- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Romney’s GOP rivals duck Mormon issue
Question of the Day
Republican presidential contenders Rep. Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum on Sunday all said rival Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion has little to do with the nomination fight, despite weekend comments to the contrary by a conservative Baptist pastor who supports Rick Perry.
“This is so inconsequential as far as this campaign is concerned,” said Mrs. Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have religious tolerance in this country, and we understand that people have different views on their faith.”
But while those Republican candidates clearly repudiated the idea that Mr. Romney’s Mormonism might be a concern to some voters, businessman Herman Cain, who along with Mr. Perry has emerged as the top threat to Mr. Romney’s front-runner status, was more vague, telling CNN he didn’t want to get into the matter.
“He is a Mormon, that much I know. I am not going to get into an analysis of Mormonism versus Christianity,” Mr. Cain said when asked whether Mr. Romney was a Christian. Asked to clarify his position, Mr. Cain said: “I am not running for theologian in chief.”
The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, who is from Atlanta, predicted earlier this year that Mr. Romney’s Mormon religion would hurt him politically in the South.
“When he ran the first time, he did not do a good job of communicating his religion. It doesn’t bother me, but I know it is an issue with a lot of Southerners,” Mr. Cain said in a July 18 interview with The Washington Times.
Mr. Romney’s membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon religion is formally called, erupted again as an issue in the Republican presidential contest Friday when the Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Dallas pastor, called the Mormon church “a cult” and said Mr. Romney is not a Christian.
Mr. Jeffress‘ remarks came after he had introduced Mr. Perry at the Values Voters Summit, a Washington gathering of social conservatives — largely evangelicals and other Christians. Mr. Jeffress also called Mr. Romney a “good moral man” but said “those of us who are born-again followers of Christ should prefer a competent Christian.”
In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Mr. Perry said: “I don’t think the Mormon Church is a cult. People who endorse me or people who work for me, I respect their endorsement and their work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I endorse all of their statements.”
Mr. Romney, who also spoke at the Values Voters Summit, indirectly addressed the issue of his religion, which dogged his unsuccessful 2008 campaign for the Republican nomination, by warning attendees against “poisonous language” directed at other religions.
Evangelicals, fundamentalists and other traditional-leaning Christians — traditionally important voting blocs for Republicans — widely consider the Mormon church not to be a Christian body. They claim it either denies or unrecognizably redefines such Christian doctrines as the Trinity, original sin, the atonement, the continuity of the church and the canon of Scripture.
Mr. Perry, who has made his own Christian beliefs a central element of his campaign, has not made an issue of Mr. Romney’s religion, but the Texas governor, who organized a “call to prayer” at Houston’s Reliant Stadium this summer that drew an estimated 30,000 people, has long-standing ties to the religious right.
Mr. Gingrich, in an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” called Mr. Jeffress‘ comments “unwise and very inappropriate.” On “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. Santorum said dthat he doesn’t think Mormonism is a cult and that “every Mormon I know is a good and decent person.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Eldridge joined The Washington Times in 1999 and over the next seven years helped lead the paper’s coverage of regional politics and government, Sept. 11, and the sniper attacks of 2002. In 2006, he was named managing editor of the paper’s Web site. He came to The Times from the Telegraph in North Platte, Neb., where he served as ...
- Sens. Klobuchar, Collins predict a deal by Thursday
- Rand Paul: GOP can't accept Democrats' attempts to undo sequesters
- Lew says health exchange rollout glitches typical for new software
- John Boehner, Ted Cruz: Upcoming debt-ceiling vote will have conditions
- Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: Obama can't stop default if debt ceiling is hit
Latest Blog Entries
- Mainers would rather move to Canada than down South
- McCain: 'Stand your ground' laws may need review
- Sen. Tom Coburn: Holder investigating himself is a 'total conflict of interest'
- CNN poll: IRS, AP and Benghazi haven't dinged Obama's approval rating
- Slain diplomat's mom on Obama's Benghazi comments: 'Bullfeathers'
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Chris Matthews: GOP less patriotic than South African white apartheid leaders
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!