Bachmann, Cain duck question on Romney's faith
October 9th, 2011
10:16 AM ET
3 years ago

Bachmann, Cain duck question on Romney's faith

(CNN) - Neither Herman Cain nor Rep. Michele Bachmann would say Sunday whether they believe Mitt Romney is a Christian, two days after an influential pastor labeled Mormonism a "cult."

"He's a Mormon," Cain said on CNN's "State of the Union." "That much I know. I am not going to do an analysis of Mormonism versus Christianity for the sake of answering that. I'm not getting into that."

Bachmann echoed Cain's remarks, saying she didn't want to get into an issue she considers unimportant to the Republican presidential campaign.

"This is so inconsequential as far as this campaign is concerned," the Minnesota congresswoman said. "We have religious tolerance in this country and we understand that people have different views on their faith and I have a very sincerely held believe on faith and I think we just leave it at that."

When pressed by CNN's Candy Crowley on whether or not Romney is a Christian, neither candidate gave a firm answer - even when it was suggested they were dodging the question.

"If that's what it looks like, that I'm dodging it, it's because it is not going to help us boost this economy," Cain said. "You know that's my number one priority."

"I think what the real focus again is on religious tolerance," Bachmann said. "That's really what this is about. Again to make this a big issue is just ridiculous right now because every day I'm on the street talking to people, and this is not what people are talking about. I was very open about my faith, very clear about my faith. It's very important."

On Friday, the pastor of the highly-influential First Baptist Church of Dallas told CNN that his church had labeled Mormonism a "cult," and that Republicans shouldn't vote for former Massachusetts Gov. Romney because he is a follower of that faith.

"I think Mitt Romney's a good, moral man, but those of us who are born again followers of Christ should prefer a competent Christian," Robert Jeffress said outside of the Values Voter Summit in Washington. The First Baptist Church of Dallas has a congregation of about 10,000 and has long been considered a highly influential church in evangelical circles.

Romney's campaign said Friday they would not make any comment on the pastor's remarks.

On the CBS program "Face the Nation," fellow Republican candidate Newt Gingrich made similarly vague remarks about whether he believes Mitt Romney was a Christian.

"I think he's a Mormon and Mormon define themselves as a branch of Christianity," Gingrich said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. Peace

    As always it is to some people: if one has nothing good to say, they always keep quiet or dodge the question.

    October 9, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. JD in Moraga, CA

    "He's a Mormon," Cain said on CNN's "State of the Union." "That much I know. I am not going to do an analysis of Mormonism versus Christianity for the sake of answering that. I'm not getting into that."

    Last time I checked, "Mormonism" is known as "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" – so I'm guessing the "Church of Jesus Christ" part means that Mormons consider themselves Christians.

    October 9, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. JRH

    Why does it MATTER whether they think Mitt Romney is a "Christian", or in fact, whether he is or isn't? America is NOT a "Christian" country. Sorry gang, it just isn't. I don't care if someone worships butterflies, if they're competent to be President and I agree with their policies, I'm going to vote for them. We really need to get over this obsession with the cult of Jesus, 'cause the HUGE majority of self-professed "Christians" in this country are a LONG way from practicing what they preach. Especially those running for the GOP nomination.

    October 9, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. New Age Independent

    Not sure why Liberals think this matters. It's a non-issue.

    October 9, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. jnpa

    I am so tired of these candidates bickering about religion. Get religion out of the election. Get religion out of government. The GOP is saying how government should be less involved in our lives, then they constantly ram religion down our throats. With all the problems we have in this country is that all the GOP has to talk about? Is that all we have to listen to from the GOP? I think it is disgusting!

    October 9, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Didn't we leave England a couple hundred years ago because of this kind of in-fighting?

    Correct me if I'm wrong. Freedom FOR and OF religion?

    October 9, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. JaneEyre

    Mormon's are not Christian's. They believe that Jesus is a created being just as we are. They do not recognize Jesus as the 'anointed Christ'.

    October 9, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. GI Joe

    OOPS – forgot one
    Didn't we leave England a couple hundred years ago because of this kind of in-fighting?

    Correct me if I'm wrong. Freedom FOR/OF/FROM religion?

