DES MOINES, Iowa — On Saturday, politicians and leaders in the Christian faith gathered in Des Moines for the Family Leadership Summit. Guests included everyone from Senator Chuck Grassley to Special Adviser to the President Kellyanne Conway.
The summit melded politics with Christianity. Senator Joni Ernst spoke to a supportive crowd.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without the love and support of my family, my friends, my colleagues, so many of you that are here today, and my God,” said Ernst.
She was joined on stage by Senator Chuck Grassley, who reiterated why he held up President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination.
“And lo and behold, the people chose the candidate, President Trump, who pledged to nominate people who were strict constructionists,” said Grassley, saying the people deserved a say in the nomination.
Governor Kim Reynolds praised the audience for their efforts in electing pro-life candidates.
“In 2016, you helped the pro-life majorities in both houses in the legislature, and as a result we’ve seen the most successful pro-life legislation session in our state’s history” said Gov. Reynolds.
While the effort to increase the way Christian principals affect government policy went over well inside the hall, outside the hall was much less supportive. Custodians had to scrub off pro-choice chalk messages before the event started.
Back inside, keynote speaker Kellyanne Conway tried to strike a cord of polite disagreement entrenched in policy differences.
“If you want to disagree on policy, if you want to disagree on tax reform or healthcare reform or immigration, if you’re for abortion and I’m not, then say that, disagree that way, that’s what America is. But so much of the criticism of me is so gender-based. I saw some of it this morning, I would use some of it as examples but this is a family audience,” said Conway.
This resonated with those in attendance.
“I thought she really did well in articulating a lot of her ideas and beliefs, and I was excited to kinda see, I guess, I would like to see more of that. People laying down the fighting and the bickering and start looking at how we can support our current president and our administration,” said April Forbes.
Overall, those who heard from political leaders came away feeling more confident than ever in the people who represent them.
“I appreciated all their comments. I appreciated their testimony for the Lord. I appreciated that they have a driving force in their lives that is beyond merely what’s going on in society and culture,” said Theodore Kraft.
Other speakers included Ted Cruz’s father, Pastor Rafael Cruz, and brothers David and Jason Benham.