By Jim DeFede


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COLUMBIA, S.C. (CBSMiami) – Republican presidential candidates highlighted their faith at a South Carolina forum Friday.

“What is this country founded on? It was not founded on a political principle. America was not founded on a powerful spiritual principle,” Sen. Marco Rubio told the crowd.

“My faith was an important part of how I made decisions. I do not believe you put your faith in a lockbox when you are in public life and say that it’s only for my private matters. That is totally wrong,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush commented.

Rubio and Bush are campaigning hard in Greenville, South Carolina, which was hit with a freakish snowstorm on Friday.

“Your rights to not come from government. Your rights don’t come from your leaders. Your rights don’t even come from the constitution. Your rights come from God,” Rubio added.

“Faith has always been a part of my life it find myself with my wife,” Bush said.

Rubio and Bush, along with Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, took part today in a Faith and Family Forum at Bob Jones University.

Evangelical voters make up a large portion of the Republican voters expected to turn out for the February 20th primary.

“I’m looking for the Holy Spirit to be over here in the next week in my life to give me discernment end guidance,” Bush told the crowd.

The two men find themselves fighting for every vote. A weak showing by either Rubio or Bush in South Carolina could end their run for the White House.

The forum was held in one of most conservative parts of the state.

All the candidates were shown one of the notorious, but also discredited, hidden camera videos of Planned Parenthood allegedly selling parts of aborted fetus.

“Every time I see that, it makes me sick to my stomach. Horrible. That’s what why we need to defund Planned Parenthood and I did that when I was governor,” Bush said.

“It was horrifying. It’s horrifying. They’re talking about a human being, being sold, being trafficked in, it’s horrifying. Which is why I believe Planned Parenthood, we should take their money away.”

Absent from the forum: Donald Trump and John Kaisch, the two who did well in New Hampshire.

There absence was felt and talked about at the event.

Jim DeFede

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