Iowa faith leader asked Bachmann to consider dropping out, campaign says
December 20th, 2011
09:28 PM ET
3 years ago

Iowa faith leader asked Bachmann to consider dropping out, campaign says

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Prominent Iowa faith leader Bob Vander Plaats asked Michele Bachmann to dramatically alter her White House plans, according to the Bachmann campaign, including the possibility of dropping her presidential bid altogether.

"[Bob] Vander Plaats called us on Saturday and asked us to consider the possibility of merging with another candidate," Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart told CNN. "He did not say whether we should be president or vice presidential candidate."

"And obviously, we didn't even consider that," Stewart added. "We said, 'Why would we do that?' "

Bachmann told CNN's "American Morning" anchor Ali Velshi on Wednesday there was no reason for the campaign to consider Vander Plaats' request for her to drop out of the race because "we've always polled above Rick Santorum." Santorum received a personal endorsement from Vander Plaats on Tuesday after the organization he heads, Family Leader, couldn't agree on who to endorse.

"I'm the one that has the momentum that's shooting up the chart right now," Bachmann said, crediting her performance in the last presidential debate for increased attention to her candidacy.

Family Leader is a Christian organization that holds sway over many Iowa social conservatives - a crucial voting bloc in the state's January 3 caucus. But Bachmann boasted, "I have probably the strongest level of support of the candidates here (in Iowa) among evangelical supporters," and cited her endorsement from 100 pastors and conservative TV host Glenn Beck.

CNN was unable to immediately reach Vander Plaats. A spokeswoman for The Family Leader refused to comment.

Earlier Tuesday, Vander Plaats and Family Leader Vice President Chuck Hurley endorsed GOP candidate Rick Santorum. In praising the former Pennsylvania senator, they essentially urged other Republican presidential hopefuls to end their campaigns and coalesce around one candidate.

The Family Leader refused to issue an endorsement as an organization, as its board members could not reach consensus on who to support. The group's seven-member board had recently narrowed its options down to Bachmann, Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The goal for The Family Leader and other like-minded social conservatives is to avoid splitting the evangelical vote by coalescing around one conservative candidate who could stop Mitt Romney from winning the Republican nomination. Many social conservatives and other religious leaders in the state have openly labeled the former Massachusetts governor a "flip-flopper," a criticism the campaign frequently beats back, while others have seen Romney's Mormon faith as an issue.

Representatives for leading social conservatives in the state held a secret meeting in November as part of the effort to deny Romney the GOP nomination.

Vander Plaats has criticized Romney's scant campaigning in the state compared to the other GOP contenders.

At the Tuesday announcement of their support for Santorum, Vander Plaats said, "If the Des Moines Register wants to endorse a candidate who's barely been here, then I think it's okay for us - Chuck and I - to endorse a candidate who's has been to about 350 communities in the state of Iowa."

The Register, the state's largest newspaper, on Sunday endorsed Romney's candidacy.

–Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN

Also see:

Bachmann: I'm not a politician, don't even know how to be one

Romney, on Letterman show, jokes about hair, Newt Gingrich

Perry: Romney and Gingrich backed the 'biggest act of theft in American history'

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soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Nathan

    Just what we need, some wingnut who believes gay people cause natural disasters choosing our next president for us, no wonder we are falling apart after just a few hundred years. Could you imagine the damage a santorum/bachman administration would do to not just the US but the world as a whole?

    December 21, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Zeflik

    Vander Plaats asked Bachmann to merge with anothe candidate. Other candidates are men. Was he implying something?

    December 21, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Expat American

    It’s only a matter of time before Bachmann drops out; along with Paul, Santorum, Huntsman. The nomination will be a battle between Gingrich and Romney. Not too sure who is going to walk out of that alley though – that is unless Trump and Palin decide to re-enter the race and throw a big monkey wrench into the whole sad affair.

    BHusseinO 2012

    December 21, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Cedar Rapids

    "Since when did right wing (ie American values) become a dis-qualifier for President?"

    Ha! since when did right wing mean American values? too funny.

    December 21, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Stormer

    "I'm the one that has the momentum that's shooting up the chart right now," Bachmann said....

