(Photo: AP Images / Butch Dill)
The pool of Republican candidates possibly running for the GOP nomination in the 2012 presidential race just got a little wider.
Former Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore launched an exploratory committee Monday, announcing that America is ready to return to its God-given morals and values.
Moore, best known for his refusal to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the state’s judicial building, made the announcement from Iowa where he has been engaged in speaking appearances since Friday.
Former Iowa House Speaker Danny Carroll is volunteering for Moore and arranged much of his appearances. He said the reception has been very positive so far.
“People find his stand on the Ten Commandments inspiring,” said Carroll.
Moore said he was inspired to start a committee because the country needs new leadership.
“People are tired of politicians who don’t do what they say they are going to do, and unfortunately, we have that on both sides,” he told The Christian Post.
Moore said that his core issues are the economy, military defense and morality.
“Many people are realizing that the failure to acknowledge God is causing problems,” he said, noting that America’s moral and conservative values come from God. “The government has turned away from those principals and now people are ready to return to them.”
Moore told The Christian Post that if elected president, he would fight to undo the repeal of the military’s ban on open homosexuality. He also would defend the Defense of Marriage Act. Democratic President Barack Obama signed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in December and more recently ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending the 1996 marriage law last month.
Moore is a Christian and supporter of Christian nationalism, the belief that the United States was created as a Christian nation. His beliefs led him to defy a federal order to remove his controversial 5,300-pound monument of the Ten Commandments from the judicial building where he served as a state Supreme Court justice. His refusal led to his ouster in 2003.
The West point alum and Vietnam veteran is currently serving as president of the Foundation of Moral Law, a conservative non-profit legal organization located in Montgomery, Ala.
Moore is now the fifth Republican to launch an exploratory committee. Others considering a presidential run in the GOP field include businessman Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum who announced the launch of his committee last Wednesday.
There are still more than a handful of potential contenders who have not yet launched a committee, including poll leader Mike Huckabee. While Huckabee is leading in major national polls, Frank Newport, the editor in chief of Gallup, says there is no clear GOP nominee leader so far. Huckabee, a consistent leader in the polls, only leads the pack by single-digit percentage points.
Of the existing list of potential contenders, Newport believes few have attained both popularity and favorability among GOP voters. “None of the candidates have established themselves,” he summed.
When asked about his own popularity among the GOP, Moore responded, “I’m known for what I stand for. That’s more important than recognition.”
So far, Moore has spoken at a Tea Party rally, restaurants, and a church. On Tuesday, he leaves to meet potential supporters in Texas and later in Idaho and South Carolina. Moore said he’s not 100 percent sure he will run for the presidency. His decision will be based on the response of voters.