Alex Altman’s piece on Newt Gingrich’s troubled relationship with Evangelical Christian voters in Iowa offers two quotes from the FAMiLY Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats, which suggest that the anti-gay “family values” organization is willing to overlook the former speaker’s multiple marriages and past infidelities to back a winner who is not Mitt Romney:
“He is articulating a very Christian-historical worldview. People are seeing he’s had a life transformation,” Vander Plaats says of Gingrich. “The second thing he’s got going for him is some people believe Newt is the best prepared to lead. And three is that he looks like the one with the best shot at being the alternative to Romney and defeating Romney. Believe me, conservatives want an alternative to Romney. They don’t trust him.” [...]
“Rock-solid Christians are giving him the benefit of the doubt,” Vander Plaats says. “The thing that’s going for him is we live in such an environment today, where the world dynamics as so uncertain, and Washington is so broken, that some people believe Newt is the best prepared by far to take on an environment like this.”
Vander Plaats — who ran Mike Huckabee’s Iowa operation in 2008 — hasn’t made an official endorsement yet, but has indicated that he is open to tweaking the group’s so-called marriage fidelity pledge to accommodate Gingrich’s demands (whatever those may be). Gingrich too has returned the favor. Last year, Gingrich offered his vocal support for Vander Plaats’ successful campaign to oust three of the nine Iowa Supreme Court justices who had unanimously ruled in favor of marriage equality and his associates bankrolled more than one-third of the $850,000 campaign to remove the justices.