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Gary Johnson labels Vander Plaats’ social pledge as ‘offensive, unrepublican’
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson issued a formal campaign statement regarding a 2012 social pledge unveiled by Bob Vander Plaats, labeling it as “offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded.”
In addition to stating that “the so-called ‘Marriage Vow‘” is the “type of rhetoric” that “gives Republicans a bad name,” Johnson’s campaign released a new web video:
Upon a backdrop of American and patriotic scenes appear several statements regarding what America stands for. For instance, the video states, “it’s not American to give rights to certain groups of people and not others,” and “it’s not American to discriminate against others for the way they were born.”
Johnson’s full statement is reprinted below:
Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the “public’s pocket book.”
This “pledge” is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of “virtue.”
While the Family Leader pledge covers just about every other so-called virtue they can think of, the one that is conspicuously missing is tolerance. In one concise document, they manage to condemn gays, single parents, single individuals, divorcees, Muslims, gays in the military, unmarried couples, women who choose to have abortions and everyone else who doesn’t fit in a Norman Rockwell painting.
The Republican Party cannot afford to have a Presidential candidate who condones intolerance, bigotry and the denial of liberty to the citizens of this country. If we nominate such a candidate, we will never capture the White House in 2012. If candidates who sign this pledge somehow think they are scoring some points with some core constituency of the Republican Party, they are doing so at the peril of writing off the vast majority of Americans who want no part of this “pledge” and its offensive language.
Vander Plaats, who heads the religious conservative organization The Family Leader announced the social pledge Thursday during a press conference at the Iowa Capitol. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann was the first to sign and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum was the second.
On Saturday, two days after the original pledge was released, The Family Leader quietly made changes to the wording of the document, posting an updated PDF that removed one of the most controversial statements from preamble portion.
The now missing section stated:
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.
It remains unclear if Santorum and Bachmann, as signers of the original document, will be held to this now absent belief statement.
For his part, Santorum discussed the pledge on CNN this morning, admitting that he was “taken aback” when he first read it. Watch it: