The Daily Signal is partnering with a leading pro-family group in Iowa to livestream a Republican presidential candidate forum on Friday.

“Nowhere else do you get to see the candidates gathered around a Thanksgiving table talking about their hearts, their worldviews, and the issues that go beyond the news headlines, and nowhere else will you be able to catch the livestream but at The Daily Signal,” Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of the pro-family group The FAMiLY Leader, told The Daily Signal in a statement Wednesday.

“The FAMiLY Leader Foundation is thrilled to partner with The Daily Signal in the 2023 Presidential Thanksgiving FAMiLY Forum!” Vander Plaats added. “The livestream of the forum, found exclusively on, will enable Americans across the country to access this one-of-a-kind event in the presidential nomination process.”

“Americans are eager for a substantive conversation about the most important issues facing our country,” Rob Bluey, executive editor of The Daily Signal and vice president of communications at The Heritage Foundation, said in a statement Wednesday. “With so much at stake, now is a great time for conservative leaders to discuss ideas and policy solutions.” (The Daily Signal is The Heritage Foundation’s news outlet.)

“As a news outlet dedicated to covering these issues, it was a natural fit for The Daily Signal to partner with The FAMiLY Leader to livestream the 2023 Presidential Thanksgiving FAMiLY Forum,” Bluey added. “We look forward to distributing the event to audiences across the country and world.”

The FAMiLY Leader Foundation is hosting the forum at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa, on Nov. 17, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Central time. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy will speak.

The organization’s stated mission is to inspire “the church to engage government for the advance of God’s Kingdom and the strengthening of family.”

Former President Donald Trump declined the invitation to speak, while South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott received an invitation but has since suspended his campaign.

“Truly this is a one-of-a-kind event,” Vander Plaats said. Rather than having DeSantis, Haley, and Ramaswamy speak at a podium, Vander Plaats will moderate a discussion with them gathered around a table.

“The Thanksgiving FAMiLY Forum gives us a chance to see what’s in the candidates’ hearts, not just what’s in their plans,” he said. “And coming shortly before the holiday season, it may be the last, best chance to really understand what makes these leaders tick before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.”

Iowa will hold its signature caucuses on Jan. 15, 2024. Trump leads Iowa polls with 47.3%, with DeSantis (17%), Haley (14%), and Ramaswamy (4.7%) trailing, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (3.7%), North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (2.7%), entrepreneur Ryan Binkley (0.7%), and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (0.3%) did not receive invitations. Iowa’s Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, has endorsed DeSantis.

Vander Plaats added that the forum “provides a unique opportunity to learn and discern, as Americans prepare to choose well in the upcoming 2024 election and beyond.”

The event marks The FAMiLY Leader Foundation’s third forum, following similar events in 2011 and 2015, which drew thousands of attendees and hundreds of media outlets.

Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Bob Vander Plaats around a table
Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sit at a table with FAMiLY Leader President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats in 2011. (Photo credit: The FAMiLY Leader)

The FAMiLY Leader Foundation’s #ChooseWell2024 initiative is sponsoring the event, along with the foundation’s cornerstone partners: Family Policy Alliance, First Liberty Institute, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and The Heritage Foundation. Sukup Manufacturing Co. is the premier sponsor.

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