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12/22/2011

Family Leader clarifies recent, terrible choices

by Jeremy Hooper

The only two people who ever speak for the Family Leader organization, Bob Vander Plaats and Chuck Hurley, personally endorsed consistent low-poller Rick Santorum. Plus the entire board has also "indicated support" for Santorum. But apparently that doesn't mean the Family Leader itself endorses the candidate. Or something.

Then there's the money issue. Santorum himself says that Bob Vander Plaats "needed money to promote the endorsement." But yet it's "absolutely false" to say that Bob asked any candidate for cash. Supposedly.

Oh, and the Family Leader did, apparently, suggest that the Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum campaigns "merge" in order to rally Christian conservatives. But in this case, it wasn't Bob -- who, again, is *the* family leader who speaks for the group -- who suggested anything. And even though the org. is in the tank for Santorum and did admittedly suggest a "merge," they are appalled -- APPALLED! -- that anyone is saying Bob himself asked another candidate to drop out.

Keeping up? No? Well here, maybe this press release from an organization quite clearly in disarray will help clear things up. Probably not though:

Pleasant Hill, IOWA. – The FAMiLY LEADER offers the following statement in order to clarify misrepresentations that have been circulating since the Truth-Be-Told-announcement of Bob Vander Plaats’ and Chuck Hurley’s personal endorsement of Senator Rick Santorum for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, December 20th.

The perception that the FAMiLY LEADER Board of Directors was unable to reach agreement or did not achieve consensus on a candidate is completely false. The board had unanimous consensus 1) that The FAMiLY LEADER’s role is as a standard bearer, not a kingmaker, 2) to allow Bob Vander Plaats and Chuck Hurley to personally endorse a candidate, and 3) that as of Monday, December 19th, each board member personally indicated support for Rick Santorum.

The FAMiLY LEADER board was unanimous in their personal support for Rick Santorum but opted not to endorse as an organization out of respect for many constituents that support candidates other than Rick Santorum. The board wanted to avoid offending any constituents who may be bothered by the possibility that their support to The FAMiLY LEADER may be used to promote a candidate the constituents themselves were not backing. However, the board is thankful they can allow a voice of leadership by permitting Bob Vander Plaats and Chuck Hurley to personally endorse Senator Santorum.

The allegation by an unnamed source that Bob Vander Plaats asked any campaigns for money in exchange for his endorsement is absolutely false.

The allegation that Bob Vander Plaats asked Congresswoman Michele Bachman to drop out of the race to join with Rick Santorum is completely false. The truth is that after much prayer and discernment, The FAMiLY LEADER board members directed Bob to contact Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum to present the concept of merging in order to provide a solution to the fractured vote of caucus-going conservatives. The board’s request is reflective of the broader caucus community. At no time did Mr. Vander Plaats make any specific demands in regard to who should merge with whom. The action to contact the campaigns was at the request of the board, not an action Vander Plaats initiated on his own.

Bob Vander Plaats, President & CEO, said, “It is disheartening to learn about the misrepresentations and half-truths being circulated among the media and among fellow conservatives. I encourage all conservatives to show the utmost respect for each other as the voters of Iowa help determine the next presidential nominee.”
Endorsement Decision: Clarifying Statement [TFL]

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