    She becomes more delusional every day. Real Clear Politics shows the results of a number of polls and she's not winning anywhere, except in the Charlie Sheen meaning of the word... losing!

    December 21, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. vatoloke

    How dare this clown try to do Donald Chump's job of anointing GOtPers!

    December 21, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. JohnW

    Momentum? What is she smoking? When was the last time she rose in the polls, August?

    December 21, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. MICKY D

    Bachman! Quit the campaign and take Vander with you! We won't miss either of you!

    December 21, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Bayley0402

    You don't have to worry. She'll be out as soon as the Iowa vote is in.

    December 21, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Wylie-Mike

    Not a surprise since some evangelical preachers claim that a woman's place is in the home and is to submit to their husband.
    It is amazing that she is even trying to court the sexist evangelicals.

    December 21, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Scared American

    Its scary to me that out of the entire country these are the only crackpots that we could find to run against Obama.

    Its even more scary that you loonies support some of these fruits.

    December 21, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Jim in San Mateo

    This is way too funny VLOL. Bachmann isn't dropping out because she polls better than the two last place candidates! The only reason they are asking her to drop out is because they don't want to be accused of supporting a nut case! They'll look like a bunch of idiots (not a shock there). The Greedy Old Party is looking more and more like a party without a candidate, while their minions in Congress are doing their level best to ensure that President Obama is reelected!

    December 21, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Thad

    It is really crazy that a openly racist religion like Mormonism . Is being pushed on the american people as being mainstream. Just even being associated with that religious cult should dis-qualify you from even running for president. Its sad that their racist beliefs are common knowledge you can go on youtube and hear all about it. This guy is the frontrunner the GOP must dont read census reports. White people will be a minority by 2020. They wont survive if the dont get more diverse and more sensitive to the plight of people labeled minorities. But in reality the numbers are not a minority

    December 21, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Expat American

    A Conservative Christ Fraud will never be President...Bachmann really needs to drop out.

    December 21, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Jim P.

    " Prominent Iowa faith leader " What the heck is a "faith leader"? One more way to shear the "faithful" of spare cash I presume.

    December 21, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Arch

    you go girl, don't let a christo-fascist organization tell YOU what to do.

    December 21, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. kman821

    Bachmann, Santorum, Vander Plaats and the state of Iowa simply have no national significance ... that's a cold hard fact!

    December 21, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. jj

    "I'm the one that has the momentum that's shooting up the chart right now," Bachmann said...
    And she has such a firm grasp on reality, too! The only one with momentum is Obama – mainly because the R's have gone so far off-center they can't be taken seriously. Jeb and Palin are looking better – only because they've been smart enough to keep their mouths (mostly) shut. (Sarah only opens hers for money...)

    December 21, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. FIELD1stSGT

    Have you read some of these atheist nut cases who support Obama. Now you know how he got elected. But the thing no one knows is how he will talk his way out of the fast & furious fraud case of arming our enemies and the illegals with their dope smugglers. He is going to the pen just like his buddy Holder. Surely not all the American People can be retarded. However I do know about one group they were born that way.

    December 21, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. fred

    I can never forget the video of Beck getting Vicks under his eyes to bring on the fake tears for a photo or TV shoot. That is nothing but sheer, unadulterated and unmitigated dishonesty by a person, who speaks heavily of god, christianity and morals. And Bachmann wraps a shoulder around the POS? Yea, you take your "christian" badges and go pound sand.

    December 21, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. max

    arch – i love it! Christo-Fascist.

    What a great description of modern day Christians!

    December 21, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. Proverbs4

    He may lead an evangelical organization but this is still "good ole boy" politics as usual. It is obvious they are prejudiced against Bachman purely b/c she's a woman. Santorum can't even break pass Paul so how does Vander Plaats have the nerve to ask Bachman to drop out. Chauvinist!

    December 21, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. John

    Michele Bachmann Not smart enough to know she not going to win the President bid and no one want her to be VP either. And she not smart enough to know when tghey ask her to get out to get out. She shouldn't even be a Congresswoman.

    December 21, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Rich

    Any faith healer should be horse wipped for taking poor dumb peoples money..........Get a real job phoney.

    December 21, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. Rich

    A faith healer now thats funny....but not in Iowa

    December 21, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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