December 5th, 2007
07:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Huckabee won't give thoughts on Mormonism

Huckabee refused to give his thoughts on Mormonism Tuesday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Mike Huckabee has evangelicals to thank for helping him surge in the polls and in Iowa, Mitt Romney is his chief rival for those votes.

Still, the former Baptist preacher is trying to steer clear any comments about Romney’s religious beliefs that might help him gain support among those voters, some of whom believe that the Mormon faith is a cult.

Huckabee has refused to say whether he shares that belief.

“I’m just not going to go around evaluating other people’s doctrine and faiths, that is absolutely not a role for a president to engage in,” Huckabee told CNN.

The former Arkansas governor held an event at his Iowa headquarters Tuesday where he accepted the endorsement of some three dozen of the state’s religious leaders. He is currently running an Iowa campaign ad on the importance of faith in his life.

But he’s avoided taking advantage of widespread evangelical suspicion of Mormonism, saying he’s “not going to be critical of other candidates.”

“We ought to be talking about education and health care and energy independence and all these other things,” said Huckabee. “And for me to discuss anybody’s faith, whether it’s Mitt Romney’s or John McCain’s or Rudy Giuliani’s or Hillary Clinton’s – other than to say I want to have great respect for anyone else’s belief system – it’s theirs to explain, not mine.”

When asked by another reporter for his views, as a Baptist minister, of the Mormon faith, he responded: “I am running for president – and if I’m invited to be the president of the theological school, that will be a perfectly appropriate question. But to be the president of the United States, I don’t know that that will be the most important issue I’ll be facing when I’m sworn in.”

- CNN’s Dana Bash

Filed under: Iowa • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. DKB, LA, CA

    You attract more bees with honey than vinagar!! Good choice! Stick with what you know and you can't get burned.

    December 5, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Mick, Calgary

    People who are making an issue of Mitt's religion are no different than Muslim fundamentalists. These people think they know everything and how everyone should live. This comes from fear in their hearts that they really don't believe themselves. Huckabee is a true believer so he does not need to convince and force the world that his religion is right.

    December 5, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. H.B. NY

    Is this how he'll handle uncomfortable questions as President? Pathetic.

    December 5, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    I'm sure Huckabee would have no problem evaluating if the other person were Islamic, Buddist, or, horror of horrors, an athiest. This guy nothing more than another lying republican.

    December 5, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. PS, KC, MO

    Failing to attack someone's religion in a country where freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution? Imagine that. Good for him.
    I would take issue with Mr. Mayrson. I think the idea that we need to know a candidate's religious beliefs is out-of-bounds. We're not electing a Pope, an Archbishop or even a deacon. We're electing a President. His religion is not in question. His stand on the issues is. If I were running for office, I would categorically refuse to disclose my religious preferences and I would avoid places of worship to keep people wondering.

    December 5, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Democrat in Idaho

    As Americans we have the right to choose what we want to believe in. Romney is no exception to this rule. I find it honorable of Huckabee to keep his mouth shut about what he thinks about someone else's religion. Politics and religion don't mix PERIOD!

    December 5, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Blair-Beachwood, NJ

    "As Americans we have the right to choose what we want to believe in. Romney is no exception to this rule. I find it honorable of Huckabee to keep his mouth shut about what he thinks about someone else's religion. Politics and religion don't mix PERIOD!"

    Don't kid yourself. Politics and religion have been mixing for a while now. If Huckabee is an Evangelical, then it's clear what he really believes about Mormonism whether he's stating it publically or not at this time.

    December 5, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. JC, St. Louis

    A Baptist would rather say nothing at all when it comes to "evaluating" Mormons in a positive light. Now what would you expect to hear from Huckabee, a Baptist minister concerning Mormons? Nothing good will come from Huckabee if he speaks the blind hatred that the Baptists "teach" about Mormons. I guess when the Baptists don't have any new material or revelation to teach they have to criticize those that do.

    December 5, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Huck Sucks Arkansas

    did Hillary answer that? or did she loan out her speach writers/campaign advisers. That sounded exactly like what Clinton would say.

    December 5, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Steve in SC


    You may want to get a refund from that mind reading class!


    I have to give you credit. At least your hatred is consistent!

    December 5, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. Ryan Indianapolis

    I will...Mormonism is a has nothing to do with Christianity...It is really sad that other people can not be real and face the facts. Does this make Mormons bad people??Absolutely not but it is not a form of Christianity.

    December 5, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. Bonnie L., Duluth, MN

    Judge not lest ye be judged. Atta boy, Mike!

    December 5, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. Harold Reynolds

    If Mr Huckabe follows the Southern Baptist Convention, he does believe the Mormanism is a Cult. It is taugt in all Baptist Churches, because I am a Southern Baptist and I've it preached many times.

