March 9th, 2012
02:00 PM ET
6 years ago

'Rick and Bubba' press Romney on Mormon faith, Iran

Birmingham, Alabama (CNN) - Hot in pursuit of southern voters before next week's Alabama and Mississippi primaries, Mitt Romney may have gotten more than he bargained for during an appearance on the syndicated "Rick and Bubba Show" Friday morning.

The hosts of the Birmingham-based radio program, Rick Burgess and Bill Bussey, pressed Romney on his Mormon faith, asking him if he believes the United States reigns over Israel as the true Judeo-Christian "Promised Land." The Book of Mormon teaches that America is a "land of promise."

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"Do you as a Mormon believe that America is the new 'Promised Land,' yes or no?" asked Burgess.

"You're gonna have to go to the church and ask what they think about that," Romney responded with a laugh, referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, of which Romney is a member.

"There's no question about the fact that Israel is the 'Promised Land.' That's what the Bible tells us. And my guess is that they're the lands of promise to other people," Romney added.

The former Massachusetts governor was also asked whether he would support a first strike against Iran in the event the Islamic Republic develops a nuclear weapon.

"Do you support a first strike against them, either by Israel or by us or a combination of the two to halt that process?" Bussey asked.

"Yes, and I think you actually have to act before they had a weapon, a deliverable weapon," Romney said.

"They have to understand that we will take military, kinetic action if they continue to pursue a nuclear option. That is unacceptable to us. That is unacceptable to Israel. It's unacceptable to the world," he added.

The program's hosts told Romney he's at a disadvantage in the South.

"The exit polls are showing that you're not connecting as well as I think you want to with the tea party conservatives and the evangelical Christians," Bussey said in his opening question to the former governor.

"I'm a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-gun candidate," Romney responded. "And my state of Massachusetts, unlike here in Alabama and Mississippi in the Deep South, is kind of a liberal state. I battled, if you will, in an away game."

Romney used that same sports analogy in a separate interview on a talk radio program Thursday, when he described next week's contests as "a bit of an away game."

During stops in Mississippi and Alabama, Romney has attempted to charm southern voters by adopting the occasional "y'all" and going as far as to tell one crowd he enjoyed "cheesy grits" for breakfast.

Also see:

Romney in Mississippi: 'I like grits'

GOP quick to criticize president over jobs report

DNC hits Romney on individual mandate

Game Change' actors dish on Palin, portrayals and politics

Filed under: 2012 • Alabama • Mitt Romney
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. karen

    We are voting for you Mitt!! New Yorkers in exile living in Alabama.

    March 9, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    He is a fool. He is cheesy grits!

    March 9, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. DIANA

    Hey maybe you could get together witn McCain and have a concert with your favorite song –
    Bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran.
    Why are the ones who haven't served so anxious to send our men and women to war? I'll vote for you Mitten if you send your kids out first. Mine already fought in one unnecessary war.

    March 9, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. SR

    Mitt is the one to rally voters and unite the party. Many conservatives wont say they'll votefor him now, but when he is the alternative to 4 more years of Obama, the rest of the country–including the South–will unite behind him. Obama wont snake his way back into a second term. Romney is the man going forward. Its time to get America back on track.

    March 9, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Mikey

    During stops in Mississippi and Alabama, Romney has attempted to charm southern voters by adopting the occasional "y'all" and going as far as to tell one crowd he enjoyed "cheesy grits" for breakfast.
    The harder he tries, the more awkward and ridiculous he becomes. The only demographic he is bringing out to the polls and getting consistent, solid support from is the wealthy. He’s killing in that demographic. Perhaps because that’s who he relates to (“I like NASCAR – I know several people who own racing teams”) and that’s who will benefit from his policies.

    March 9, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. CJ

    Rick and Bubba , just good ole boys down here the the south !
    That is the reason I do not listen to them , they are narrowed minded and one sided ! And Bham loves em" and would follow them off a clift if they told them Democrats , Mormans or Muslins were close by , they will do whatever R and B tell them to do! . So they in essense told their listeners to not vote for the Morman,
    I do not care for Romney either but if Rick and Bibba are not for Romeny due to his Morman faith ....might as well pack it up Mitt , you are toast ...or just another plate of grits here in Alabama.

    March 9, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Texas Dude

    SR, seems u didn't get the memo. It's President Obama who's getting the country back from Bush and cohorts.

    March 9, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Texas Doc

    Of course he wants to strike Iran, and get Israelis killed too, so his cult can do proxy baptisms on them.

    March 9, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. George Cajoleas,DMD

    Why is there little or no comment on jobless claims numbers vs. new jobs report? Political left! I love Bryan Williams, but why not comments on joblessness . NBC had better stop being so slanted toward our President. We now need a change!!

    March 9, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. travis

    I have a hunch that Mitt is going to surprise a lot of people with his performance in Alabama and Mississippi.

