Huffington Post: Pawlenty video aimed at Mormon faith of Romney and Huntsman

Published: Friday, July 15 2011 2:42 p.m. MDT

Tim Pawlenty is talking about his evangelical faith. A new video shows Pawlenty and his wife discussing their belief in God, prayer, scripture study and Jesus Christ.

At one point Pawlenty says, "When somebody is running for or holds high office, whether it's mayor, governor or president of the United States, voters want to know, and deserve to know, 'Who is this person?' You know, 'What shaped their values? What are their values? Is this a person that's good to their word? Can we count on them?'"

The video is "aiming squarely at fellow candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, who are both of the Mormon faith" said an article on the Huffington Post's website. "... Pawlenty draws a sharp contrast between their faith and his, making an explicit confession of Christianity."

The Huffington Posts assessment has not been echoed by other media outlets, and does not accurately reflect the full content of the ad campaign. The video is primarily meant to appeal to evangelical voters in Iowa, according to the Christian Post.

"Conservative candidates are targeting the evangelical and Christian vote in Iowa and recognize its importance in winning the straw poll," said the Christian Post article. "Though Pawlenty is the top choice to win the Republican nomination among evangelical leaders, according to a National Association of Evangelicals poll, the former governor still has a long way to go to appeal to the rest of the public, including Iowans."

Pawlenty's video of faith comes only a week after hiring Gov. Mike Huckabee's daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as a top aide. Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, had major appeal to evangelical voters in Iowa during his 2008 bid for the GOP nomination. Pawlenty may be trying to capitalize off the Huckabee name and religious connections with the hire and the new ad campaign.

"In an email to supporters promoting the video, Sarah Huckabee Sanders ... drew parallels between Pawlenty's campaign and that of her father," reported the Des Moines Register.

"Today I'm back in Iowa working for Governor Pawlenty's campaign because Governor Pawlenty has the same conservative convictions and executive experience I admire in my dad."

Not to mention their shared evangelical faith.

EMAIL: hboyd@desnews.com

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