Dr. Robert George, founder of American Principles Project (who is sponsoring the Palmetto Freedom Forum) and McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University offered his response to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s decision to skip out on the Labor Day forum in South Carolina:
Naturally, I’m disappointed that we will not have Governor Romney with us for the Forum. I met him during the 2008 campaign when his staff asked me to give him a private briefing on embryonic stem-cell research and related bioethical issues. (I gave similar briefings to Senator McCain and Mayor Giuliani.) He is knowledgeable, bright, and engaging. Moreover, I thought his speech on the place of religion in American public life was impressive—a highlight of the 2008 primary campaign. The Palmetto Freedom Forum would have given the Governor an opportunity to make his case to grassroots conservatives, not only in South Carolina, but around the country. Those candidates who have agreed to participate in the Forum will be speaking to Americans whose votes will go to the candidate whom they believe most deeply understands—and is most strongly committed to defending and governing in accordance with—the moral principles at the foundation of our civilization and the constitutional principles at the core of our democratic republic.