Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is the latest 2016 presidential hopeful to confirm his attendance at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s 2015 Spring Kickoff.
While there have been other multi-candidate events in Iowa this year, this is the first time Paul and Florida Senator Marco Rubio have participated. Even though Saturday’s event will not feature former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Donald Trump or Dr. Ben Carson, it will be the largest, most complete roster of Republican presidential hopefuls thus far in 2015 to speak at an event in Iowa.
Paul formally launched his presidential campaign earlier this month. During his announcement tour of early states, Paul was asked about his views on abortion by the Associated Press. Paul told the AP, “The thing is about abortion — and about a lot of things — is that I think people get tied up in all these details of, sort of, you’re this or this or that, or you’re hard and fast (on) one thing or the other.” He later would add, “Life is special and deserves protection.”
When asked about his position on abortion again, Paul fired back saying, “Why don’t we ask the DNC: Is it okay to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus?” You go back and go ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she’s okay with killing a 7-pound baby that’s just not born yet,” Paul told reporters. “Ask her when life begins, and ask Debbie when she’s willing to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to me.”
Wasserman Schultz quickly responded, “I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story.”
Paul then concluded, “It sounds like her answer is yes, that she’s okay with killing a 7-pound baby.”
Senator Paul has been criticized for being a little prickly with the media, but his willingness to flip the script on the abortion issue has been celebrated by conservative Republicans. Not only has Wasserman Schultz now been asked to defend her abortion-up until-birth stance, but Hillary Clinton has also been asked to spell out her position on late-term abortions, which she refused to do.
Senator Paul’s sudden interest in attending this weekend’s Faith and Family Coalition event makes perfect political sense. While other candidates may be respected for their dedication to the life movement, one can’t underscore how important Paul’s victory in the media last week ultimately was. Polling has consistently showed that a clear majority of Americans oppose late term abortions. Liberal Democrats like Wasserman Schultz want to focus the abortion debate on contraception and rape and incest exceptions, but when asked a simple question about when a life should be protected, they are forced to espouse an unpopular position.
Saturday’s Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event is shaping up to be an outstanding event. Besides the impressive roster of official and potential candidates, the issues of abortion, religious liberty, and gay marriage have all been in the headlines as of late. If should make for a fascinating evening in Waukee on Saturday.
Below are the details for the event.
For tickets, please click here.
Photo by Dave Davidson – Presography.com