It’s no secret that social conservatives are not thrilled about the prospect of Mitt Romney winning the Republican presidential nomination, but what is a secret is the meeting key leaders of the movement in Iowa held this week to prevent that prospect from becoming a reality. Representatives for leading social conservative groups met covertly in Iowa Monday with the hope of choosing an alternative candidate that social conservatives could unite behind, CNN reports:
The meeting, the group’s first, took place in a private office building in Des Moines on Monday. In attendance were representatives from the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, The Family Leader, the group Iowa Right to Life, and a representative for the Iowa chapter of Concerned Women for America. Some pastors from prominent Iowa churches also attended the meeting. [...]
Sources say there were about 20 to 25 people present at the meeting and that another meeting is planned for Monday of next week.
The problems for Romney here are obvious. Romney used to be staunchly pro-choice, saying, for example, when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, “I sustain and support [Roe v. Wade], and the right of a woman to make that choice.” And while Romney now vows to restrict a woman’s right to choose if elected, the specifics of his anti-choice positions are unclear, as he has refused to take a position on key issues. He’s also been relatively progressive on gay rights, saying just this week, “I favor gay rights.” And Romney’s Mormon faith could pose problems as well, as a recent Pew survey noted that a majority of white evangelical protestants do not view the religion as Christian.
In their search for an alternative, attendees at the Iowa meeting disqualified Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) because of his libertarian leanings on social issues, and also dimissed Herman Cain because of a “lack of consistency on issues of sanctity of life and marriage” and “some concern he’s maybe not quite experienced enough in civics.”