Iowa FAMiLY Leader Not Sweating Romney, Pawlenty Disses

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 13 2011 4:56 PM

Iowa FAMiLY Leader Not Sweating Romney, Pawlenty Disses

The Iowa FAMiLY Leader isn't demanding scalps or submission from the Republicans criticizing its marriage vow. Instead, the group wants to work with every candidate to craft some sort of traditional marriage position.

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"We applaud the two that did sign, Bachmann and Santorum, for a real show of courage, conviction and boldness," said the group's president, Bob Vander Plaats. "There's a long ways between July 13 and the caucuses on February 6. We have a candidate debate on November 19. There might be something we can work on, even when they might say 'We won't sign pledges.'"

Vander Plaats pointed to the precise language Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty used when criticizing the language of the lengthy vow.

"Most of them are not even saying they don't agree," he said. "Pawlenty said he wouldn't sign, but then he made his own commitment to marriage. My guess is that he'll highlight that at the straw poll and other stops."

Isn't the backlash hurting the group's clout?

"No," said Vander Plaats. "It's showing from our angle we're very serious."