Republican Candidates Cease Fire, Praise U.S. Troops on Thanksgiving

The 2012 Republican presidential contenders spent Thanksgiving off the campaign trail and around dinner tables with their families.

And for the first time in recent memory, suspended political attacks on their opponents and President Obama in favor of a unified message of “thanks” to U.S. military service members and their families around the globe.

Former Massachusetts governor  Mitt Romney, who is celebrating the holiday in California with his family, called on Americans in a statement to “never forget that our peace, prosperity and plenty have been hard earned by countless men and women who have put country before self.”

Sounding a religious note, Herman Cain expressed gratitude to God, offering “special thanks for our men and women in uniform, past and present.”

“We thank them for the many sacrifices they have made – including their lives – to protect and defend our American way of life,” Cain said in a statement.

In an email to his supporters, Ron Paul said one of the things he’s most thankful for this year is the generosity of donors and volunteers who have made his campaign “a force to be reckoned with.”

“In fact, right now, polls are moving in our direction in key early states, and even the establishment media is being forced to take notice!” Paul wrote in the most political message offered by a presidential candidates today.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is with her family in Minnesota and will appear tomorrow at the Mall of America for a campaign event, noted the “bountiful opportunities and lives we have been blessed with.”

“This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the magnificent nation that we call home: The United States of America,” Bachmann wrote on her website.

Among the “blessings” Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’s counting today are “the love of family, the sacrifices of our military, the freedoms of a great nation.”

“We are thankful for the many people we have met as we have traveled our country this year,” Perry added, referring to his time on the campaign trail.  The governor spent the day in Texas and will attend a college football game tonight in College Station.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is in Florida today, credited the safety of the general public on this Thanksgiving with the U.S. military.

“Callista and I hope everyone in uniform and their families have a happy Thanksgiving and can be reunited as rapidly as possible,” he said.

Echoing Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum also extended a “special message” to service members stationed abroad: “We are grateful for your service and sacrifice and that of your families,” he said in an email.

Santorum will hold a “Faith, Family and Freedom” town hall meeting in Meredith, N.H., on Friday.

ABC News’ Joanna Suarez contributed to this report.

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