    December 5, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    But you know what's really sad, that people are trying to find comfort at all from any form of organized religion. I mean they come right out and tell you to join the flock. The flock? Sheep, geese, and pigeons flock. Quit looking for imaginary men in the sky to solve all of your problems. When you die, you die, just like everything else. Why do have to be told different just to feel inclined to live a structured and moral life, we are naturally hard wired as communal animals. The very world that gave you life is only transitional? These contemptuous views only hurt the future generations that have to clean up our "transitional journeys". Whether your an Islamist, a Jesuit, or whoever, if you clings so blindly to a belief system that it controls, and manipulates all of you so collectively and evidently, it is in my opinion, unhealthy for the rest of society. We need to wake up and start thinking for ourselves, because when animals flock together blindly, its easier to control collectively. Why would God give you free will so you could hang blindly from another mans words. Blind faith brings suicide bombers and Inquisitions. How devout are you willing to be? Would you stone a witch? What's a witch? Is it an agent of the Devil. Is an agent of the devil anyone that disagrees with your point of view or chooses to life a different lifestyle. Not trying to change anyones mind on religion. Thought maybe someone could challenge my thinking.

    December 5, 2007 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  15. Steve Blaine Washington

    CNB is more anti Mormon than the Christian Right ever thought of being.

    December 5, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. lackattack

    I appreciated Huckabee's stance on this and other lightening-rod issues. The president of the United States is the president of all citizens. For him to come out with a position on Mormons could communicate that he is anti-Mormon.

    The bottom line is that if he is a former Baptist minister, he takes issue with Mormon teaching. But as president, he has to choose his issues.

    Education, the war, the cost of energy, mortgage rates, debt . . . those are the issues I hope he speaks out about.

    December 5, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  17. Brian, sandy, UT

    "If Mr Huckabe follows the Southern Baptist Convention, he does believe the Mormanism is a Cult. It is taugt in all Baptist Churches, because I am a Southern Baptist and I've it preached many times."

    WOW! This speaks for itself! I wonder why so many think that Mormon's aren't Christian! They have been preached it! I say let them decide for themselves, and actually learn from the source if they want to know. I don't go to a catholic to ask what the baptists believe in, I ask a baptist.

    December 5, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |


    December 5, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. Charles in Salt Lake City, UT

    Not just a wise choice, but the only proper choice for any candidate to make. The quirks of Romney's religion should be a matter of concern to be discussed among voters who feel it is relevant, but no person with a vested interest in the outcome of this contest should become involved or take a public stance on such a personal matter.

    That said, people need to become aware that most orthodox, denominational Christians today would consider Mormonism to be "Christian" to the same degree that Mormonism itself considers all other organized denominations to be acceptable before God.

    All of them. All Catholics, all Protestants, Judaism, Islam, etc. Every single one…

    The response of non-Mormon believers to Mormon teachings is simply an honest reaction to what has been dealt to them.

    December 5, 2007 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  20. log, vienna

    Such hypocrasy.

    Why should Romney's past experience as an LDS bishop be regarded any different at Huckabee's being a preacher?

    And who gives evangelical baptists or any other denomination the right to decide if another religion is 'christian' or not?

    If you don't like Romney's platforms, if you don't think he would be a good president, FINE, don't vote for him. But it is incredibly rude and degrading to say that he is incapable because of his religion. Grow up.

    December 6, 2007 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  21. Alex Chicago

    First of all, those who think Mormonism is a cult or even non-christian are sadly and wholly ignorant on the subject and should keep their opinions to themselves until they have a better understanding of what they're talking about. We should all applaud Huckabee for doing just that. He is completely correct to let politics be the topic of public interest instead of slinging misinformation about other faiths around.

    Posted By Sandra, Elk Grove, CA : December 5, 2007 11:00 am

    Sorry Sandra but you are the misinformed or ignorant one. Mormonism is a cult, it is no form of Christianity whatsoever, please do some research before posting your POLITCALLY CORRECT post. You have no clue what you are talking about and your leftist veiw is naive and foolish.

    December 6, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Jimmy San Diego

    Uhh, wrong!
    And to belabor the obvious, any religion that claims Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is a Christian religion. Inform yourself moron.

    Posted By Randy S. Lawton, OK : December 5, 2007 10:58 am

    Hey Moron they dont believe in the same Jesus christ that regular christians believe in,,,,please people be educated if you are going to post on here...most of these leftist people on here have no clue what they are talking about and most are Atheisist who dont even believe in Christ.

    December 6, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. David Columbus, OH

    Screw Christ. All "it" does is cause problems.

    December 7, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. hogwild, Little Rock, Arkansas

    The worst thing about Huckabee's comments on Mormonism is that he is not telling the truth when he said in a recent television interview that he "doesn't know enough about Mormonism" to say whether it is a cult. I'm sure the churches he served as pastor in Arkansas would be surprised to know that he was that unlearned about something upon which Baptists have a clearly stated position. Either he was lying to them (Baptists) then or lying to America now. Just more of that Arkansas "what the meaning of is – is."

    December 11, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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