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. cptpooppants

    Well, there you go everyone. A simple choice for the election. Do you want all out war with Iran or not? I'm voting for No War.

    March 9, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. True Blue

    What rock have you been hiding under? Romney is clearing the only candidate who can beat Obama. I would strongly encourage you to lay aside your past prejudice and investigate Mitt Romney's record with honesty, candor and humility. It is time for us all to rally around him...our future depends on our educated vote.

    March 9, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair


    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!
    Want to talk about simple mathematics? OK. I'll keep it simple. Santorum is closest to Mitt in delagates awarded so far. In order for Santorum to be the nominee, he would need to capture 60% of the remaining delagated. SIXTY PERCENT. That is simply not going to happen. I think it's pretty much a given that 3 things are going on as we speak – (1) Santorum is bargaining for a cabinet position... (2) Gingrich is trying to up his speaking engagement fees and book advances, and (3) Ron Paul is trying to pave the way for something for his son. There is little doubt that Mitt is the nominee, and as soon as the other 3 have struck a deal, they will get out of the way.

    March 9, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    "Yes, and I think you actually have to act before they had a weapon, a deliverable weapon," Romney said.
    Inflammatory language like that on the campaign trails is why the Obama administration had someone utter some diplomatic code language about Iran being a rationale government. Someone has to be the responsible adult in the room.

    March 9, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. n

    Romney u are a lier no good for common American but good for rich American. America wake up he will not solve our problem.

    March 9, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Mitt Romney Is Soo Plastic he Makes Callista Ginrinch Looks Real

    Mitt will soon get that hot plate of cheesy grits thrown in his face in 'Bama & Mississippi yall! Lol

    March 9, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. CEW

    At least they are consistent. They grilled Obama on whether he was a Christian, and now they are grilling Romney on whether he's a Christian, too.

    March 9, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Dave

    People are alluding to the fact Romney says whatever he thinks the current crowd wants to hear which makes me remember the Obama '08 campaign. Same thing. As always, we are ruled by one party with two names. Nothing ever changes. Same problems as always. Won't get fixed either. These clowns take their orders and do as told.

    March 9, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. This_blank

    You see democrats will vote democrat & the republicans will vote republican & us independants(people who wont just blindly follow a group) will vote for the best option presented to us at the time. Which unfortunately is not any of the flip-flopin overbearing foot-in-mouth ego-maniacs the GOP is offering us

    March 9, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Indy

    Cheesy Grits could be the name of Mitts movie once Obama defeats him., Yesterday he was on the air talking about his 10 favorite sugar coated cereals, today it's grits. This man is the king of pandering to the enth degree. I suppose he thinks one morning he will eat some cheesy grits them he and John McCain will bomb Iran then at the end of the day Mittsy will settle down with some Sugar Pops.

    March 9, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. NewtsArmy

    Newt is ahead in Al. and Ms. polls today..... Lets see, should we vote for Rick the GOP Jimmy Carter, or Big Money Mitt a GOP JFK, or Newt a GOP outsider? I will vote for Newt to change Washington!

    March 9, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. anagram_kid

    Once again we have to ask if this the best the GOP can deliver? They all have one thing in common; not one of them left their prior political office of their own volition. Gingrich was essentially fired as speaker by his own party, Santorum lost re-election by 18 points and Romney left office with a 40% approval rating. They should have taken the hint.

    March 9, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Wealthy Albatross

    For the 1994 senatorial election, Mitt Rmoney ran a WELL-FUNDED campaign in which he claimed to be a Washington OUTSIDER and a successful BUSINESS MAN.

    Yet he lost to Ted Kennedy by 17 points.

    Sounds familiar?

    March 9, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. george of the jungle

    mitt likes cheese grits because he is so cheese. He is ready to start a war with anyone. Gee will his boys go? Obama 2012

    March 9, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Woman In California

    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 reason this is being bought up again is because it is pretty incredible that he said this and truly ignorant.

    As far as his "religion" goes-he's a southern baptist now-didn't you now that? Afterall, he's in the deep south now.

    March 9, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Mikey

    @George Cajoleas,DMD – "Why is there little or no comment on jobless claims numbers vs. new jobs report?"
    Here you go, the official jobs increase was 227,000, although the total employment according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics increased by 428,000. Private payrolls increased by 233,000. This is the 24th straight month of private sector job growth. The unemployment rate remained 8.3% in February. That figure is 1.7% below the peak rate in 2009.

    March 9, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Lolo

    @ Dave, just like the other former presidents, but that was cool with you because why? Everyone knows that the world is ran by people behind the scenes of all government, but the republican party is mad because a man of color is hip to how the game is played also. This is why President Obama gets no respect as a man as well as a human being. The right wing wants to keep all the gold and secrets to themselves

    March 9, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Religion should play no part in this election. The GOP/Tea Party obsession with religious social values will come back to haunt the candidates. Their candidates are not showing any leadership by failing to speak to ALL americans and not a specific conservative group. They have no broad bold vision of what America can be or should be. With all the challenges facing the country, you would think they can address them and not get bogged down with side shows like contraception, gay marriage, and Mormon beliefs.

    March 9, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. Shelli

    Mitt and Ann Romney will bring honor and respect back the White House. Please don't just listen to the biased media base. Mitt will be exactly what we need right now. Educate yourself. Read my blog entry. davidandshelli.blogspot .com

    March 9, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. Emmy Skaddittle

    Republicans are quick to put our soldiers in harms way

    March 9, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. ST

    Dear GOP, can you start looking for someone else to replace Romney. Telling people in the south that he has to learn how they talk, is totally an insult to them. I am sorry to say the man doesn't know what to say and what he shouldn't.No one so far understands what he stands for, no one is ready to be told that they talk differently from the way he talks. Very few think they share the same values with him.
    The earlier the better. If you wait so long, you will be toasted!

    March 9, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. Dilip Samuels

    Well, what can expect from right wing religious bigotry

    Intolerance towrds other religions and peoples

    Who lives in America Rick and Bubba

    March 9, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. i want a mega rich Mormon who hides money overseas, and a master tax evader as president

    Mitt is a liar straight from the Pitt of hell, I pray a bullet with his name on it finds him.

    March 9, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. This_blank

    I know what i say upsets republicans its nothing personal you just need to understand that all policies & expectations aside this IS a popularity contest & right now obama is mrs america & the GOP is trying to compete with mrs berry festival princess small town USA thats not going to cut it! You better either step up your game or get humilliated in november!

    March 9, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. son of the pig

    Is the mormon relegion another one of those religions that reap the benifits ofenjoying our freedoms without having to fight for them bullcrapppppppp

    March 9, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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