Cantor doesn't believe religion should be factor in 2012
October 11th, 2011
06:19 PM ET
7 years ago

Cantor doesn't believe religion should be factor in 2012

Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the highest ranking elected Jewish leader in Congress, said Tuesday he doesn't believe religion should be a key factor in choosing a GOP nominee for president.

Asked about the recent controversy sparked by a Texas pastor who stated he believed one should vote for Christian over non-Christian candidates, Cantor said "I don't know what to say to that, other than to say if people view that as their driving factor then this country is one that affords all of us to practice our faith."

But Cantor made it clear he didn't believe a candidate's faith should be a disqualifying factor.

"Obviously I don't think that one's religion is demonstrative of anything other than that is their faith. And you look to see their record and how they're affected by their moral values, and if those moral values come from their faith."

Rev. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Dallas, caused a stir last week when he referred to Mormonism as a "cult "and said Christians should support other Christian candidates. Jeffress endorsed Texas Governor Rick Perry for president at a conference of conservatives in Washington and said Republicans should not vote for former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. Another GOP presidential hopeful, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, is also a Mormon.

Also see:

Jeffress: I'm not 'Rick Perry's Jeremiah Wright'

Huntsman: Pastor is a 'moron'

Huntsman: Mormon controversy a 'political sideshow'

Filed under: 2012 • Eric Cantor • Faith
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. gg

    cantor believes isreal should be the capital of the united states

    October 11, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    I guess the Jewish Teahadist doesn't want that brought up now (after they ALL spread lies about the "muslim"....).

    October 11, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Charlie Seemann

    I wonder how Cantor feels about being considered a Gentile by the Mormon chnurch?

    October 11, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. portland tony

    Holy crap.I thought the Presidential race was all about who loved Jesus more!

    October 11, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. Jun Sung

    These extremists want a theocracy, by their religion. That's un-American. Period.

    October 11, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Ed DFWTX

    Cantor says religion should not be a factor in the election yet the GOP continues to oppose marriage equality. The only reason they continue to oppose marriage equality is religious and a way to pander to the religious social conservatives of the GOP. Otherwise, they should support all families since marriage shouldn't be a religious issue. It should be protected by the Government period.

    October 11, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. Dixie Independent voter

    Sorry, Cantor, your gop candidates keep bringing it up all the time.

    October 11, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. CA Dream USA

    Careful Cantor the Republican Tea Party is going to turn on you..

    October 11, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Ron

    Faith, values and government

    One's faith plays a HUGE part in how one leads or governs. A Christian governs different from a muslin and that is why Obama had was to explain his faith and prove to the skeptics that he wasn't a muslin. If he were a Muslim he would never be elected.

    A catholic christian will govern much different from an evangelical, just as how a Baptist will govern much different from a Mormon. So we are in denial if we simply brush aside the fact that one's faith informs one's values and one's values informs how one leads.

    Romney and Huntsman will govern as Mormons, just as how Obama is governing as a true christian. So faith, values and government styles are all related. We don't know much as Americans about the Mormon faith and both Romney and Humtsman owe it to themselves to explain what their faith is all about and how it will bring to bear on their government styles.

    October 11, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. T'sah from Virginia

    So, CAN'Tor, Rev. Wright should not have been an issue, right? Jeffress believes what he said to the bottom of his heart – so what makes you think it NEVER slipped out in several of his sermons??? GOT TAPES???

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 11, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. ObamaCares

    This clown needs to be sent home in 2012. Stop whinin'!!!!

    October 11, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. creole

    Two face fake where were you when you and your crazy right was doing it to Mr. Obama

    October 11, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. catmom

    And this after Republicans and those on the right spent the past three years and continue to make religion and faith and everything President Obama and his wife have ever said or done in their lives an issue? What goes around comes around, why make it off limits now? Why can't we hear about the ministers that support Rick Perry as well? What about all the other skeletons in the closet. I mean where are their long form birth certificates? Their school transcripts. Who are their parents and what have they done? What about long distance relatives? Nothing is off limits now.

