CafeMom, an online meeting place for mom’s, organized MomsMatter 2012, a nonpartisan platform, due to the growing concern that Washington is not listening to them.
They created their Coffee Break series to give moms a chance to meet with the candidates and their wives up close and personal. We attended as concerned citizens and to experience first hand what moms wanted to hear from the candidates. This post is about the event and the feelings of local moms and should not be construed as a political commentary or in support of any one candidate or party.
The group made its way to Myrtle Beach on Monday, January 16, 2012 to coincide with the Presidential Debate happening that evening. Three of the candidates and their wives were scheduled to hold a town hall type meeting to discuss the issues most pertinent to moms today. Gov. Rick Perry and his wife Anita and Senator Rick Santorum and his wife Karen came to talk to the group assembled at The Fresh Brewed Coffee House in Myrtle Beach (John Huntsman was scheduled to be there as well but suspended his candidacy and did not come).
Lindsay Ferrier, CafeMom’s election correspondent and Frank Luntz, political pollster co-hosted the event. Luntz opened up the event asking the audience if they feel their quality of life is better than their parents (they did) and do they think the same for their children (they don’t). Furthermore, the sentiment today is that most people blame Obama; people want to do well and feel like it is held against them. If you worked for it you should be able to keep it and not be penalized by the government.
Ferrier mentioned that CafeMom is the #1 Mom’s site with 9 million unique monthly visitors. Their favorite talk is politics and they just want their voices heard. MomsMatter 2012, a nonpartisan group, was conceived to help moms feel empowered when they go to the polls this year.
Below is a recap of the questions that concerned most of those in attendance.
The first guest was Rick Perry who answered questions for about a half hour and then was joined by his wife, Anita. Luntz questioned him on the negativity of ads, his use of the term “vulture capital” and the transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street. Questions from the audience ranged from his feeling of government intervention of entrepreneurship to 10 year old John asking what will government look like in 25 years with a Perry win.
In between the two candidates was a film from Steven Colbert with his typical satirical spin on government.
The next guests were Rick Santorum and his wife Karen. The first question came from a proud military mom who asked the candidate if, as president, would he give soldiers what they need to serve effectively. That led to a discussion on Iran and the growing nuclear capability. The next question was from a mom with a special child who wanted to know Santorum’s feelings on government intervention to care for them. She was curious on his feelings since he also has a special child and questioned Karen on what she felt Rick had to deal with when they first received the diagnosis. The next mom mentioned that her son was gay and was asking his opinion on how she should handle it. The final two issues dealt with how much intervention did he feel the office of the President should implement on how to repair the housing market and the educational system.
Many thanks to CafeMom, Lindsay Ferrier and Frank Lutz for allowing women to have their voices heard. A special thank you to Fresh Brewed Coffee for their hospitality in opening up the venue to the many people who came out to have their voices heard. Yes, men were invited, but it was the mother’s and their concerns that were the focus of the day.