An endorsement from Bob Vander Plaats can do a lot for a presidential candidate's chances in the early days of Republican primary. As the president and CEO of The Family Leader — the most influential Christian/conservative political organization in Iowa — a nod of his stately head in your direction can make or break your chances in the state's all-important caucuses.
So, shouldn't an endorsement from Plaats be worth a little something to a hard-working candidate like Rick Santorum? I'm not talking about a lot here. Just a little something to wet Plaats's beak. Like, say, one million dollars…
Less than 48-hours after receiving the backing of Bob Vander Plaats, the head of the prominent evangelical group The Family Leader, Santorum disclosed that the prominent Iowan told him he needed money to make the most out of the endorsement…
"Clearly the endorsement was for sale — without a doubt," one source said. It's a charge that The Family Leader flatly denied…
Though Santorum did not specify the dollar amount he and Vander Plaats discussed, multiple sources said he was soliciting as much as $1 million from Santorum and other candidates.
Whaaaaat?! That sounds insane! There's no way that a conservative Christian political leader with eyes on public office would ever be caught doing anything that could be construed as shady! There's certainly no history of such accusations…
ABC News has learned that Vander Plaats tried to solicit money for his endorsement during the last presidential cycle too. A former staffer for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential bid who is currently unaffiliated with a campaign said Vander Plaats came to them seeking money for his backing if he supported the former Massachusetts governor.
"He wanted to be paid," the former staffer said. "He was clearly looking for a paycheck. There was a conversation about him getting a title, but being a paid consultant was much more important."
Given the fact that Plaats's endorsement ultimately went to Mike Huckabee, we can probably make an educated guess as to how that Romney deal went.
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Tags: Bob Vander Plaats, Christianity, Conservatives, Iowa, Iowa Caucus, Money, Primaries, Religion, Republicans, Rick Santorum, The Family Leader
Well, this is a complete shock! I don't see how anybody could have possibly guess such a thing could ever happen…
Bob Vander Plaats, who has sought to put his imprint on the Republican presidential race for months, announced Tuesday that he would support Mr. Santorum. Mr. Vander Plaats and other evangelical Christians have talked openly about their struggle to unite behind one candidate, but he urged others to follow his lead…
At this late stage in the campaign, it remains an open question how the endorsement will affect the Iowa caucus campaign. Mr. Vander Plaats’s political activity, including leading the effort to remove three judges from the Iowa Supreme Court last year in a battle over same-sex marriage, has made him a lightening rod in some Republican circles.
The Family Leader, a conservative group that Mr. Vander Plaats formed after losing the Republican governor’s race in Iowa last year, narrowed its choices last month to Mr. Santorum, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
Bob Vander Plaats and all the other people associated with The Family Leader are obviously people who, not care deeply about repressing the all-encompassing encroachment of secularism, but also spend a lot of time and energy studying and ultimately becoming fearful the effects of the homosexual lifestyle on the American family. So, it makes perfect sense that they would want to throw their weight behind a candidate who shared their worldview.
And, I'm sorry, but for my money, there's no candidate who screams "fearful" "repressed" and "homosexual" like Rick Santorum.
Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images
Tags: Bob Vander Plaats, Christianity, LGBT, Primaries, Religion, Republicans, Rick Santorum, The Family Leader
Still not a hundred percent sure why everybody keeps pestering Bachmann and Santorum about the pledge marriage. We all know exactly where they stand on this issue; this is not exactly new news.
Besides, I went to a pledge marriage ceremony once, and it was lovely…
Coverage continues with the Bachmann Family's war on gay after the jump.
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Tags: Bob Vander Plaats, Christianity, LGBT, Marcus Bachmann, Marriage, Marriage Equality, Michele Bachmann, Primaries, Religion, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Slavery, Stephen Colbert, Taxes, The Colbert Report, The Family Leader, Video
Look, we all kind of suspected that GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney wasn't quite as, um — well, let's just say it — American as his political rivals Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, both of whom have already signed a pledge to value divisiveness and out-group fear-mongering over human beings. It's a really good pledge.
Anyway, now it's Mitt Romney's turn. It's his chance to prove that he's as courageous and patriotic as Bachmann and Santorum. Does he have what it takes to make the vow?
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney outright rejected the "Marriage Vow" written by Mr. Vander Plaats and his advocacy group, The Family Leader. It asks candidates to oppose gay marriage, pornography and Sharia Law, among other things. The pledge drew fire for originally suggesting African American children were better off under slavery, a sentence since removed.
"Mitt Romney strongly supports traditional marriage," Mr. Romney's spokeswoman Andrea Saul, said in an email. "But he felt this pledge contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign."
Wow. I never took Romney for a gay Muslim pornographer.
But I guess that's really the only thing we can take from this.
Photo by Amos BenGershom-Handout/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Bob Vander Plaats, Islam, Marriage Equality, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Porn, Primaries, Religion, Republicans, Rick Santorum, The Family Leader
Sarah Palin has thrown her support behind the establishment Republican who holds a double digit lead over the Tea Party candidate for the Republican nomination to be the governor who will most likely preside over the Iowa caucuses in 2012 for no discernible reason whatsoever.
Tags: Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa, Iowa Caucus, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Tea Party