The FAMiLY Leader as an organization will not endorse, but the board released Bob Vander Plaats and Chuck Hurley to make their own personal endorsements.

Vander Plaats and Chuck Hurley both personally endorse Rick Santorum.  Vander Plaats calls him a stalwart soldier for faith and marriage.  Vander Plaats also  said that he won’t disparage another candidate, but he believes that Santorum is “one of us,”  and believes that he could be the next Huckabee.

Update: Here’s the presser from The FAMiLY Leader:

Pleasant Hill, IOWA. – The FAMiLY LEADER is honored to have had the privilege of showing leadership this past year in the Iowa caucus process and is excited to have played a role in this presidential nomination cycle. 

The FAMiLY LEADER championed this role beginning with our 99-county tour to build grassroots momentum, followed by our monthly Presidential Lecture Series designed to help Iowans learn the pro-family vision of national leaders.  The FAMiLY LEADER was able to get the candidates on record via our marriage pledge and culminate the process with the  Thanksgiving Family Forum, enabling Americans to learn about the biblical and constitutional worldview of the candidates.  The FAMiLY LEADER has truly held up the standard and let Iowans see how each candidate aligned with that standard.

The FAMiLY LEADER Board of Directors views its role in the 2012 caucus process as a standard bearer versus a kingmaker.  However, The FAMiLY LEADER Board of Directors recognizes that there are thousands of undecided pro-family Iowa caucus goers looking for leadership in this selection process.  Therefore, though The FAMiLY LEADER will remain neutral in this presidential campaign cycle, the board has made a unanimous decision to allow Bob Vander Plaats and Chuck Hurley to make personal

endorsements which reflect the board’s unanimity.

Bob Vander Plaats, President & CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER commented, “I am thrilled about the board’s unanimous decision to remain true as a standard bearer while providing a voice of leadership through Chuck and me.”

Now the statement from the Santorum campaign:

Urbandale, IA – Today, two major endorsements were awarded to the Santorum for President campaign. Bob Vander Plaats is the President and CEO of the Iowa FAMiLY Leader and Chuck Hurley is the President of the Iowa Family Policy Center – and both are influential pro-traditional values leaders in Iowa.

Rick Santorum said: "I am truly honored to receive the Bob and Chuck’s endorsement today.  I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know them over the past several years. In fact, we campaigned together throughout 2010 as they successfully worked to throw out activist judges who redefined marriage in the Hawkeye State.  Their reach and influence covers all corners of Iowa, and I know they did not take this endorsement lightly. This means so much more to our campaign.  If their work on behalf of Governor Huckabee four years ago is any indication, I have no doubt they will be a terrific catalyst for our campaign as we continue building momentum in Iowa. Now is the time for conservatives to unite so we can defeat Barack Obama."

Hogan Gidley, National Communications Director said, "Conservatives are starting to recognize that Rick is the viable consistent conservative alternative to moderates like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Rick offers a clear contrast to Barack Obama on important issues like healthcare, individual mandates and TARP.   This endorsement like previous endorsements are clear indicators that Rick’s record of conservative victories are attracting those who want to beat this President and his radical liberal agenda.

The FAMiLY Leader has emerged as one of the nation’s most influential pro-family organizations.  In 2010, Rick Santorum was the only Republican Presidential contender to join the FAMilY Leader in their statewide campaign to oust Iowa Supreme Court justices who redefined marriage in Iowa.  The FAMiLY Leader has also been active in the 2012 presidential campaign, hosting a presidential forum in November 2011 where six of the leading Republican presidential candidates attended.

Rick Santorum has been a stalwart defender of the traditional family for two decades.  Santorum is the author of the law that banned partial birth abortions, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and the Born Alive Infant Protection Act to defend the unborn.  Santorum was the principal proponent of the Federal Marriage Amendment, forcing the only vote ever cast on the Amendment.  Rick Santorum was also the author of the Combating Autism Act to assist special-needs children afflicted with autism, the National Fatherhood Initiative, and the landmark 1996 Welfare Reform legislation that has helped millions of American families rise out of poverty.  In 2005, Santorum authored the New York Times Best-Selling book, "It Takes A Family."  Rick and his wife Karen are the proud homeschool parents of 7 children.

2nd Update: Video of the Vander Plaats/Hurley press conference (HT: IowaPolitics.com)

4 comments
  1. The good news first:  That’s encouraging that these two didn’t compromise their integrity and picked a candidate who is worthy of their endorsement.  I’m glad they didn’t settle on Gingrich.  This can only help Santorum, I think.     

    As for The FAMiLY “Leader,” didn’t they say they were going to announce their endorsement on Monday (yesterday)?  Or did they just say they were going to make a “decision” about whether to endorse by then?  If you’re not sure that you can meet a deadline, then you shouldn’t be specific about a date–if you miss it, that makes you look incompetent.  Furthermore, if TFL said they were going to endorse a candidate and then backed out at the last minute, then that’s pretty wimpy (among other things). But I’m not sure exactly what they promised.

  2. All of a sudden, to many, Santorum is starting to look like a contenda!  

    From a blog by Michael Falcone on ABC News:———————————————————————————————————————–Presidential candidate Rick Santorum scored more than just the endorsements of two influential Iowa social conservatives on Tuesday. He also won the attention of a Democratic super PAC that’s been keeping a close eye on the top contenders for the Republican nomination.Up until now the super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, paid little attention to the former Pennsylvania senator, but with two weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, Santorum’s experiencing something of a last-minute bump. And now he’s getting a tracker dispatched by American Bridge.[…]A senior adviser to the super PAC, Ty Matsdorf, said in an interview with ABC News that anecdotal evidence of new momentum behind Santorum has suddenly catapulted the long-shot candidate into the group’s top tier of GOP hopefuls.As American Bridge sees it, that puts Santorum in the same league with Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. So far, the group has employed two full time trackers covering Iowa. In the closing weeks before the caucuses they are bringing in one or two more to help monitor what the candidates are saying and doing in the Hawkeye State.“Clearly conservative Republicans are rejecting Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich is slowing due to the relentless negative attacks leveled by Romney and Congressman Paul leaving the caucuses a jump ball with the winner being anyone’s guess,” Matsdorf said. “Thus, we are going to be on all points alert tracking these candidates.”The group considers Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann second-tier candidates, and they will receive less scrutiny than the others. American Bridge also has trackers in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada as well as several states where there are competitive Senate races.[…]American Bridge began their anti-Santorum push on Monday with a fact-sheet detailing the candidate’s work as a lobbyist for the World Wrestling Federation decades ago, accusing him of going “to the mat for a company plagued by drug abuse and unsafe working conditions.”

  3. Interesting that Vander Plaats has asked Bachmann to quit the race. I agree with Bachmann when she says:

    “My numbers have always been above Senator Santorum’s, so it makes no sense for me to drop out,” Bachmann said in an interview with CBS’ “The Early Show.” 

    1. Let’s clarify her statement.  Bachmann’s numbers for the GOP nomination have usually been above Santorum’s, but that’s starting to change.  For instance, according to the latest Rasmussen poll from 2 days ago, in Iowa, Santorum has 10 percent and Bachmann 6.

      However, she has not polled consistently above Santorum in a head-to-head match-up with Obama (at least for the past few months), and in fact seems to be less electable

      Having said that, I agree that it doesn’t make much sense for Bachmann to drop out at this point.  But we’ll see what happens in just a couple of weeks.  🙂

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