Perry on pastor's Mormonism remark: 'I don't think it is' a cult
October 7th, 2011
10:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Perry on pastor's Mormonism remark: 'I don't think it is' a cult

Tiffin, Iowa (CNN) – On Friday evening, Rick Perry stepped into the controversy surrounding comments made by a prominent pastor who said Republicans should vote against Mitt Romney because of his Mormonism and who called the Mormon faith a "cult."

Making his first public comments since the controversy erupted earlier Friday, the Republican presidential candidate disagreed with Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas.

"No. I don't think it is," Perry said when asked by a reporter if he believes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a cult. Perry was also asked if he associated himself with Jeffress' comments.

Though the Texas governor disagreed with Jeffress' words, he did not outright denounce them. Reporters attempted to ask Perry more questions, but were unsuccessful. Instead, Perry was ushered out with his wife, Anita Perry, and his campaign staff.

Perry spoke at an event in Tiffin, Iowa, sponsored by the Johnson County Republican Party. The governor sounded familiar campaign themes: raising the specter of China's rising power, his ability to create jobs, and the cost of "Obamacare" on the U.S. economy.

– Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. sgreco

    Actually, it is a cult.

    A cult is technically an offshoot of a previously established religion, like "the cult of the virgin," which was a popular religious sect devoted to the virgin mary in the distant past.

    Mormonism is an offshoot of christianity. While it has its basis in judeo-christianity, it qualifies as an offshoot sect because it adds in the notion that Smith was confronted by a powerful energy being named Moroni who gifted Smith with a solid gold book imprinted with alien writing which only he could translate.

    Therefore, Mormonism is a cult.

    October 8, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Cruisemuri2020

    Wow. I am shocked that a Gawd fearing self proclaimed Christian star would dare to utter those words "mormonism is not a cult". That is like saying Al Qaeida is not a terrorist organization and Hitler is a Jew. I guess when your polls are down you say anything to try to stay on top. Maybe Scientology is not a cult too for Perry. Time to go jumping on a sofa.

    October 8, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. Justeen

    He's deceived. Mormonism is a cult. Joseph Smith was a false prophet. Anyone who can't see this is blind.

    October 8, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Peace

    If we will go to what our hearts tell us to do then Romney is not our man. No one, I repeat no one has to to force anyone to believe what he doesn't. Without being told by anyone, let people decide themselves. After all election is all about making decision according to what we have in mind regardless feelings or thinking what is right for us!

    October 8, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. fred

    Isn't this the group whose prophet put a rock in a fedora, then buried his face in the hat and told the future? I don't know about their christian connection but they get an A+ for theatrics.

    October 8, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. ItsNotWorking

    Perry's have no choice but to play faith card against Romney to look better to GOP crowd. He has already bungled up on issues that really matter to voter. Can he even beat Cain on his own turf?

    October 8, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Squigman

    What the country needs is more republican divisivness, and reason(s) to name call or point fingers. This is why it's important that none of the so called republican candidates make it to the White House. It would be a blessing if many of the (now seated) republican law makers were sent home with their tails between their legs. Their whole purpose is to disrupt, and divide the nation. And it's all for the sake of power.

    October 8, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Diana

    Yes it is a cult.
    Smith added words that were not biblical and and this thinking has been turned into a religion.
    The Bible says not to mess around with what has been written.

    October 8, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    There goes his conservative Christian base.

    October 8, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. george of the jungle

    The christian right are so left of the mark. Romney now gets to face what our president has been facing. You must be white and of a certain faith or you are out. No non christians need apply. These narrow minded bigots whant to run this country the way they see fit. So much for democracy

    October 8, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Dan in FL

    It apparently pains Perry greatly to try to say the right thing. I also find it interesting that a Southern Baptist pastor would accuse another church of being a cult since many of his fellow pastors seem to have cult-like followings.

    October 8, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Dave

    All religions are a cult.

    October 8, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. DaisyinNY

    Rick Perry does not need to call Mormonism a cult...he can have his cronies do it. That way he can deny it and still retain "credibility". Truth is most evangelicals do believe Mormonism is a cult despite the fact that the Jews feel the same way about them. What Irony!

    October 8, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. gregoryschmo

    all religions are cults

    October 8, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Frank Cardenas

    Perry is right, it is not a cult. But, it is a whacky religion with an amazingly ugly history.

    October 8, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. jake

    This is why I hate election time. The candidates do nothing but find ways to attack each other instead of showing how they can help this country.

    October 8, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. rearden215

    If it quacks like a duck......

    October 8, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. 1977

    and what do you think christianity was in it's begining?

    October 8, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Rob

    Apparently Rick Perry needs to brush up on Apologetics 101 or (AS EVERYONE KNOWS) he's afraid to stand up for what he believes because it isn't popular. The Christian faith defines a cult as "a religious group that denies one or more of the fundamentals of biblical truth.” A Christian Cult would be any religion that claims to be "Christian" and yet denies any of the fundamental truths of Christianity, particularly in reference to the means of salvation found in the Bible. THUS... Mormonism is considered a cult in Christian circles.

    Whether you agree or disagree with this... is not the point. The point is... Rick Perry will claim to be a Christian... but is too weak to stand up for what he really believes. SHAME

    October 8, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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