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. Idahoan

    What does this mean?
    "And to clean that up, it's not a subject."

    It seems to show how far from clear thinking she really is.

    November 10, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  2. Karen,ny

    My God, now he has his mother involved and they don't even share the same views. This is unbelievable. He is so funny. What a character. Romney better watch out because she looks very mean and domineering.

    November 10, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  3. Rick McCain, North Carolina

    This is the first political thing I read that I felt like the person was being honest in what they were saying, even if I dont agree.
    Mrs. McCain has my vote.

    November 10, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  4. Kelly C

    I have a big interview next week for a promotion that will almost double my salary and give me a corner office with a super-fine assistant. I think I will take my mom with me...

    What the hell?

    I say, why doesn't she run? She would be great, she was probably around when the country was founded, she should know how it works.

    November 10, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. Wayne, Greenville TX

    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.

    Posted By Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN : November 9, 2007 9:50 pm

    Exactly. Neither one deserves consideration for the office.

    November 10, 2007 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  6. EC from DC

    Everything I know about Mormonism I learned from South Park.

    November 10, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Blake

    Amazing to see such candid bigotry.

    November 10, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. JM, Fort Lauderdale, Fl

    I had to laugh. Great material for Jay Leno or David Letterman, though. They should get going and pick through CNN for some other amusing tidbits.

    November 10, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Steve Blaine Washington

    Only about thirty percent of the people were Mormon when I lived in Salt lake City about 10 years ago. It may even be less today. Outside of Salt Lake City it is closer to 95 % or even 100% in some areas.

    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.

    Posted By Todd, Las Vegas : November 10, 2007 12:02 am

    November 10, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Pixie from Murfreesboro, TN-

    I couldn't have said it better!

    As for the situation, I think we've all experienced an "ooh..Mom!" moment of embarrassment in our lives. If anything, maybe he had her on to show that living long runs in his genes so people don't worry too much about his age?

    November 10, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. Tim, Tyler, TX

    what did the people of Salt Lake have to do with the Olympic Committee demanding favors and bribes to choose SLC for the olympics? Ignorance used to be bliss....but not anymore!

    November 10, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    There is a difference between sticking with your views and being a bigot.

    She is being a bigot, and an uneducated one at that. You cannot blame what happened with the 2002 games on the man who was appointed AFTER the scandal, nor on a religious group that probably had no hand in the affair. Her comments are hateful and uneducated, even to an Agnostic like myself.

    My advice to Ms. McCain: Stay out of your son's compaign, and do your research next time. He is a big boy now, he doesn't need your help.

    November 10, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. Mary, NYC

    What a strange little family.

    November 10, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Bike, Farmington, UT

    I like the cut of her jib. I'm voting for her as a write-in. Now, if she'll just kick GWB in the nuts too.

    November 10, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Karen,ny

    That picture is truly awful. She looks like she is evil and he is afraid of her. Now people can see why he talks so low and slow. I like John, but I don't like that mean evil looking woman. I have never seen such an ugly picture in my life! When she dies he should burn all his pictures.

    November 10, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. J. Williams, Baltimore, MD

    Someone who commented earlier said it was "admirable" that she didn't backpedal. Yeah, very admirable to be an unforgiving bigot. Seriously. McCain's mom may have just given the soundbite that really puts the nail in the coffin, for his election.

    November 10, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. Brad, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    It's amazing that even in the 21st century mormon bashing and religious persecution continues.

    November 10, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Lori, Houston Texas

    LOL! McCain brought momma along on the interview to show America he's not too old to be President, as he's been accused. As a result, he got exactly what he deserved. You can't control what a 95 yr old momma will say! Too funny, indeed!

    November 10, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Blayze Kohime, Columbus OH

    As if other forms of Christianity have never had scandals ever. As if all religions haven't had scandals of some kind or another.
    This sort of prejudice is idiotic.

    November 10, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Jay, Kenosha, WI

    CNN's headline is misleading. Mrs. McCain is not taking on Romney's Mormonism but his connection to the scandal. Mrs. McCain's comment was wrong to use religion to make the connection, but CNN is also wrong to say she's going after his religion.

    November 10, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Kathy, Los Angeles

    Who cares?! His mothers views are exactly that – hers. Does not mean he agrees with her. And religious beliefs have no place in politics, they are personal! Look where a good Christian president has us now!

    November 10, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Scott Detroit, MI

    Mormon's belief system came from a talking hat, look it up. Nuff said. The old girl is right, Mormon's are a mess.

    November 10, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Jeff from Jersey

    Who's going to be the whitehouse babysitter if McCain wins and mommy the mummy is skiing in Utah with the Osmonds?

    For the FOX idiots out there,CNN is NOT promoting bigotry.That is strickly FOX NEWS territory.

    November 10, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. THOMAS BILLIS las vegas nv

    Mrs McCain comes from a generation that would have been aware that Mitt Romney's grandfater was a polygamist and that would annoy her.Sure he is against polygamy now but he was against or for a lot of things before he changed his mind.

    November 10, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. jay, Salt Lake City, UT

    Sorry to see that if the story is about Mormons it is nothing more than a funny side note. If his mother had made bigoted comments about Jews or blacks, his campaign would now be reeling.

    November 10, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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