Last Friday, seven GOP presidential candidates (Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum) descended on Iowa for The FAMiLY Leader’s Presidential Family Forum. At one point during the event, each candidate was asked for their view on what constitutes “the greatest moral threat” to America. You can watch their responses below:
FRANK LUNTZ: In two or three sentences, and then we’re going to explore it: what is the greatest moral threat — not economic, not national security — what is the greatest moral threat facing America today?
MIKE HUCKABEE: The greatest moral threat we have is the loss of God-consciousness. The fact that we don’t believe that we are ultimately accountable to somebody other than the people that we see. A world in which we believe that we ultimately answer to God is a world that we live differently because we know that our ultimate judge is not the editorial page of the New York Times; it’s not somebody who is going to cartoon us; it’s not a political opponent; it’s not some anonymous blogger – that one day we’re going to stand before a holy God who created us, and He will judge us not by what other people thought, but he will judge us by how we lived our life with integrity, and whether or not we truly self-governed. I think the last six words that we wanna hear in our lives – we wanna hear the Father say to us these six words: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ And if we hear that, it doesn’t matter what anybody else said. Our lives had been successful.
RICK SANTORUM: I’ll do it in one sentence – the breakdown of the American family and the breakdown of marriage in our society. That’s what’s killing and undercutting this country.
RAND PAUL: I think the greatest threat we face is in losing track of where rights come from. I believe that our rights pre-exist government; that they come from our Creator. And if we lose track of where rights come from and what government was instituted to do, to protect our rights — that is the greatest threat we face.
MARCO RUBIO: I view the greatest threat as the erosion of values, which is a direct consequence of the erosion of the family. Because no one is born with the right values – they have to be taught to you in strong families and reinforced by the faith community and in strong communities around you, so the direct consequence of the erosion of the family is the erosion of values in our people.
BEN CARSON: I think it’s our willingness to adopt political correctness, and that causes us to throw away the values and principles that made us into a great nation.
TED CRUZ: I think the greatest threat we’re facing is the assault on our values coming from Washington, coming from the media, coming from Hollywood. We’re seeing an assault on life, an assault on marriage, an assault on the family, and an assault on religious liberty. We’re seeing an assault on the Judeo-Christian values and the constitutional liberties that built America, the greatest country in the history of the world.
CARLY FIORINA: I would agree with all that has been said; I guess my way of saying it would be a loss of clarity. We have become a nation where everything is relative. And we know that actually much is black and white. There is good and there is evil; there is right and there is wrong; there are things that work and there are things that don’t work. ISIS is evil, it has to be defeated. Some things are right and some things are wrong. We know a family works better for a child – an intact family works better. But somehow we’ve come to a place where everything is treated as equally good or equally right or equally workable, and it’s not. It’s a loss of clarity.
Thomas Valentine is a researcher for the American Principles Project and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.