Marshalltown was host to two presidential candidates Tuesday night during a Reclaim Iowa Rally held at Fellowship Baptist Church, 1008 E. Olive St.
Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann were both in attendance campaigning on what each described as the center of their lives - faith.
During Santorum's third visit to Marshalltown in recent months he held steady on his position against abortion and gay marriage.
T-R PHOTO BY ABIGAIL PELZER
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum speaks during the Reclaim Iowa Rally held at the Fellowship Baptist Church in Marshalltown Tuesday night. Santorum said he is a leader among candidates in speaking about moral issues.
Chronicling his work in fighting partial-birth abortion in Congress and his involvement with the federal marriage amendment, Santorum said he has a proven record for standing up for faith issues.
"If you want someone is going to come into the presidency standing up on the tough issues over time and winning those issues and moving the ball forward - I've done that," he said. "I stood up and I didn't back down ever on these issues."
Santorum fought back against critics that claim he is too extreme to be president. He held his position against an exception for abortion in cases of rape, saying someone convicted of rape can not be executed because it would be cruel and unusual punishment, but yet if a child is conceived of that rape it can be executed.
"This country is bankrupt morally if you allow rapists to walk free and innocent children to be murdered," he said.
Moreover, he spoke of himself as the leader of moral issues among the presidential candidates.
"There is nobody in that goes out and talks about the moral issues more than I do." he said.
His visit came on the heels of the release of an Iowa Poll that said just 5 percent of Republican caucusgoers would select Santorum as their first choice. He is only trailed by Jon Huntsman at 1 percent. Santorum leads the candidates in number of Iowa campaign stops, traditionally a key to success in Iowa.
Bachmann spoke of "radically abandoning her life to Jesus Christ" exactly 39 years ago to the date as a 16-year-old and documented several life events in which she found strength in Christ.
She pointed toward her faith in helping her a foster parent to 23 children and parent five biological children. The public schools her foster children went to served as catalyst to her political career, she said. That's when she said she first started fighting for education reform.
Further Bachmann touted her work in Congress on a constitutional amendment to allow the people of Minnesota to define marriage as one man and one woman. Minnesota will be the only state in the country that will allow the people to define marriage in 2012, she said after seven years of her efforts.
"You do pay a price when you stick your neck out ... it isn't about us, we serve a mighty God," she said.
Bachmann said she's spent her time in Congress fighting against Obamacare and out of control spending.
On the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, she promised to reverse the action.
"For the first time homosexuality is open in our military, it also means that our brave men and women in the military are now trained in sensitivity classes to be open to homosexuality," she said. "I want to assure you that as president of the United States I will [reinstate] Don't Ask Don't Tell for our military."
Bachmann also expressed concerns about national security and President Obama's role as commander in chief.
"The president took his eye off the most important issue in the Middle East, which of course is Israel," she said.
If elected she vowed to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel's capitol in Jerusalem.
"I will announce to the rest of the world that the United States will have Israel's back," she said.
Bachmann, who won the Iowa's Straw Poll in August, has fallen to 8 percent in the Iowa Poll.
Santorum and Bachmann will both address the Republican Party of Iowa at the Ronald Reagan Dinner in Des Moines on Friday.