It’s pretty much a rite of passage for Republican presidential candidates now. Before they declare their candidacy, they make a big show of how they’ll only run if God wants them to. Then when they announce, it’s not because they actually want to be president, it’s only because they’re following the will of God. Scott Walker, you’re up:
“My relationship with God drives every major decision in my life,” starts the note, which is clearly designed to appeal to Religious Right voters who make up a major part of the GOP base vote, particularly in the early primary states Iowa and South Carolina.
The letter goes on to talk about Walker’s faith as “the guiding force of my life in both politics and in private” and promotes opposition to reproductive choice and marriage equality. “A lifelong supporter of the pro-life movement, my work defending the unborn goes back to my college days where I was a leader of Marquette Students for Life,” he writes, bragging about signing into law new restrictions on access to abortion and pledging to do the same as president. He calls the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision a “grave mistake” and calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn it. And he pledges to nominate Supreme Court justices who share his approach to the Constitution.
“Our country is at a crossroads and we need a proven conservative leader who is not afraid to fight for what is right — even when it’s not politically expedient,” Walker says. “My decisions are guided by my relationship with God — not by what might win me a few votes.”
Of course, this rarely helps actually win the nomination. In 2012, there were at least four candidates who said that God told them to run: Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Rick Perry. Didn’t work out well for any of them. Romney, on the other hand, did not claim that God was on his side. Nor did McCain in 2008. It’s a good way to pander to the rubes and get some money flowing in, but it doesn’t really help at the polls.