November 10th, 2007
03:42 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain's mom takes on Romney's Mormonism

Sen. McCain and his mother, Roberta, prepare for their interview with Chris Matthews from a New Hampshire hotel room.

(CNN) - The mother of Sen. John McCain criticized the religion of one of her son’s competitors for the Republican presidential nomination Friday night.

When asked about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s experience by Hardball host Chris Matthews, Roberta McCain, who’s campaigning in New Hampshire with her son at the age of 95, said "as far as the Salt Lake City thing, he's a Mormon and the Mormons of Salt Lake City had caused that scandal. And to clean that up, it's not a subject."

Romney was selected to head up the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games after a bribery scandal tarnished the Games.

Sen. McCain, who was seated next to her, raised his eyebrows and flashed a polite grin during her comments.

"The views of my mother are not necessarily the views of mine," McCain chimed in.

“Well, that’s my view. You asked me,” Mrs. McCain followed.

After a commercial break, Sen. McCain further tried to distance himself from his mother’s comments.

“Could I just reemphasize one point? I think Mormons are great people. I think it should in no way be a factor in consideration or lack of consideration for Governor Romney,” he said. “I think it should never be a consideration and I know he will be judged on his record. He’s a fine and decent man and a family man.”

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Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN


    McCain's MOTHER – she has to seriously be older than god.

    Look...everyone knows how rooted older people can be in their beliefs – – Especially if they are bigots, which she clearly is. Here's an idea – why don't we just leave religion OUT of the political discourse in this country? Loads of people claim to be religious, but this does NOT mean that they are MORAL or ETHICAL. As someone who adheres to no religion, it really irks me when I see people in public office use someone's choice of religion (or lack thereof) against them. I'm no Romney fan, but fergawdsake people the fact that he is not in the same branch of Christianity that McCain is in has NOTHING TO DO with his ability to be president.

    November 9, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |

    Reminds me of that sing in my local bar that says "credit will only be given to those over 70 who brings his mother"
    McCain should not have done this. Does not help him with the "afe" thing. Makes him look like a (old) mama's boy. But still, God bless her.

    November 9, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  3. GeorgeK, LA CA

    John, you are old enough now to conduct an interview without your mother. Besides, the older folks do sometimes tend toward cynicism which doesn't promote your candidacy. So, maybe she should not be invited to the next one, even if her comments about Mitt are correct.

    November 9, 2007 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  4. Keri Alaska, Tucson, AZ

    Mrs. McCain is straightforward and honest, she won't backpedal on her views. This is what 95 years of life will teach you. Very admirable.

    November 9, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    I think the whole report was funny! Way to go CNN!

    November 9, 2007 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. will, Norfolk Virginia

    Through the damage control, you can still tell that is one bigoted family. O well, can't blame old people for their prejudices, it was a "different time," right??

    November 9, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. Todd, Las Vegas

    McCain's resorted to having his Mommy do the dirty work. I am not positive but I am pretty sure that not everyone in Salt Lake City is Mormon. So to say the Mormons of Salt Lake caused the scandal is most likely another uneducated assumption.

    November 10, 2007 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  8. zack, nj

    LOL! I saw that interview and saw him make that face. That was pretty funny actually!

    November 10, 2007 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  9. Smiling in Canada

    Mama knows best! God Bless her.

    November 10, 2007 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  10. Matt, Winston Salem, NC

    Ahhhh I can just smell the seething religious intolerance.

    November 10, 2007 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  11. Ashley, Santa Rosa, CA

    thats pretty funny!..I'll bet McCain was a little uncomfortable

    November 10, 2007 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  12. Trevor Wickens, Kingwood, TX

    Mrs. McCain should get her facts straight, Mormons did not have anything to do with SLC Olympic scandals. But I would still like to see Mrs. McCain vs. Mrs. Romney in a debate sometime!

    November 10, 2007 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  13. Bryan, Firestone CO

    What a sour-puss. Come on. You're asked to comment on a guy's experience, and you choose to make a connection between him and the people you think are at fault? The question wasn't "whose fault was the scandal?" Sheesh lady. If Chris Matthews were to interview Romney's Mom, and ask about McCain's experience, would you want her to say, "You know Chris – he's a Congressman, and Congress is corrupt and scandalous and is responsible for countless problems in America". Is it relevant? Do you blame McCain for the faults of Congress, and does that become a political monkey McCain has to wear on his back? Do you blame Romney for other people's faults? Get a clue. I'm sure you can stick up for your son in some other more tasteful way. Obviously he wished you'd stayed home to watch re-runs of the Golden Girls or something. Romney fixed the Olympics. Who cares whose fault it was.

    Kudos for the Senator for saying something positive and trying to distance himself. Had he not, that would be pretty cheap and completely tasteless, just like his Mom's comments.

    November 10, 2007 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  14. Al Winston, Antioch, CA

    proves ignorance is not limited by race, religion, nationality or economic standing!

    November 10, 2007 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  15. godzfavorite, New York, NY

    McCain's mom is still alive? WOW!

    November 10, 2007 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  16. Marie Daniels, Huntsville, AL

    I laughed during the interview because just as children can be truthful about how they feel without any filtering so can the eldery. Her comments didn't take away from McCain's campaign, but his future interviews might be more effective without her direct involvement.

    November 10, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  17. DF , Canada

    Fine...but what does his GRANDMOTHER think?

    November 10, 2007 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  18. Max, Boston, MA

    Wow. Campaigning with his son at 95? One thing I gotta credit the McCain family for is that they are tough.

    November 10, 2007 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  19. Wesley Las Vegas, Nevada

    I like the purple tint in her hair.

    November 10, 2007 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  20. SLOC Committee

    I *am* a Mormon and thought this was hilarious. I'd love to have seen it live.

    November 10, 2007 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  21. random

    mama's boy
    she's like ann coulter...who in my view if she died, ppl wouldn't care and would LOL. ROFLCOPTERBEANS

    November 10, 2007 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  22. Mohammad, LA CA

    hmmm I thought McCain himself was 95, LOL!

    That guy is too old to be president, he always looks like he should be in a retirment home especially when he speaks.

    November 10, 2007 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  23. Pix, Murfreesboro, Tn

    Um.. you know...the longer I look at this picture, the more Mrs. McCain looks like Zell Miller in a church lady wig.

    November 10, 2007 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  24. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    CNN. You promote bigotry in the form of anti-Mormonism. If it was about gays or blacks you would censure immediately. The fact that you promote this kind of stuff shows where you are at as a media organization.

    November 10, 2007 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  25. jw, canadian,ok

    OMG – that is so funny. God bless Roberta McCain. Be very careful what you ask a 95 year old person, you might get the truth.

    November 10, 2007 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
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