Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Surprise, Romney Gets a Mormon Question

Mitt Romney continues to perform well, this time deftly handling a question about voters' doubts about his Mormonism.


Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney answers a question Tuesday night during the Republican presidential primary debate hosted by Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP)

He called it a "fair question to ask" and highlighted the similarities he shares with Christians rather than the differences that exist. "The values that I have are the same values you will find in faiths across this country," Romney said.

Romney also pledged not to apologize for his faith despite what he said were the urgings of some political pundits.

It was a strong answer (and one that sounded VERY well rehearsed). It doesn't mean Romney is out of the woods when it comes to answering doubts and questions about his Mormonism, but he handled it expertly tonight.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 5, 2007; 7:55 PM ET
Categories:  Republican Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Lightning From the Heavens? Abortion Politics
Next: First Hour Over; Evolution v. Creationism

Comments

I quote from Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Page 201.
Joseph Smith [Mormonism's] enterprisingly mendacious inventor, went to the lengths of composing a complete new holy book, the Book of Mormon, inventing from scratch a whole new bogus American history, written in bogus seventeenth-century English. Mormonism, however, has evolved since it was fabricated in the nineteenth century and has now become one of the respectable mainstream religions of America -- indeed, it claims to be the fastest-growing one, and there is talk of fielding a presidential candidate.

Posted by: Pam K | June 22, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Jim, you're absolutely right. Also, I've talked to a number of Catholics and Protestants whose concept of Jesus is closer to the LDS view than the view of their own religion. If their going to turn on the LDS faith then they need to turn on some of their own people too.

Posted by: bjalder26 | June 6, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

GOP would undobtely lose White House next election, no matter what. But the smartest move GOP leaders could make right now is to force Bush/Cheney to resign and to hope that democratic leaders then would compromise dems leadership by something enough for GOP to have some hopes. All other actions, including these debates, while the shame and curse of republicans are still in White House, stubbornly pursueing the same fully failed policies, are simply senseless.

Posted by: aepelbaum | June 6, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Haydn,
You need to look carefully at your definition of Christian. If you are talking about Creedal Christians, since the don't subscribe to the Nicene, Athanasian or Apostolic creeds, they are not Christians by that definition. Neither were first and second century Christians who had a much clearer understanding of the nature of God and Christ. The creeds did not exist until the 4th--5th centuries A.D. and are heavily influenced by Greek philosophy. They are extra-Biblical so, according to your case against Mormonism, are not to be believed and are to be rejected. You would do well to study the history of the Bible. How was it put together and when? Who decided which texts should be included and which should be excluded? How many versions of the Bible are there? Are there more writings of prophets and apostles that are not found in the Bible? If so, why weren't they included in the King James or other versions of the Bible.
It's pretty easy to jump on the "Bash Mormonism" bandwagon, but why not do some studying to better inform your own opinion first?

Posted by: Jim | June 6, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

This emphasis on faith, god, abortion, et al is exactly why the entire republican field and several democratic candidates need to be shown the door. If these clowns are so intent on proving their godliness, let em move to rome and run for pope. I'm sick to death of politicians falling all over themselves to prove that they are on a first name basis with god. Get out of politics and into the seminary.

Posted by: pj51 | June 6, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

This emphasis on faith, god, abortion, et al is exactly why the entire republican field and several democratic candidates need to be shown the door. If these clowns are so intent on proving their godliness, let em move to rome and run for pope. I'm sick to death of politicians falling all over themselves to prove that they are on a first name basis with god. Get out of politics and into the seminary.

Posted by: pj51 | June 6, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Haydn, let me ask you just one simple question. I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Now my question is, do I am Christian?

Posted by: Joven | June 6, 2007 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Parkeri, my motives in questioning Mr Romney is that he is claiming to be Christian when in fact he subscribes to a faith that is not Christian. Though Mormanism purports to be Christian, Protestants and Catholics would be appalled if Mormonism is equated to Christianity. Mormonism is not Christian because it is not exclusively grounded in the Scriptures; it adds to the Bible and contradicts it.

That is why Romney comments on his faith (which he is using as a means to get elected) need to be scrutinised, weighed up, and questioned. If Mormons are offended that they are not considered Christian, then they need to prove their case. I find it offensive that they call themselves Christian, but I don't think they should be denied an opportunity to express their opinion and state their case.

