(Photo: Reuters / John Gress)
GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty told CBN’s Pat Robertson that his wife Mary led him to the Lord and that his faith played an important role in his life.
“She [Mary] led me to the Lord and was a powerful leader and mentor in that journey for me,” former Minnesota Governor Pawlenty said in an interview on the 700 Club with Pat Robertson Thursday.
“I was raised a Catholic, and Mary and I met … she came from a Baptist tradition. So as we were getting married, we got serious about that … I wanted to reconcile our faith lives and she did too. So I started attending her church,” Pawlenty said.
Mary is a member of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minn., part of the Minnesota Baptist Conference. “She really was instrumental in transforming my faith life … and she still does to this day,” he added.
Standing for president means a terrible burden on the family; is your wife with you on this, asked Robertson. Pawlenty agreed, “I have two teenage daughters … [But] she (Mary) strongly believes that it’s important for the country.”
Pawlenty said Mary, whom he met in law school, was “a tremendous voice for the Lord” and had a “wonderful heart.”
The former Minnesota governor also spoke about her mother’s contribution to his life.
“My mom really was a driving force ... She died when I was 16 of ovarian cancer.” Pawlenty said he was the youngest of five kids, and “just a short time before she passed on, she summoned my brothers and sisters to her bedside and she made them look in her eyes and promise to her they would do everything they could to get me to college … And they did.”
Pawlenty’s siblings couldn’t go to college “not because they lacked capacity; they just didn’t have the opportunity.”
“Your faith has played a big role in your life,” remarked Robertson, holding in his hand Pawlenty’s book, Courage to Stand, in which he affirmed his Christian faith. “Yes, it has,” Pawlenty replied.
In January, Pawlenty told Christianity Today that he was in politics because of his Christian faith.
Asked why he wanted to be president, the Republican candidate said he had “the skills and the ability and the results to lead this country to a better place.” “And I love America and we need to do it. It’s in trouble.”
Pawlenty said if he became the president his focus would be to keep the economy going, to create jobs, to reverse Obamacare, and to make some decisions in the area of security and international affairs to restore relations with “our friends like Israel.”
Criticizing Democrats, he said, “You can’t be pro-jobs and anti-business. That’s like being pro-egg but anti-chicken.”
Pawlenty also said he strongly hoped, believed and was praying that “our Republican and congressional leaders don’t raise the debt ceiling, and if they do, please make structural, permanent, big change like a balanced budget constitutional amendment, caps on spending that are real and specific.”