Mitt Romney is further distancing himself from the GOP's religious right base in Iowa, by refusing to sign a social conservative group's controversial "Marriage Vow" pledge -- with his campaign going the extra mile by excoriating the pledge itself.
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The "Marriage Vow" involved a candidate pledging personal fidelity to his or her spouse, that he or she would change divorce laws to make "quickie divorces" more difficult, and would oppose gay marriage, pornography, and "Sharia Islam," among other things. Two Republican candidates, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, signed the pledge, and then immediately encountered controversy
due to the resolution's original preamble language on slavery -- which has since been edited out -- stating, quite contrary to the facts, that African-American families were more secure under slavery than they are today, under an African-American president.
As the Associated Press
reports, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul bluntly declared that the pledge "contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign."
Furthermore, the Des Moines Register reports that a top Romney backer in Iowa is further speaking out against the pledge. "One of the reasons I support Governor Romney is his support for traditional marriage," said state Rep. Renee Schulte. "However, I am glad he won't sign this ill-advised pledge." Schulte also added: "The Family Leader would do more to advance the issues that conservatives like Mitt and I support if they kept it simple."
Another candidate, Newt Gingrich, is declining to sign the pledge for now -- instead wanting to work with the group to clarify other language in the pledge.