What religion does have in common is a belief in a higher being (and all have rituals, etc). But their theologies are not all identical and it's misleading of Romney to that that it is so. He needs to indicate what he really stands for, otherwise he stands for nothing if he's just like everyone else. My issue is not with Mormons, but what Romney is doing in sending confusing signals about his faith.

Posted by: Haydn | June 6, 2007 2:37 AM | Report abuse

When you get right down to it, the Mormon issue is not a big deal. Some of the doctrines and practices of the LDS church do differ from other faiths. However, the values are the same. What Mitt Romney believes about God or the afterlife will have NO effect on the policies he produces or his leadership ability. There is absolutely no correlation whatsoever. If can can up with one, please post it.

Posted by: Brett | June 6, 2007 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Jim I agree 100%. Romney is the best candidate we have for president. Period.

Posted by: island boy | June 6, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Nancy
Why don't you do your homework before making accusations? If you are serious about wanting to be accurate, I suggest you go to http://myclob.pbwiki.com/, a website that has Mitt's positions and his history on those positions in an encyclopedic format. I have known Mitt very well for 42 years, and can tell you that in spite of your assertions, there is nothing "phony" about him. Have you met him? Do you know anything about how he deals with family, friends, business associates, and strangers? Do you know anything about his charitable service and giving? Why would a "complete phony" sacrifice huge income potential to leave home and business and do his best to save the Olympic games? Do you know how much he was paid for his years of service? Oh, that's right, he didn't accept any payment. And how much was this "phony" paid for his service as Governor? Right again--nothing. He used his salary to hire very capable people who could not otherwise afford to work in government.
Perhaps you don't know anything about the way he makes important decisions. Besides being a fanatic for collecting data on the issue at hand, he surrounds himself with the brightest people, and wants to have those with opposing views express and defend their views, as he does his own. What a phony!
If you speak with those who have worked closely with him in his business career, you'll hear them tell you that he bends over backwards to be sure that all transactions are done honestly and ethically, and that everything must be completely above board.
Now, for the issues:
• Abortion: He has always been personally opposed to abortion and has encouraged those he counseled to give a child up for adoption before considering this terrible option of ending a life. He has considered Roe v. Wade to be settled law. While speaking with Harvard researchers pushing human cloning, he maintained that position, but realized that Roe v. Wade had cheapened the value of human life. That is when he became openly pro-life. That is not a "flip-flop" (which implies going back and forth on a position), but is a maturation on a critical issue. There's nothing "phony" about that.
• Gun control--too much to cover, so go here: http://myclob.pbwiki.com/gun%20control%20policy
• Health Care--To compare the Massachusetts initiative with HillaryCare is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. I suggest you do your homework at the Heritage Foundation site (http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm1414.cfm).

So, Nancy, if you want to be serious and credible in your postings, rather than throwing out wild accusations (sounds like you've been reading the DNC talking points memos), quit being so lazy and do some research. It's easy to accuse, but it takes work to support those accusations.

Posted by: Jim | June 6, 2007 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Haydn, I believe that reviewing Mr. Romney's positions are merited and necessary. But your comments are not specific to Mr. Romney's positions but rather are inflammatory to members of the Mormon faith. I question your motives for doing so? I find your discussion inappropriate. There is no question about Mormons and polygamy, they do not practice it. To call them non-Christian is offensive to the whole body of the membership. Just because they interpret the New Testament differently than Catholics, Evangelicals and others gives no one the right to make the statement that they are non-Christian. To do so offends more than 6 million Mormon Americans. Is this discussion about Mr. Romney or a religious debate about Mormonism? From your remarks I suspect the later - in which case this is an improper forum. Frankly, your argument borders on discrimination and should be removed from this site.

Posted by: parkeri | June 6, 2007 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm not particularly interested in anyone's religion, but the idea that Mormonism is a variant of Christianity in the way that Presbyterianism and Catholicism are is just plain wrong.

For starters, their beliefs about the character of Jesus are entirely different.

Posted by: THS | June 5, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"would you say that Catholicism or Presbyterianism is not the same as Christianity?"

Yes. There are profound differences between the two, and it doesn't take a lot of investigation to find out what they are.


"Just because you don't like the particular brand of Christianity doesn't give you the right to re-label it."

