GOP field plan a Thanksgiving day of rest, family and food

The Republican presidential contenders are taking a brief respite from the campaign grind Thanksgiving Day.


The Republican presidential contenders are taking a brief respite from the campaign grind Thanksgiving Day.

After 11 presidential debates, numerous straw polls and countless visits to Iowa, New Hampshire and other early primary states, the candidates will be spending Thursday relaxing with family, playing “Turkey Bingo,” watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and listening to Christmas carols.

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Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and his family will be at their Washington home, according to his campaign, enjoying a traditional meal. One delicacy on hand will be a real cranberry sauce that Huntsman makes himself. Other holiday fare will include greenbean casserole, fried onions and mashed potatoes.

They go around the table and say what they are grateful for,” Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller said. “They also listen to Christmas music all day.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) will be home with her family in Stillwater, Minn. Four of her five children will be there for dinner. Afterward, the family usually plays “Turkey Bingo” and competes for gifts, her campaign said.

“Its bingo, but whoever gets bingo first must say gobble-gobble,’” Bachmann explained of the game, according to U.S. News and World Report. She also told the website that Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday.

“Since I was a little girl, I just loved this meal because its the time when the entire extended family comes together,” she said.

Herman Cain will be at home in Atlanta with his family, his campaign said.

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) will be entertaining enough guests to hold a caucus meeting.

There will be 40 people at his Lake Jackson, Texas, home on Turkey Day, including children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, according to his campaign.

Besides the standard Thanksgiving fare, the feast will include “a family favorite and Texas tradition: cornbread dressing,” a spokesman said.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and his extended family will spend the day together baking pies, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and listening to Frank Sinatra, according to his daughter Elizabeth.

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Santorum carves the turkey, she said, adding that his favorite dish is her mom’s sage cornbread stuffing. He also leads the family in Thanksgiving prayers.

“Every Thanksgiving we always go around the table and think about specific things from the past year we’re thankful for,” she said. “We all try and think of the big blessings in our lives and the smaller more daily things.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign did not respond to The Hill’s inquiry about his Thanksgiving Day plans, but he did release a video Wednesday thanking U.S. troops for their service and wishing everyone a “Happy Thanksgiving.”

Neither former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign nor former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s (Ga.) campaign responded to The Hill’s request.

— Emily Goodin, Josh Lederman, Justin Sink and Daniel Strauss contributed.