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GOP Candidates Talk Faith In Iowa

It was a night of faith and politics for the GOP candidates in Des Moines, Iowa, where six of the eight top-tier candidates spoke at a forum hosted by a conservative Christian group. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

Gov. Rick Perry at a presidential forum hosted by conservative group Family Leader in Des Monies, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The evening promised to be different from previous debates, with moderators allowing complete answers and not posing questions that would put the White House hopefuls at odds with each other. The night was also meant to focus on how faith would guide the candidate as president. Gov. Rick Perry, never shy about his religious views, didn’t blank on any of his answers, especially when asked how he views the role of faith in political leadership.

Audio: Ben Philpott's story for KUT News

“I’ve been driven to my knees multiple times as the governor of the state of Texas making decisions that are life-and-death," Perry said. "The idea that I would walk into that without God Almighty holding me up would scare me to death."

But even at a faith based forum, there was time for the governor to discuss his calls to create a part-time Congress, repeal the federal health care law and allow states to develop their own health care solutions.

But the governor did give one answer that seemed questionable. When asked about a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Perry said there were things the states could to do until such an amendment was passed.

“I think it is an issue that you can address at the federal level. And passing a federal marriage amendment is one of the ways to do that. But until that does pass, as in the state of Texas, a gay couple cannot adopt a child in the state of Texas," Perry said.

He’s right when he says a gay couple can’t adopt. State law only allows a male and female couple to adopt. But nothing stops a single gay person, even if they have a partner, from adopting. A gay person can be a foster parent in Texas, too.

The candidates next head to Washington, D.C., for debate on foreign policy and national security.

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