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. Melissa

    For the last two years the Morman church has been throwing money around on billboards, radio & tv ads with "I'm a Morman commercials. Have they been preparing us to accept Romney? This concerns me. If you know a Morman the church has a lot of influnce in their lives, more than most churchs. Isn't anyone concerned about this? Why is no one talking about this?

    October 7, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  2. thomas

    Romney / Perry 2012
    Kiss and make up !

    October 7, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  3. anonymous

    Now let it all begin!! Perhaps the back biting will be a change instead of Obama getting all the heat. What a bunch of mess. These are supposed to be adults, right?

    October 7, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  4. deecoast

    Just an FYI. Recent membership statistics in the United States place The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – 4th in membership with over 6 million (and over 14 million world-wide) – behind Catholic, Southern Baptists, & United Methodists. Hardly the membership of a cult. Less membership numbers account for other churches. All I can say is that the "Mormons" just may have something to offer through their beliefs that people can follow. I would tell him to please go to Mormon.org (and the Bible) and learn something before he is so pompous as to cast judgement.
    As for Perry, I just think his comment reveals a total lack of knowledge and some real prejudice that I won't be able to get over. We already have his caliber in the White House. He is not Presidential. Vote for someone else.

    October 8, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  5. cardog

    First, let me say that I would never vote for a Teapublicant. Once being a member of the GOP myself, this sort of talk coming from this so-called pastor is one of the many reasons why I could not remain a Republican. It is dismissed as left wing rhetoric, but the levels of bigotry that exist in the tea party controlled GOP has really been brought to the front row since the election of Barak Obama.

    October 8, 2011 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  6. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Although Christian values are not truly at the core of any of these republican candidates (the wealthy and big business is), Perry is showing that he will take the politically correct route and say whatever it takes to get elected. If Perry truly believes what the Bible says, then the Mormon faith is definately a cult. Christianity is based on the Bible as God's sole revelation to man. Mormons hold the book of Mormon to be holy scripture and elevate it at least to the level of the Bible and possibly higher.

    October 8, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  7. Joseph

    Perry is bringing up Romney's faith, because he is down in the polls. Perry is just too extreme. Why does matter what Romneys faith is?

    October 8, 2011 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  8. Clwyd

    Perry! That is because your beliefs that have been expressed so far in the campaign are such right wing garbage you go beyond the cult status!

    October 8, 2011 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  9. diridi

    It is a cult, idiot....All the Churches are nothing but "Cult". I don't buy this in 21st century....idiot....o.k, He said, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jews, all Cult....what a nonsense, idiot Texan.....Trash to this nation.....That Paster and You are nothing but Trash...I mean, "TRASH", idiot, shut up.....

    October 8, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  10. cigarman

    This Jeffress character is almost as big of fool as Perry. Mormanism, catholicism, baptist,etc are all a cult. Religion is the root of all evil. Every religion thinks that they are the only ones who are are going to Heaven. I believe in God only, not religion. The Baptist church that is mentioned in this article should have there tax status revoked. Remember Separation between church and State.

    October 8, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  11. Mk2

    Love him or hate him Perry seems to have more class than the usual politician

    October 8, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    Actually, what he is saying, is that it is a religion, like any other religion.

    It is a cult.......but only because ALL religions are cults, by definition, including Christianity. The Christians won't accept that, however, because the common use of that word, "cult", has become synonymous with "negative viewpoint". If you examine all uses of the word, however, all religions can be defined as cults, including Wiccan, and others, often associated with extreme views.

    The trouble with religion, in general, and the pastor who made that statement in the first place, is that all religions tend to want to take the "mightier than thou", approach to religions other than their own. Baptists, tend to be outrageous in that regard.

    October 8, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  13. Pat in IL

    Now that you're playing with the big boys, and not just your Texas cronies, guess you'll have to spend a lot of time back-pedaling on things you don't even understand very well. Please give it up!

    October 8, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. jane

    Because you are dumb as hell

    October 8, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. mikeymike

    Our political leaders arguing over religion. Gah.

    October 8, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. Anonymous

    this actualy made me like perry

    October 8, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  17. Big Daddy Cain

    It's sad and unfortunate that it is so difficult for Gov. Perry to simply come out and denounce Jeffress remarks. I guess the minority of voters who believe this nonsense are more important to him.

    October 8, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. mcineri

    all religions are cults, christianity and others are just the biggest ones

    October 8, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. sissytoo

    All religion is a cult and purely for the control of the masses. Mormonism is no better, no worse. All they want is your money anyway.

    October 8, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. dnick47

    It is a cult Perry... its centered around the "teachings" of one man: Joseph Smith. Those teaching are based upon a "book" he found. It counterdicts some of the teachings of Christ, so its anti-Christ.

    October 8, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Stoneoak

    Perry's campaign is doomed as is Romney's. Newt will be their only choice once the dust settles... And he also has issues. Obama wins.

    October 8, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Liberal Memory Jogger

    "Though the Texas governor disagreed with Jeffress' words, he did not outright denounce them."

    Neither did Obama with James Hoffa Jr. when he said "we need to take these SOB's out." But most of you wouldn't know about that because CNN never even reported on it.

    October 8, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Topcat

    Anytime you become devout in any religion, you've joined a cult...

    October 8, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Karma6338

    Perry is becoming more and more insignificant,

    October 8, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. ED FL

    The Texas turkey is just about cooked and will have to get out of the oven. He is in over his head and ability when he waunders outside of the Texans just like him.

    October 8, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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