    Republicans have spent the last three years disrespecting our President. They even allowed an attack on his birth. Not one Republican leadership stepped in to shut them down. Whenever the Republican leadership was questioned about it they never once condemned the people doing it. Now all of a sudden religion is off limits for Republican candidates. Next thing you know they will be calling people who disrespect the Republican candidates and their spouses unpatriotic ! The American people have had to put up with three years of disrespect, hatred, pettiness, jealousy and yes, racism thrown at our President and the First Lady and now they want to squash any of the same for their candidates? Get real!!! They should have thought about how their diminishing the office of the President of the United States of America, his wife and his supporters would affect America. Republicans get exactly what they have been giving President Obama, his wife and his supporters. Thanks Republicans for showing the world how intolerant some Americans can be when they don't get their way.

    October 11, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  14. Paul

    of course he doesn't! He's not an Evangelical born again Christian, AKA the only Americans that matter.

    October 11, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. Mark

    get off of Iran's back. United States and Israel are vetoing the creation of holy Palestine.
    the vetoes are cruel and heartless.

    October 11, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. sunny lovetts

    If religion isn't a factor I guess its not really religion...
    This headline makes no sense.

    What HUMANS BELIEVE should always be a factor. No matter how much the world wants you to all believe the same thing. Stick to your beliefs people. Don't let the modern age destroy the last hope for humanity, the soul.

    October 11, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  17. walter

    The only thing that should count, according to Cantor, is to cut taxes for corporations and the rich and sign the Grover Norquist pledge...the rest of us don't matter to him.

    October 11, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    The job is bigger than that and Americans are bigger than that. Hopefully.

    October 11, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Eric Cantor is trying to provide cover for the ugly truth about the GOP that everyone knows: Mormons like Romney and Huntsman, and Jews like Cantor, notwithstanding, the GOP has been taken over by far-right evangelical "Christians" who want to impose their religious beliefs on our country: anti-gay, anti-choice, anti anyone who doesn't believe in their narrow interpretation of the Bible. They want nothing more than to establish a "Christian" theocracy, with their brand in control.

    What not all of these supposed Christians seem to understand is that they are being used, much in the same way as the fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia are used, with an endgame of all the wealth and control in the hands of a few and religious police keeping the masses in their place.

    October 11, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. Annie, Atlanta

    And this from a man who is trying to undermine the economy so that his party can take back Congress and the White House. I really don't see what his constituents apparently see. But seeing as I live in GA, I have no room to talk, really. We've been electing more and more extremists in the years I've been here. And just like all the other "red states," we're hurting more and more as we do it. Who'd a thunk?

    October 11, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  21. zb

    So the party of hate doesn't want religion to be an issue – unless of course its their religion. School prayer, woman's right to chose, Gay rights are all issues from the right based on their religion. Hate against Gays, Mormons (or any Christian who isn't their kind of Christian), Non-Christians, Immigrants, African Americans, Working Class Protesters, Poor People, Old People, Sick People, Woman, Teachers, Government Workers, Unions, and just about any group you name is on their hit list to be despised, and vilified. The republican/Tparty made religion part of their agenda way back so don't even think to tell us you don't want religion in this.

    October 11, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. Shawn in MD

    Asked about the recent controversy sparked by a Texas pastor who stated he believed one should vote for Christian over non-Christian candidates, Cantor said "I don't know what to say to that"
    Mr. Cantor, its a simple question, just state where you stand on this! Of course you were tongue tied, because you still have your foot in your mouth with the "Mob" comment, dont you?

    October 11, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  23. Henry Miller

    So long as politicians use religion as an excuse for denying the rights of individuals, it will continue to be a factor.

    October 11, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. uscentral

    Hey Cantor. You picked the party. They didn't pick you.

    October 11, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  25. kimsland

    Religion and politics should not be together.
    Religious people need to be aware that we are in 2011 now, and these old religious beliefs just seem like nonsense now.
    Get religion out of politics fully and decisions will be made solely on our lives and future of the country, not on death and I can't wait to go to heaven ridiculous religious feeling.

    October 11, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
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