- (Photo: Reuters / Molly Riley)
Michele Bachmann, who has been sharing her testimony and views on social issues in churches in Iowa, has received endorsements for her presidential run from over 100 pastors and Christian leaders in advance of the 2011 Iowa Straw Poll.
“Michele has a long track record of standing firm on and fighting for conservative issues on the local, state and national level,” Bachmann’s campaign quoted Pastor Brad Sherman’s endorsement as saying Friday. “Her core values are non-negotiable in political storms. She has earned her claim to having a ‘titanium spine’ on the issues we care most about.”
“Michele has fearlessly taken a stand for life and traditional marriage, while championing fiscally conservative legislation,” said another pastor, Brad Cranston. “In the area of foreign policy she has proven herself to be a friend of Israel and an advocate of a strong national defense, focused first and foremost on protecting the vital interests of the United States.”
However, the list titled, “100 + Iowa Pastors Leaders Support Michele Bachmann,” clarifies that the endorsement is by the individuals and not by their churches or organizations.
Bachmann saw the backing as a result of her pledge “to take the values of Iowans to the White House.”
“I learned those values growing up in Waterloo, and I am grateful for the pastors and faith leaders who continue to teach them to new generations of Iowans,” she said. “Thank you to each of these men and women who are standing with me in fighting for the future of our great nation.”
Bachmann’s campaign said many of the evangelical leaders offered support after hearing her testimony and witnessing how her faith guides her strong leadership on critical issues such as marriage, life, and the overbearing impact of government policies on the family.
The Iowa Independent featured one of Bachmann’s talks at the New Life Community Church in Marion on July 24, describing how she and her husband Marcus accepted Christ at the age of 16. “From that moment on, something changed in me, and the Lord put in me a hunger and thirst for his word,” she was quoted as saying. She said she found “the scarlet thread of redemption” in the Bible.
Politico remarked that the pastors and leaders backing her candidacy were “not recognizable in political circles and most don’t appear to have an activist background.” “But the sheer number of them speaks to the appeal Bachmann has with this group, and the influence they probably have in their communities could be a powerful advantage for her.”
Politico also called Bachmann’s talks in churches “a bit of an inside-outside strategy.” While her stump speech and paid ads focus mostly on her economic views, “the social conservatism that launched her career is a strong undercurrent.”
Though evangelical, Bachmann has been careful not to offend other denominations. She and her husband left the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn., a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which says the Roman Catholic Pope is the Antichrist, on June 21, six days before she formally announced her candidacy for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
Next Saturday Bachmann will know how she is faring as compared to other GOP candidates. The Ames Straw Poll, to be held on Aug. 13, is considered the most crucial as it involves voters from all over the state.