I'm not re-labelling it. I am saying that Romney is misleading in calling his faith Christian, because it is not Christian. It deviates from orthodox, Biblical Christianity. That's why he cannot assert that he is the same as everyone else.

"As already pointed out, current Mormonism does not allow polygamy just as most sects in current "Christianity" do not. However, early Christianity likely did as did its predecessor Judaism."

Your comment 'it is likely' is an untested assertion. It is likely that a building may have collapsed in Dallas last year, but that doesn't mean that it did. Christianity is grounded in the Bible, and if there are purported Christians who do not ground their worldview in the Bible then they are not genuine Christians.

"Also, you want to hear specifics about what Romney believes. Do you want to hear specifics from all the candidates or just from him because you don't like his brand of Christianity?"

All candidates, especially the ones who are trying to say that they're the same as everyone else when they're not. Since he's using his faith as a means to get elected, it is a critical issue.

"It think you might be surprised that Romney's beliefs are more closely aligned to your own if you are a believing Christian then many of the other candidates."

Well I know for a fact that they're not.

"And if you don't care about their specific beliefs, why do you care so much about Romney's?"

I said in my earlier comment that they are important.

Posted by: Haydn | June 5, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with Romney's faith whatsoever.

My problem with him is that he is a complete phony on virtually every major issue that is dear to conservatives. On abortion, gun control, traditional marriage, and health care, there is almost no difference between the Romney of just two years ago and the H. Clinton of today. Sure, there is a big difference now - on all of those issues - because Romney switched his position on every single one of them.

I think it's great that the man is loyal to his wife and family, but he's proven he can't be trusted on issues of public policy that matter to a lot of people.

Posted by: Nancy | June 5, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again. Haydn, would you say that Catholicism or Presbyterianism is not the same as Christianity? Just because you don't like the particular brand of Christianity doesn't give you the right to re-label it. As already pointed out, current Mormonism does not allow polygamy just as most sects in current "Christianity" do not. However, early Christianity likely did as did its predecessor Judaism. Also, you want to hear specifics about what Romney believes. Do you want to hear specifics from all the candidates or just from him because you don't like his brand of Christianity? It think you might be surprised that Romney's beliefs are more closely aligned to your own if you are a believing Christian then many of the other candidates. And if you don't care about their specific beliefs, why do you care so much about Romney's?

Posted by: Jim | June 5, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Matt & Eric, the matters at stake are the use of the word 'faith' in debates like this. People all have faith; I have faith in the chair I'm sitting on, that it will hold me up when I sit on it. I have faith that tomorrow the bank will still be open, and that the sky will still be blue. Everyone has faith in something, but the object of their faith and the impact that those beliefs have shape what conduct they have both in private and public.

Instead of asserting that he's the same as everybody (which isn't true, because not every religious person believes the same thing) Romney- and everyone else who claims religious faith- needs to get specific about what they believe. Family policy is but the tip of the iceberg; what about their views on the sanctity of human life, ethics, and worse case scenarios? Are they consistent in what they believe, or does the rhetoric match the action? That's why it's critical that such matters be tested.

Posted by: Haydn | June 5, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

What does the veracity of Mormonism have to do with the presidential race?

Posted by: Eric | June 5, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Haydn, Mormonism does not allow polygamy and Romney stated on 60 minutes that he "could think of nothing worse". He has been faithfully married to his wife for close to 40 years. He has also stressed that "strong families" is one of his three pillars of American strength that he would seek to further strengthen should he become president. Finally, Romney has not tried to cast himself as anything other than a Mormon, but continually states he is a "man of faith" and tries to outline the similarities between his faith and the many faiths which exist in America

Posted by: Matthew | June 5, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Mormonism is NOT the same as Christianity, just as Christianity is different to Judaism and Islam. For instance, Christianity insists on monogamous marriage while Mormonism allows polygamy. Family relationships are very important to the life of the nation, but Romney's embrassment at his faith means he wants to cast himself as a Protestant. However, his line of defence should be attacked and pulled apart, so see what he really stands for. The points of difference that he dismisses will be very critical in the election.

Posted by: Haydn | June 5, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but Romney's quote of JFK was not only inaccurate, but it was all the more indicative of his political ambiguity.

Posted by: jojo | June 5, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company