Santorum: Government is Trying to Bully Christians Into Conformity

Religious liberty was a major theme for Rick Santorum during his speech this past weekend at the South Carolina Freedom Summit.  Santorum, who has been as outspoken as any candidate on religious liberty issues (he received an A+ on our Indiana Crisis Report Card), did not go into much policy detail on this occasion except to express concern regarding the possibility of churches losing their tax-exempt status over opposition to same-sex marriage, as suggested by comments made recently during oral arguments in the Supreme Court’s marriage case. Nevertheless, Santorum strongly defended the importance of religious liberty in American society: We

Fiorina Describes Herself as a “Proud, Pro-Life Conservative”

In her speech to the South Carolina Freedom Summit, Carly Fiorina bookended her remarks by distinguishing herself from Hillary Clinton and from the current Administration. She began with a strong attack on Ms. Clinton’s unwillingness to answer questions, contrasting it to her own willingness to go on the record. The biographical section of her speech focused on her rise from secretary to company president but also included a tribute to her mother-in-law for choosing not to have an abortion. This allowed her to tout her own pro-life bona fides, nicely highlighting the extreme position of the Democratic Party on the issue:

Perry’s Animated Speech Focuses on Homeland Security

Rick Perry’s enthusiastic and animated South Carolina Freedom Summit speech was long on Texas. Talking about his “personal favorite” among the Bill of Rights, the Tenth Amendment, he contrasted the “gross incompetence” of the current Administration with his own record in Texas. He spent a lot of time talking about defense issues, with particular emphasis on border security. He recounted telling President Obama that if the federal government wouldn’t secure the border, Texas would and described the state’s success in limiting border crossing using Texas National Guard troops. Texas was also touted as a model of job creation, educational success

Cruz Makes a Strong Case for Religious Liberty and Against Common Core

Senator Ted Cruz got something of rock star treatment before and after his strong speech to the South Carolina Freedom Summit. He began with a jab at Republican leadership for wanting to be rid of him. He complained that Americans are no longer confident their children will have a better life than they did. He outlined a three-point program. The first point focused on economic recovery and his calls for a flat tax, abolishing the IRS (and sending its agents to the southern border), and repealing Obamacare got a good response. His second point, defending constitutional rights, was particularly strong.

Rubio Tries to Pull an Obama in 2008

Marco Rubio gave a speech at the South Carolina Freedom Summit that presented himself as the representation of the American Dream and the idea of change.  His parents left Cuba to pursue the American Dream.  He and his family represent the American Dream.  More Americans should be able to aspire to the American Dream. But why is the economy so bad?  Rubio talks of the need for higher education reform generally and for a tax code that matches other nations.  He was eloquent in describing how too many are living paycheck to paycheck, but he was remarkably vague in describing why the

Walker Continues Radio Silence on Religious Liberty Crisis

Scott Walker was well received in South Carolina at the Freedom Summit. He gave a vigorous, extended defense of his record in Wisconsin, nicely pointing to the idea that if he can do all that in a blue state, imagine what he can do in Washington. He organized his speech on three points. First, we need to grow (by cutting taxes, regulation, Obamacare, and regulations on American energy).  He cleverly redubbed the idea that lower rates produce more growth and higher tax revenues the Kohl’s Curve to replace the old Laffer Curve. Second, he said we need to reform government

Jindal: “Without Religious Liberty, There Are No Other Freedoms”

Speaking at the South Carolina Freedom Summit on Saturday, Gov. Bobby Jindal continued his strong advocacy for marriage and religious liberty.  He contrasted his views with President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others on the left, whom he accused of attempting to restrict religious liberty to apply only to activities which occur inside churches: There was a time when the left believed in the First Amendment. There was a time when the left really understood that religious liberty is the foundation of our freedom of speech, and freedom of association…without religious liberty, there are no other freedoms like freedom of speech,