    At some point people are going to realize that he is the best possible chance to wind in November and that this craziness with this primary needs to be resolved sooner rhather than later.

    It would be wonderful to see AL adn MS step up and shoe the way on this!

    March 9, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. anagram_kid

    Gov Romney said, "There's no question about the fact that Israel is the 'Promised Land.' That's what the Bible tells us."

    The Bible also tell us this (amongst other nonsense): He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. - Exodus 21:17

    This was a great opportunity for Gov. Romney to state that he would lead all Americans regardless of their religious or non religious beliefs. And once again he demonstrated that he cannot escape pandering to whomever is in front of him at the moment.

    Obama 2012 – Because integrity matters

    March 9, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The right wingnuts will embrace Mittens when they find out his economic plans will add $3.4 trillion to our debt, and his other one he won't release details because it is worse for our national debt. He does excite the chicken hawks with the talk of more wars, so the extremists in the GOP will be putting their money into military contractors.

    March 9, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Bama Guest

    Romney like a duck out of water in AL , shoot fire ! , I am southern and I too feel like a duck out of water yall ! Poor Mitt , bet he can't wait to get out of enemy country. Rick will take AL by default .

    March 9, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Alexanders.

    Mitt is the only way to go. people in the south are smart and they know that only Mitt R. will get them to be a way much better state.

    March 9, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Thomas

    The rebel yell was a battle cry used by Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War.

    Mitt Romney , five sons , all avoided military service. Wall Street Patriots !

    March 9, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. DAK

    In my opinion, what Mitt fails to realize is we DO NOT want (nor need) a plastic President. Just be yourself and tell the TEA Party to kiss off and if they want they can always vote for President Obama, who it seems is about the only person they hate more than Romney. In going after the far-right, fascist voters of the GOP Mitt is loosing the middle and the indy voters and he is certainly loosing any cross-over Democrats. Stop lying about Obama's record, stop lying about your own record and be honest in talking to the voters. If Obama has done something correctly, then say so as this constant lying about the President's record only makes people disbelieve the truth. Like the boy who cried wolf too many times, when EVERYTHING about the President is negative or distorted to make it appear negative or even lied about to make it appear negative does nothing more than drive away voters from your side. No matter how good and great Mitt may be, I will not vote for a liar.

    March 9, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. ST

    I really laugh a lot when I hear folks say that Romney will clinch the nomination and each and everything is locked up for him. Really! Folks you do not know politics. So long as other contenders are not bowing out and claim all the way to the convention, with my simple calculations, I do not see the path where Romney can clinch the number and image as a nominee. No way!

    March 9, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens is taking a page out of the Bush Doctrine of preemptive strikes. God help us and protect us from this nit wit Mitt.

    March 9, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. mike

    This man will say and eat anything to get elected. Richie Romoney we dont like you.

    March 9, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Gothaze

    Just think about this. Here you have Iran developing nuclear capabilties. I get it. You have nukes. I want a nuke. Ok make your nuke Iran. Now lets think about this a minute. Iran even thinking they could launch a nuke anywhere, would mean the end of there world as they know it. Total obiberation by the super powers. So what the advantage of a strike. None. All this talk of a launch by anyone today would mean the end. Really have we become this niave to beleive that a nuclear war is survivavible by any of us. Get real. It doesnt matter who launches. The outcome will still be the same. Do we hate ourselves that much that we would commit suicide and genocide on innocent civilians because power physcotic politians say so. Really!

    March 9, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. geg

    saving the olympics or bain he did it with tax payer goverment money-subsudies

    March 9, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. This_blank

    Hate to tell you republicans this but you simply dont have the votes to beat obama & they wont be there in november either!

    March 9, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. Fair is Fair

    "The right wingnuts will embrace Mittens when they find out his economic plans will add $3.4 trillion to our debt, and his other one he won't release details because it is worse for our national debt."
    I got some news for you. It doesn't matter which party the current ana any future president is from – Americans have had quite enough of deficit spending. NO MORE.

    March 9, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Bob

    Right. A blue blooded Yankee carpet bagger trying to pass himself off as a "one of the boys".


    March 9, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. Alisha

    As John F. Kennedy stated in 1963:
    "Of all the stories of American pioneers and settlers, none is more inspiring than the Mormon trail. The qualities of the founders of this community are the qualities that we seek in America, the qualities which we like to feel this country has, courage, patience, faith, self-reliance, perseverance, and, above all, an unflagging determination to see the right prevail.

    As the Mormons succeeded, so America can succeed, if we will not give up or turn back.…let us remember that the Mormons of a century ago were a persecuted and prosecuted minority, harried from place to place, the victims of violence and occasionally murder, while today, in the short space of 100 years, their faith and works are known and respected the world around, and their voices heard in the highest councils of this country. As the Mormons succeeded, so America can succeed, if we will not give up or turn back." JFK, Salt Lake City, 1963

    March 9, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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