ

Contact: R.C. Hammond


September 5, 2011
DNC Response to SC Tea Party Forum from Communications Director Brad Woodhouse
"While the rest of the country was celebrating Labor Day today, most of the Republican presidential field was only laboring to appeal to the Tea Party - the most narrow, extreme and divisive wing of a Republican Party not exactly known for its moderation.  Republicans have ceded more and more power to the Tea Party, most recently nearly following the likes of Jim DeMint headlong into the nation's first ever debt default.  Now, one Republican presidential candidate after another is pledging allegiance to the Tea Party and its extreme economic agenda - an agenda that would double down on the failed Republican policies of the last decade that nearly sank our nation into a second Great Depression. 
"From Rick Perry to Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney to Ron Paul, Republicans have pledged to protect tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil, slash Social Security and K-12 education, end Medicare and allow Wall Street to run wild again - all in support of a Tea Party economic plan that would cost our nation millions of jobs.  If Republicans kept the promises on the economy they've made to the Tea Party it'd make the 2008 financial crisis look like a PeeWee Football scrimmage by comparison.
"Today was a big day for the Tea Party - another notch on its belt in its quest ot take over the Republican Party.  But no matter what they were serving in the Palmetto State today, the vast majority of Americans are looking for something else."