Bob Vander Plaats endorsement of Rick Santorum has produced a backlash among conservatives in Iowa, some of whom are accusing the FAMiLY LEADER president of engaging in pay for play schemes and selling his coveted support to the highest bidder. Earlier this week, Santorum admitted that Vander Plaats approached the campaign with an indirect solicitation of money to help promote his support, but now other sources familiar with the talks between Vander Plaats and GOP candidates are characterizing the tactics as corrupt.
Clearly the endorsement was for sale without a doubt, one source told ABC News Shushannah Walshe and Michael Falcone, stressing that Vander Plaats had tried to receive money for his support in past election cycles:
Though Santorum did not specify the dollar amount he and Vander Plaats discussed, multiple sources said he was soliciting as much as $1 million from Santorum and other candidates.
ABC News has learned that Vander Plaats tried to solicit money for his endorsement during the last presidential cycle too. A former staffer for Mitt Romneys 2008 presidential bid who is currently unaffiliated with a campaign said Vander Plaats came to them seeking money for his backing if he supported the former Massachusetts governor. He wanted to be paid, the former staffer said. He was clearly looking for a paycheck. There was a conversation about him getting a title, but being a paid consultant was much more important.
Rick Perry took another shot at Mitt Romney's offer of a $10,000 bet, but the Texas governor found himself under fire himself Sunday, heckled at a campaign stop over anti-gay bias, including by a man identifying himself as a Marine veteran from the Iraq war.
The heckling followed Perry's brief remarks to Iowa voters at a coffee shop in downtown Ames.
"Why are you demonizing gay and lesbian people?" shouted one heckler.
The governor did not respond to the hecklers and left the coffee shop shortly afterward.
Perry/Bachmann - Together, they can run... from the gays.
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