Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum Says He Was 'Taken Aback' By 'The Marriage Vow' (VIDEO)

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he was "taken aback" by a controversial pledge introduced last week by The Family Leader, an Iowa-based conservative group, during an interview that aired on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday morning.

Standing behind "The Marriage Vow - A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family" is a requirement for earning the organization's endorsement. The pledge entails supporting "federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman." Among other things, it also means backing a ban on pornography.

"When I first read it, I was taken aback by it. I can't argue that I wasn't," Santorum told CNN's Candy Crowley. "But I understand why they're saying it, because it does undermine people's respect for the institution, respect for the people governing this country. If you can't be faithful to the people that you're closest to, then how can we count on you to be faithful to those of us who you represent?"

GOP White House contender Michele Bachmann has also signed her name to the pledge.

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, a lesser known candidate vying for the Republican presidential nomination, has said that the pledge gives members of his party a bad name.

"Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives," Johnson explained in a statement. "The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues -- such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the 'public's pocket book'."

He added, "This 'pledge' is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn't fit into a particular definition of 'virtue'."

Bob Vander Plaats, who heads The Family Leader, said in a statement last week, "The Family Leader views this pledge as an important component needed to inform constituents about the personal stand that each presidential candidate takes regarding marriage. We believe that the candidates' positions on core values, such as marriage, correlate directly to his/her moral stances on energy issues, sound budgeting policies, national defense, and economic policies."

Below, video of what Santorum had to say on CNN.

WATCH:

Around the Web

Rick Santorum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rick Santorum's 12 Most Offensive Statements | ThinkProgress

Rick Santorum - 2012 Candidate for President - Penn Senator - Fox News

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Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum Sign 'The Marriage Vow'

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