NPR

2020 Democrats Talk Faith, Conservative Christian Leaders Respond

Iowa evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats is inviting seven presidential candidates for a "dialogue," days after Franklin Graham criticized Pete Buttigieg for being gay.

As Democratic presidential hopefuls work to position themselves as the candidate to unify the country and win over supporters of President Trump, an influential Iowa evangelical leader is inviting them to a forum on religion and politics traditionally reserved for Republicans ahead of Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Bob Vander Plaats, president of The Family Leader, said he's sending invitations Friday to the top seven Democratic primary candidates in current polls.

"A lot of them are using faith as kind of a focal point, as a centerpiece," Vander Plaats said. "So we'd like to find out what makes them tick."

The invitees to the Family Leadership Summit, scheduled for July 12 near Des Moines, include California Sen. Kamala Harris; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg;

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
MoviePass Has Officially Shut Down, And We Don't Know If There Will Be A Sequel
The service announced Friday that it would be suspending service for an undefined amount of time.
NPR3 min readPolitics
Mugabe's State Funeral Proceeds, But His Burial Plan Has Been Mired In Controversy
Zimbabwe's longtime president Robert Mugabe was honored with a state funeral on Saturday — put on by the president and military leaders who had forced him out of office just two years ago.
NPR1 min read
Eddie Money, Archetype Of Rock Radio, Dies At Age 70
The singer, whose singles "Take Me Home Tonight" and "Two Tickets to Paradise" helped define a certain 1980s pop sound, died Friday of esophageal cancer.