March 9th, 2012
02:00 PM ET
2 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. Woman In California

    To ALL those who opposed my comment on Willard/Mormons yesterday. It MIGHT interest YOU to know-YOU DID NOT change my mind.

    Have a nice day.

    March 9, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Women for Obama

    When Mitt Romney five sons stand on the battle field he can talk this nonsense about wars. Why is it people like him are so fired up about war when they have nothing to lose? I served in the military along with my husband, brother and two uncles and it ain't pretty . Talking about war with Iran is a serious matter, this is not a game Mr. Romney.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 9, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    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.
    ------------–
    Atrocious happens to me all the time. But, I think I would agree with whatever it was you just said.

    March 9, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Plastic man is leading the Anybody but Romney GOBP nomination.

    March 9, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. bill california

    I've heard that the South will rise again. well, it's that time to rise, show your true spirit and do you part in electing Mitt as our president for the sake of Our Country, Our Children and Our Liberty. .

    March 9, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    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 |
    ****************************************************************************************

    No, thank you. I'm interested in facts not right-wing conspiracy balderdash.

    March 9, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    You know, I really don't care what Romney's faith is. For those people to whom this is important ask yourself if you would want someone demending answers about your relationship with God: is it really that important that you give an answer that satisfies someone else?

    March 9, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Thomas

    @Women for Obama
    When Mitt Romney five sons stand on the battle field he can talk this nonsense about wars. Why is it people like him are so fired up about war when they have nothing to lose? I served in the military along with my husband, brother and two uncles and it ain't pretty . Talking about war with Iran is a serious matter, this is not a game Mr. Romney.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    Mitt Romneys children will never stand on a battlefield. Only corporate boardrooms.

    The Mormon Corporate Cast System only allows lower casts to fight wars.

    I find it insulting to listen to Mitt talk like a hawk and rattle the saber.
    CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE TOO

    March 9, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    Further, Willard's religion is the LEAST reason I don't like him. He's free to practice what he wants in his personal life and he should be – but it's his stance on trying to send my son's off to war (while he protects his) and his constant LYING that I just can't stand. Willard will hurt and stomp on anyone to get what he wants and he will stomp on you to once he gets your vote.

    March 9, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Woman in California

    I'm just a hate filled ignorant voter from the hippie capital of the world. Let's all get high and sing protest songs instead of getting a job.

    March 9, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. ja

    God Forbid, this man

    March 9, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. Satberry

    I do not know what you are drinking, but the mormon fate is a cult.Joseph Smith was a con artist and killed for such.Willard is also a con artist,look no further than Bain for evidence of such.

    March 9, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. bill california

    Pres. Obama told everyone back in 2008 what they wanted to hear so they voted him in. The sad truth is he has NOT kept his word and he keeps doing it over and over again. It's time for a new record. So long Mr. President!

    March 9, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Texas Doc

    What's up with all of those "I am a Mormon and a normal human " commercials? Coincidence?

    March 9, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. DAK

    bill california

    Pres. Obama told everyone back in 2008 what they wanted to hear so they voted him in. The sad truth is he has NOT kept his word and he keeps doing it over and over again. It's time for a new record. So long Mr. President!
    ------------------
    Okay, please tell us all when and where President Obama hasn't kept his word on issues he has complete control over. Remember, the President doesn't make law... Congress does. The President cannot introduce bills into the House or Senate either and if Obama does issue an Executive Order, the GOP cries that he is a dictator.

    March 9, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Woman In California

    I see another ignorant Willard supporter is posting with my logo. Have fun.

    March 9, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @Woman In California
    I see another ignorant Willard supporter is posting with my logo. Have fun.

    March 9, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
    *********************************************************************************
    ....it's probably one of the resident trolls Taran, Truth, Fair, or Four. . .

    March 9, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. BostonianNThe WoodlandsTx

    What I don't get about conservatives is that many bust the Presidents chops about supporting Israel and going all in against Iran.

    But they're the FIRST to jump on the guy about getting out of afganistan and gas prices.

    Can any of you conservatives with a straight face come on here and defend why we should get involved with Iran ?

    For people who talk nonstop about this countries debt, what do you think will happen to gas prices and the economy if we get involved with Iran or North Korea ? Do spending money on such things will make our debt go away ? Where do you think we'll get the money ?

    Oh China ! Then you'll be the first one to make your unfunny comments about the President using our chinese credit card in Iran.

    I'm trying to find out where the disconnect happens in that logic.

    March 9, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Woman in Cali – I got punked as well by an extreme right wingnut posting under my name. My neighbor is a profiler, and he thinks the wingnut is a 90 lb. male, suffering from severe acne, who spent most of his high school days being locked in high school book lockers by his classmates. He also thinks women made fun of him.

    March 9, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. This_blank

    @satberry john smith was a con man but no more so than any other religious leader & most mormons i have met are good hearted people. I dont think romney is a good example of your average mormon.

    March 9, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. AMERICA

    SO IF IRAN HAS A NUCLEAR BOMB and THEY WILL SEND IT TO ISRAEL OR THE US...WHAT THEN YOU WOULD DO AS A PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA??? For those who may not like to go to war or whatever!!

    March 9, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    AMERICA – We could do what Bush did with Iraq, or we could try diplomacy first.

    March 9, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. This_blank

    @WOMAN IN CALIFORNIA i think it was pretty obvious which post was not really yours. Wow that was some old school stereotyping! I think that person is sitting in front of a commador64 right now!

    March 9, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Romney's campaign announced they were sending the candidate's son Matt to Guam and Saipan.

    I'm glad Matt has enlisted in the Military. However please inform him the war in the Pacific ended in 1945.

    Reroute him to Afghanistan ASAP. Matt can share his experience strength and working for Daddy training with soldiers in the field.

    March 9, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Jilli

    Romney is a spineless coward. He is perhaps the most cynical candidate I've seen in my lifetime. He doesn't appear to have any true principles or convictions – he just says what he thinks people want to hear. Pathetic. His response on the limbaugh/fluke situation was a perfect display of cowardice. Not presidential material.

    March 9, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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