Kathryn, I reached out to the Pawlenty campaign about the decision to not sign the National Organization for Marriage pledge and was pointed to the video testimony on PawlentyFaith.com which features Tim Pawlenty and his wife, Mary, discussing their religious beliefs.
“The Governor and First Lady chose to express their commitment to the institution of marriage using their own words in a video about their values and faith. We appreciate the opportunity but respectfully decline to sign the pledge,” says Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant.
One factor that may be at play: The Pawlenty campaign declined in July to sign a marriage pledge promoted by influential Iowa social conservative Bob Vander Plaats, making the faith video instead. So far, only Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum have signed the extensive pledge, which, in addition to asking the candidate to oppose gay marriage, also asks candidates to pledge to be faithful to their spouse and oppose Sharia Law. (There has also been controversy over a slavery mention in the pledge, although that language has since been removed.) The organization behind the pledge, which Vander Plaats is the CEO of, has said it will only endorse a candidate who signs the pledge. Looking at all the politics involved in this, it seems that the Pawlenty campaign — which is fighting hard in Iowa — may be afraid to sign NOM’s pledge after declining to sign Vander Plaats’.