Washington (CNN) – Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum sought to clarify their support of a pledge that contained a controversial preamble suggesting black children born into slavery had better family structures than black children now.
The excerpt has been removed from "The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family," a pledge issued by the conservative Christian organization The Family Leader.
The Family Leader is an important socially conservative group in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, holding sway over the state's traditionally more conservative caucus goers who influence the fate of presidential campaigns.
A spokesman for former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania told CNN Monday he was "pleased" to sign the pledge, but agreed with the Leader's decision to remove the language about slavery.
"Senator Santorum was pleased to sign the Iowa Family Leader's pledge because he is committed to standing up for traditional marriage. The bigger question here is why aren't more Republicans having the courage to stand up for the institution of marriage and signing this pledge," Virginia Davis said in an email. "With that said, Senator Santorum believed it was the right thing for the Iowa Family Leader to remove the language from the preamble to the pledge about slavery."
Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart, who confirmed the Minnesota congresswoman signed the pledge, said Sunday "In no uncertain terms, Congresswoman Bachmann believes that slavery was horrible and economic enslavement is also horrible."
FULL STORY on the CNN Political Ticker: GOP candidates caught in slavery controversyFULL STORY on the CNN Political Ticker
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