Date for the First Unofficial 2012 GOP Presidential Debate Set in Iowa

Bookmark and Share March 7th, 2011——-mark that date in your calendars. It is currently one of the first unofficial Republican presidential debates and it will take place in the state where the first in the nation presidential contest takes place—–Iowa.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition is one of Iowas leading grassroots conservative organizations and it is headed up by Republican National Committee member Steve Scheffler and keeping in tradition, they have sent out invitations for a March 7th forum that would be the first of its kind for the developing field of Republican presidential contenders.

So far, the group has sent invitations to:

  • Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
  • Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
  • Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
  • Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
  • Texas Rep. Ron Paul
  • Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
  • Indiana Rep. Mike Pence
  • Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum
  • South Dakota Sen. John Thune
  • South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

But in addition to those 12, an invite is also expected to be sent to former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. Not making the cut would seem to be former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, a libertarian conservative who has been crisscrossing the country for a planned run for President for over a year now. Also not mentioned is the once often mentioned Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who seems more and more unlikely to run in 2012.

The forum is probably not likely to receive acceptances to their invitations from the likes of Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, John Thune, and possibly even Mike Pence. People such as Daniels have made it clear that he will not make a decision about a run for President until late April, upon the end of his states legislative session. Attending the Iowa forum will not officially constitute a run for President and all the rules and restrictions that come with it, but it will go a long way in confirming each individuals intentions and some like Barbour may not want to tip their hands that early in 2011. But participation in the forum will help to confirm the intentions of those in attendance and could begin to help some candidates gain traction with the development of a strong base of support in the ever important Iowa Caucuses.

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