A socially conservative group has apologized for including a passage about slavery in a pledge it asked Republican candidates to sign as a prerequisite for the group's endorsement in the presidential race. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota had been the first GOP hopeful to sign "The Marriage Vow," which included the language from the group, the Family Leader.

"After careful deliberation and wise insight and input from valued colleagues we deeply respect, we agree that the statement referencing children born into slavery can be misconstrued," said Julie Summa, a spokeswoman for the Family Leader in a note forwarded by the Bachmann campaign. "We sincerely apologize for any negative feelings this has caused, and have removed the language from the vow."

The group had said that a black person born into slavery "was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American president."