Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) will host a forum for GOP presidential candidates this Labor Day in South Carolina, the American Principles Project announced Monday.
DeMint will host an event — "The Palmetto Freedom Forum" — in which top contenders for the Republican nomination in 2012 will tout their conservative credentials to an audience of party activists in a key primary state.
The event is set to include candidates who have cleared a 5 percent threshold of support by late August, according to the RealClearPolitics.com average of polls, meaning that only semi-legitimate contenders will be included.
Candidates, appearing one at a time, will face questioning by a panel including DeMint, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), and Robert P. George, the founder of the American Principles Project. King, like DeMint, is a potential conservative kingmaker in an early nominating contest in the cycle.
DeMint described the event as a potential opportunity for more substantive discussion, not quick-set answers.
“This event will present a vital opportunity for the 2012 presidential candidates to discuss their positions on a number of key issues and to outline their vision for the future of our nation,” said DeMint. “Instead of looking for ‘gotcha’ questions and sound bite answers, this event will offer candidates the opportunity to deliver their message directly to undecided primary voters in South Carolina and beyond.”
The South Carolina senator has taken an active role in the GOP primary process already, asking candidates to sign the "Cut, Cap and Balance" pledge, or risk losing his endorsement.