In the latest in a series of articles about presidential hopeful former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), journalist Jon Ward has a new story about the candidate and his latest attempt to talk up his Christian evangelical faith on the campaign trail. In the piece, Ward notes that Pawlenty is increasingly talking about Jesus Christ as he tries to edge out his competitors, particularly Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). As Pawlenty explains his faith, he directs audience members to visit a website called “PawlentyFaith.com”:
“I’ve got a lot of political heroes too,” [Pawlenty] said. “I love Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus Christ.” He said that he and his wife Mary “are people of faith and believers.” And then he weaved in a mention of the website PawlentyFaith.com, which he said is “dedicated to our view of our faith and how faith connects to the public square.”
However, the website PawlentyFaith.com doesn’t exist. When a user attempts to visit the website, it redirects to a Pawlenty campaign website called “action.iowastrawpoll2011.com.” View a screenshot below:
The redirect website has a YouTube video which features Pawlenty and his wife briefly discussing their belief in God. This video, ubiquitous on other Pawlenty websites, appears to be window dressing to disguise the real reason the former governor has told people to visit PawlentyFaith.com. The rest of the site is dedicated to recruiting people to volunteer for Pawlenty’s campaign or to attend the Iowa Straw Poll as supporters of Pawlenty. There is a sign-up tool, social media action items, a phone number to attend the straw poll as a supporter, and links to the latest Pawlenty interviews. There is not, however, a deeper discussion about Pawlenty’s faith and “how faith connects to the public square,” as Pawlenty has been telling Iowans.
Perhaps when Pawlenty talks about his passionate devotion to faith issues, he is referring to his faith in winning the Iowa Straw Poll.