AMES, Iowa: GOP presidential candidates Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) brought the crowd to their feet several times while speaking at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa Saturday.
Huckabee told the crowd that the basic unit of government is the family. “A mother and a father and the children being raised to become the next generation, and those parents are there to train that generation to become the replacements for them,” Huckabee explained.
Huckabee also got loud applause when he said he is the only GOP candidate that has run against the Clinton Machine when he ran for office in Arkansas and who “consistently defeated it… and most importantly lived to tell about it.”
The FAMiLY Leader – a pro-life, pro-mariage, pro-family organization – sponsored the event, so it was clear the attendees supported Huckabee— an ordained Baptist minister — for his stance on religious freedom not being usurped by the federal government.
Graham brought the crowd to their feet when he slammed Hillary Clinton on Benghazi. “Where the hell were you when those people needed you the most?” Graham charged at Clinton, “How could you allow it to become a death trap?”
Graham’s attack on the Democratic frontrunner’s handling of Benghazi during her time as Secretary of State got him a standing ovation.
Jindal brought the crowd out of their seats when he said the government shouldn’t be getting into individual’s religious rights or impeding the constitution.
He mentioned how God created the United States of America, and the next president will have to fight the New York Times, Washington Post, the ACLU, and anyone else who gets in the way. This again brought the crowd to their feet.
Jindal said he was ready for certain Democrats to lose their jobs, benefits, and go to prison, which provoked another ovation.
“I’m critical when the mainstream media doesn’t apply the same standards to this president that they apply to the rest of us,” he said. This statement led to the longest crowd ovation of the day.
Cruz also brought the crowd out of their chairs.
He spoke about the need for the people to take the country back – away from a ruling political class — and he also addressed the importance of religious liberty. “Never ever ever shy away from defending religious liberty – ever,” Cruz said.
“And I will tell you what my prayer is in the face of this disgraceful lawless decision,” referencing the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriage. Cruz continued, ‘That it will awaken the body of Christ and lift us up to rise up for the …evangelicals…to say we will take this country back.”
Breitbart News spoke to several audience members about whom they favor in the GOP presidential race.
Minnesota resident Linnea Burtch drove two hours to Ames, Iowa with her husband Keith to attend the Family Leadership Summit and hear several of the GOP presidential candidates speak.
She said she lives in a blue state, and she wished the GOP candidates would come campaign there. Burtch told Breitbart News, “I do not like Bush.” She’s also not a fan of Cruz, Jindal or Rubio – but very supportive of Trump. “I love him…he says it the way it is.”
Even though Burtch supports Trump, she said her first pick for president is Dr. Ben Carson, and Trump is her second choice.
When questioned about Trump’s war hero comments about Sen. John McCain, Burtch didn’t seem to care, as she isn’t a big fan of McCain. Burtch said she wasn’t there to watch Trump’s speech, so she didn’t see his comment, only heard about it when asked by Breitbart News.
Two 18-year-old voters also spoke to Breitbart News. Both David Bis and Shelby Vroman said they really like Carson, saying he seems more concerned with education. Vroman liked education being discussed, as she attended the event last year and didn’t think it was brought up enough at that time.
Vroman added that she thought the GOP presidential candidates should go speak more at colleges. She said GOP candidates could get the younger vote if they were willing to come to college campuses, but they “don’t think they’ll get the vote, so they don’t,” she complained.