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. Ryan, Hillsdale MI

    McCain's mom might be older than Mormonism itself.

    November 10, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Shelli, Springfield, VA

    Quote: "Mormonism is a cult which defies the imagination." -Posted By WER, Elk River, MN

    Yes...come on over and join us! We have cookies!!

    November 10, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Justin Kiggins, Philadelphia, PA

    A few mormons in Salt Lake caused the scandal. As stated she arrogantly and wronlgy implied every mormon in Salt Lake City caused the scandal. McCain distanced himself because a lot of voters in his home state are mormon and they stick together. She's doing the same thing many people have done to muslims or catholic priests. One priest is a molester therefore all priests must be molesters, which is faulty and incorrect logic. If we have a first amendment that gives us freedom of religion and our society is suppose to be tolerant, what difference does it make if Romney is a mormon or not. The question should be is he qualified or not? That is something that people need to decide for themselves; whether he is qualified or not qualified to lead this country.

    November 10, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. pv - Raleigh, NC

    He's wearing the dirty, stinkin' underwear, isn't he?

    go read about Mormonism and quit pretending that it's anything like Christianity.

    fool yourselves, if you please.

    November 10, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    If you religious people can't handle the ridicule of your religion,especially coming from another religion,you're never going to make it through the next decade or two when ALL religion will be deemed "intellectually lazy" and a result of a brain dis-order. But I guess the fact that the Catholic church only officially acknowledged that the earth was round in 1999 doesn't bother you either.

    November 10, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |

    Mrs Roberta McCain is an admirable woman. I hope that I can be as strong and feisty when I'm 95. It is easy to see now where John got his tenacious genes from. Her comments are notwithstanding, she has a right to express her opinion.

    November 10, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Keith Jarrell, Washington DC

    Momma McCain, you are fierce!
    John McCain is one of the best and most qualified to lead this country.
    We should all get behind him and help make it happen.
    This man has a heart. He's honest, and devoted to the real concerns of America.
    He served this country like few have done and now deserves the highest office in the land, that of Office of the President of the United States, of America!

    November 10, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    This must be the funniest story and picture!....Finally, a little humor in this campaign!

    November 10, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. Alvis, Mullens, WV

    Wow - the prejudices are really coming out on this discussion. Gotta love QueenBee above, who slams McCain with the following accusation:

    "McCain slandered oriental folks by calling them 'Gooks' on a bus."

    Seriously? "Oriental"??? QueenBee, you and the Asian food aisle of Wal-Mart need to do a bit of reading. "Oriental" is not an acceptable term - hasn't been for quite some time. I'm just picturing your response to the Michael Richards situation: "He called some colored folks the n-word."

    If you're going to bash others for their prejudices, you better make sure you aren't spouting your own.

    November 10, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. JR, Houston, TX

    Scientology and Mormonism...cults that go hand in hand!

    November 10, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. Grew up in Utah, know all about it..., Seattle, WA

    Look there is plenty of truth in the dirt about Mormons. I could write an encyclopedia. You shouldn't be sorry worried about Romney. There are plenty of the them in the breast pocket of the White House right now. Why worry? Senator/ Future President McCain can handle it.

    November 10, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Jay, Kenosha, WI

    I know it is wrong of me to try to give anyone the benefit of doubt before labeling them a bigot but take the following statement: "Muslims destroyed the World Trade Center and Muslims should clean up their act." Although this is a poor choice of words, it would be wrong for anyone to assume that I am blaming all Muslims for the attack, instead it should be interpreted as a plea for Muslims to police themselves.

    Politics is a dirty business John, bad idea to put your mother in front of the wolves.

    November 10, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. Joe Shepard, Spring Lake North Carolina

    Who cares if he is a Mormon, or Catholic, or Jew, or whatever. In this or anyother election, a person's religion has no bearing whatsoever. I well remember the comments made about John Kennedy when he was running for president. Religion is one thing–a person's qualifications are something else entirely different.

    November 10, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  14. Ryan R., Chicago IL

    FUNNY! Does this picture remind anyone else of Norman Bates and his mother?

    And for WER, Elk River who said:

    –"I have to shake my head at those who want to look past Mitt Romney’s religious beliefs as it relates to a Presidential election. In the case of Mitt Romney, it's impossible to separate the man from his core beliefs. And those same core beliefs will shape his political decisions in the future."–

    Did it occur to you that Harry Reid, the Senate Majority leader for the DEMOCRATES is Mormon? His views are probably opposite of Romney's, yet they are members of the same religion. How can your statement be true that their religion is dictating their political views when their views are so different? Maybe you're just showing your naivete.

    November 10, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. Jared, Nashville, Tennessee

    Someone needs to put this up on youtube.

    November 11, 2007 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  16. magliovelli, Menlo Park CA

    The scarey thing is, McCain is increasingly as scenile, demented, and crazy as his mother. Is she where America wants to be in eight years?!

    November 11, 2007 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  17. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    Wow! A stunning insite to what is undoubtedly spoken behind closed doors. Granted, she is a 95 year-old mom. However, it is a Freudian bomb. As the old adage goes, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
    It's interesting to note how strangely similar anti-Mormonism is akin to anti-Semitism.

    November 11, 2007 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  18. A Supporter for Ron Paul.

    Well then why would he have his mother on to say these things?

    November 11, 2007 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  19. Chris, Pensacola FL

    That picture just looks creepy. John, I used to like you and still do. But we all know there hasn't been a bald president since TV.

    November 11, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  20. Rick, Washington DC

    Well at least this time McCain has brought is this relic to spout bigoted slurs. Remember the apple and the tree...sound like that apple hasn't even fallen yet.

    Really..."raised his eyebrows and flashed a polite grin during her comments"

    Does he think that just because that old bag said it he is not complicit...please.

    November 11, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Alex, Charleston, SC

    Haha! Aren't there like 11 million Mormons? So just because a few Mormons caused the scandal, it means that Mitt Romney showed amazing leadership skills by saving the Olympics?

    Mrs. McCain comes from a generation of bigotry and ignorance. Hell, I don't think my Southern Baptist grandmother would even vote if it came between a Mormon and say, a woman or a black man. I'm from South Carolina, and I like Mitt Romney. I'm young enough to know that his character and stand on the issues is more important than the way he worships Jesus.

    Go Mitt 2008.

    November 12, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  22. juliette, also mormon (scandalous!) in frederick

    Re: Shelli in Springfield

    "Yes…come on over and join us! We have cookies!!"

    If you were in the same room with me, Shelli, I'd give you a hug. 🙂

    November 12, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. CWA - Vail, CO

    Norman!! Norman!! Who's that girl, Norman??

    (Cut to McCain looking over his shoulder to a large, creepy house on the hill).

    November 12, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. Trevor Wickens, Kingwood, TX

    what did the people of Salt Lake have to do with the Olympic Committee (Europeans and Africans) demanding favors and bribes to choose SLC for the olympics? Someone in SLC paid the favors...just like past Olympics. Mitt set it straight and cleaned up the olympic act. As for the McCains, ignorance used to be bliss….but not anymore!

    November 12, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Rachel

    it's no wonder he's smoothing things over! there's lots of mormons in AZ his homestate... i'm suprised she'd say that

    November 12, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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