    October 9, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. ED FL

    Well Mr Cain your response about Mr Perry's Pastor shows your incapacity to be a Candidate for President. Anything contrversial can not be dodged by a real candidate. Being an African American candidate on a GOP ticket is laughable. Your chances are actually nil. The GOP is a racist organization that is using you to be a controversial spokesman for the WHITE candidates that are to cowardly to try and use terms and suggestions that one African American can get away with about another Afircan American. You are being used and are trying not to notice. Not good for a wanna be attempt for a National Candidate. Different Game in the Big Leagues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 9, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Joe the plumber

    We preach religious tolerance in this country. You know, unless someone is Muslim. Let's not go crazy here.

    October 9, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Jay

    Ron Paul actually defended Mitt Romney concerning this swipe from the Rick Perry camp.

    Why didn’t Herman Cain do so? Cain is just another politician who lacks character and consistency. Paul is a man and a leader.

    October 9, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. jb1963

    If they really want to help the economy. They should give all the money they collected to those who need it and go home. They are going to lose anyway. The more post I read the more I see America is not believing these idiots.

    October 9, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. GI Joe

    Mr Cain is on a book-selling, cd-selling campaign. It's disguised as a political campaign so he can get the big bucks contributions and do it for FREE. He's a black Palin (with a zipper).

    October 9, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. RickL

    To jnpa: This is not the Republicans talking about religion, it is your CNN ramming the issue down your throat. Neither Cain nor Bachmann wanted to talk about it.

    October 9, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. johnborg

    A big hurtle facing the Republican Party in the upcoming elections is religion. I wouldn't say secularization is occurring, but individual's faiths are becoming more personalized and privatized. With the onset of pluralism, we have a panoply of religions to choose our beliefs from. For example, I consider myself a Christian but my faith is infused with elements from Sufism and animism. I'm all for religious politicians, however I am not for politicians who believe their distinct faith is the one absolute Truth. Let Mr. Romney practice in the way he would like to practice. Perry, Cain, Bachmann, etc. should distance themselves from religious zealots.

    October 9, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. Slightly Left of Center

    I honestly don't give a crap what a candidate's religion (or lack thereof) is. I'm looking for a president to lead this great nation...you know...the one made up of all races, colors, creeds, nationalities and cultures. He or she can worship a groundhog for all I care, as long as their presidential decisions are based on what is in the best interest of this nation as a whole and ALL her inhabitants. The candidates in the right need to quit trying to impress me by telling me what a great Christian they are. That just pushes me away. If I want religious guidance, I'll go see a priest, pastor, rabbi, etc. And religious 'leaders' need to stay out of politics.

    October 9, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. CEW

    This is a non-story. By the headline I was expecting them to to say something out of the ordinary, but neither one does. They both say they don't want to get into it because it's not relevant. And it isn't relevant. You'd get the same answers from any candidate in any party. So, why even bother wasting my time running this story? I come here for news, not this.

    October 9, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. PulTab

    It shouldn't matter what flavor of fairy tales the candidates believe in.

    October 9, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Let's do some math.

    Like all Republicans, Mr. Cain criticized the President's jobs bill by insisting that government doesn't create jobs. That the private sector creates jobs. Like all Republicans, Mr. Cain criticized the "Occupy Wall Street" jobs protestors by saying that they are "anit-American" and should be protesting in front of the White House, instead.

    Those metrics do not add up. If the private sector (not the government) creates jobs, then why say that the jobs protestors should not occupy Wall Street, but protest at the White House?

    October 9, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. GI Joe

    @Joe the plumber

    We preach religious tolerance in this country. You know, unless someone is Muslim. Let's not go crazy here.
    --------------
    To make it easier, instead of adding all the "unless" religions, religious tolerance is ONLY for Southern Evangelicals.

    October 9, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Kat

    Bachmann says "We have religious tolerance in this country." Yes, we do. Tolerance for anyone who is Christian.

    October 9, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I wish Herb, the angry black man would weigh in on this. He doesn't like Muslims, and now it might also be Mormons.

    October 9, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Both candidates seemed to imply that religion should not be an issue in the campaign. They're right on that point. Unfortunately, the conservative movement insists that religion is an issue by which they judge people. Religion has no place in politics, but conservatives continue to make it the focus of their "values". Why do you think they were conducting a Values Voters summit in the first place? Because is *the issue* to be recognized today as a legitimate conservative.

    October 9, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think the right wingnuts are getting a bit 'uppity' pn this.

    October 9, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. GI Joe

    Bet Cain doesn't like anybody but Southern Evangelicals. His list of dislikes might be too long to list.

    October 9, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12