Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is joining the kick-off of the “Values Voter Bus Tour” this morning in Des Moines.
A coalition of groups that opposes both gay marriage and abortion have organized the tour to call attend to social issues in the run-up to the Iowa GOP’s Straw Poll. Pawlenty says voters are concerned about the economy and jobs.
“But many voters are interested in other issues, including pro-life issues and marriage issues,” Pawlenty said during an interview with Radio Iowa.
Pawlenty has signed a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage, promising to oppose efforts to make gay marriage legal. Pawlenty is among the candidates who did not sign the controversial “Marriage Vow” from The Family Leader which included references to adultery, pornography and, in its original version, slavery.
“As to The Family Leader pledge, I certainly support the policy goals of traditional marriage…but I thought the wording of that particular pledge was not the right tone and it didn’t express those policy positions in a way that I was comfortable with or that I liked,” Pawlenty told Radio Iowa this morning. “…As to the other pledge, I thought it was worded in an acceptable fashion, so I signed that one.”
The “Values Voter Bus Tour” will make stops in 22 cities over the next four days. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum will join the tour at its stop in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday.