Pawlenty says no to marriage pledge
July 13th, 2011
03:01 PM ET
12 years ago

Pawlenty says no to marriage pledge

(CNN) – Add Tim Pawlenty to the list of Republican presidential candidates who will not sign the controversial marriage pledge from The Family Leader, a socially conservative group in Iowa.

The former Minnesota governor said he is a strong advocate for traditional marriage but will continue to define his marriage in his own words, instead of in "The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family."

"Rather than sign onto the words chosen but others, I prefer to choose my own words, especially seeking to show compassion to those who are in broke families through no fault of their own," Pawlenty said in a statement.

He also released a six and a half minute video Wednesday about his faith and union with his wife. Pawlenty said the voters deserve to understand his values because they "influence all that I do" and "has a great bearing on how you conduct yourself in public office."

The "vow," originally signed by GOP presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, contained a preamble suggesting black children born into slavery had better family structures than black children now. The excerpt was later removed and Bachmann and Santorum clarified their positions.

The Family Leader is an important socially conservative group in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, holding sway over the state's traditionally more conservative caucus-goers who influence the fate of presidential campaigns.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declined to sign the pledge Tuesday because he felt it contained "references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign." He also reaffirmed his commitment to "traditional marriage."

- CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. cindy

    do ya want a medal or a chest to pin it on?

    July 13, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. diridi

    GOP idiots are totally lost in next election....they are thugs....and for rich.....obama, raise taxes on rich....o.k, they ate like pigs enough....enough...enough...o.k, Obama2012....

    July 13, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. Scott

    Ummm.... She looks high...

    July 13, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Indy

    Took him long enough to pussyfoot around the issue meaning he was for it before he was against it.

    July 13, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. John in TO

    He has "chose[n his] own words" by employing bad grammar.

    July 13, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Ed Texas

    The marriage pledge is a joke in today's society with different types of families. Marriage equality thorughout the USA is just a matter of time. The Family Leader is an outdated group trying to push us back to the 1950s when white Men had it good and everyone else had "their place" either riding in the back of the bus, picking cotton, being physicially attacked for their sexualality, or being confirmed in the home as a housewife.

    July 13, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Rickster

    " The United States is viewed less favorably in much of the Arab world today than it was during the final year of the Bush administration, and President Obama is less popular in the region that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to a poll released today (WED) by the Arab American Institute, a nonpartisan research and advocacy group."
    But.....but......but.....I thought the world, especially the muslim world, was going to love us once the transformational figure of Barack Hussein Obama was elected into office?? I thought he was going to heal the sick and raise the dead and there would be spontaneous group hugs breaking out all over the place?? And yet here is another poll that shows him even less popular than George W. Bush?? What happened??

    July 13, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Don't like Pawlenty but that's a good move on his part.

    July 13, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    I thought our elected officials were supposed to represent and enact the will of the constituents. I thought our politicians are supposed to do what the people want, not tell the people what they want to do.
    I think Pawlenty should show some commitment to something and just go ahead sign the thing. What does he have to lose?

    July 13, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. standingwave

    Nice to see a Republican candidate unwilling to sell out to special interest groups.

    July 13, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. concerned

    The Republican Party seems to be morphing into some kind of cult. What is all this signing pledges that are incoherent and have no place in a free society? Plus they have nothing to do with what the POTUS is charged to do , and show just how delusional and out of touch with reality some of these GOP candidates are.

    July 13, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    do ya want a medal or a chest to pin it on?
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh snap!!!!
    Good one Cindy.

    July 13, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. michaelam

    @Scott-I thought she looked high as well but then I realized she looks like any other GOP, Stepford wife.

    July 13, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |