The FAMiLY Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats has again singled out ThinkProgress for “distorting” the group’s radical marriage fidelity pledge and accused this blog of trying to “tear us down while we’re young…because of our commitment to marriage.” Watch Vander Plaats’ remarks:
ThinkProgress has indeed targeted the Iowa group for its efforts to deny marriage rights to gays and lesbians and spread misinformation that likened homosexuality to second-hand smoke and falsely claimed that being gay is a choice. The group’s pledge also sought to ban pornography and suggested that African Americans benefited from stronger families during the period of slavery.
Our reporters asked the presidential candidates who appeared at the FAMiLY Leader’s forums if they agreed with these views (only two, Santorum and Bachmann signed the pledge) and published videos of Vander Plaats laughing at a gay slur and even suggesting that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States. That’s not so much an effort to “tear” Vander Plaats down, as it is to expose the radical views that Republican presidential candidates associate with.
But “the left” isn’t alone in criticizing Vander Plaats. Top Iowa Republicans have warned group that it is on the verge of losing all political credibility in the state. Iowa House Speaker Pro-Tem Jeff Kaufmann (R), who worked as a county chairman on FAMiLY LEADER head Bob Vander Plaats’ failed gubernatorial campaign, e-mailed Vander Plaats and the organization’s other leaders to tell them that the pledge had “ridiculous implications” and that they would soon have “no impact” in the state, the Des Moines Register reported. Mitt Romney has described the group’s Pledge as “undignified and inappropriate,” and Blue Bunny, a company with close connections to the group, has also distanced itself from the organization.