The details of the South Carolina forum and its exact timing during the holiday weekend have not yet been released. But multiple GOP sources said invitations could soon go out to the 2012 GOP contenders, requesting they participate in a forum designed to allow each politician to discuss at length their positions on key issues.

The event is not a debate, and candidates might even be given the questions and topics in advance with the goal of facilitating a more substantive discussion than is typical of multicandidate face-offs. According to one source with knowledge of the forum, the event would be sponsored by an independent organization.

DeMint, enormously influential among conservative activists in South Carolina and across the country, would promote and attend the event.