December 12th, 2007
09:40 AM ET
12 years ago

Huckabee takes fire for Mormon comment

Huckabee is taking heat for his comments on Mormonism.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee is facing fire Wednesday for comments he makes in an upcoming New York Times Magazine article that appear to disparage the Mormon faith.

In the article, a preview of which is posted on the New York Times Web site, the former Arkansas governor is quoted as asking, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

The comment came after New York Times reporter Zev Chafets asked Huckabee point-blank whether he thought Mormonism was a religion or a cult. Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, said he thought it was the former, but conceded he doesn't "know much about it."

Speaking on NBC's Today Show, rival candidate Mitt Romney - himself a Mormon - said, "I think attacking someone's religion is really going too far. It's not the American way."

In a statement released late Tuesday night, Huckabee's campaign said the candidate was taken out of context in the New York Times article and was not bashing the religion but instead was "illustrating his unwillingness to answer questions about Mormonism and to avoid addressing theological questions during this campaign."

"Gov. Huckabee has said consistently that he believes this campaign should center on a discussion of the important issues confronting our nation, and not focus on questions of religious belief," Dr. Charmaine Yoest, a senior advisor to the campaign said in a statement. "He wants to assure persons of all faith traditions of his firm commitment to religious tolerance and freedom of worship."

Full story

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. anonymous, Huntsville, AL

    not a very Christian attitude. Too bad, I had hopes for Mr. Huckabee before now.

    December 12, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Justin, Indianapolis, IN

    I don't understand how evangelical Christians, who believe that God created the earth in 6 days, that a virgin conceived and gave birth, and that a man who was dead 3 days rose from the grave, have any room to criticize whatever it is Romney and Mormons believe. Notice that the Dems aren't saying anything about Huckabee because they want him to be the Republican candidate. Why? Because he'll get slaughtered in the general election.

    December 12, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Robert S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    I hope the Republican Evangelical Jesus Wars keep them out of the White House.

    December 12, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Jose, Miami FL

    BlueGoose: Yes, you are right Christians do not say hateful things. Is it putting out there the truth about any religion hateful? Are the Mormons liable for what they believe? I don't think that by saying it is hateful speech.

    December 12, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. David McVicker, Columbis, Ohio

    I think it's funny that people get "offended" when their religon is "attacked". Mormons do believe that Jesus is the brother of Satan, it says so right in their scripture, so why do they cower when people bring up the subject? If they really believe it to be the truth, then why should they be ashamed of it? And if they are ashamed of it, then why do they continue believing in Mormonism? Anyone who deliberalty chooses to follow something they believe is a lie is, well..., an idiot.

    I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, and I am certianly not ashamed to have that belief. If I was running for President I wouldn't side-step the issue, and would certianly take the time to answer any criticism about my beliefs. I would also not view and anti-Christian comment as offensive, but rather as an opportunity.

    If you find it offensive when someone criticizes your beliefs, then you probably don't actually believe it is the truth. At least if Romney would stand-up for what he believes he could get some points for consistency, but if he hides at the first sign of criticism, how could anyone justify voting for someone like that?

    December 12, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. Chris NY,NY

    Can a real LDS member please explain what magic underwear is or if it even is a real thing in LDS. And also please explain Jesus and Kolob? Is that a real thing or are people just trying to make LDS look weird?

    December 12, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "Gov. Huckabee has said consistently that he believes this campaign should center on a discussion of the important issues confronting our nation, and not focus on questions of religious belief,"

    A baldface lie. Mr. "I'm the Christian candidate" envisions a theocracy for the U.S. The idiot doesn't even believe in evolution, which means he's anti-science.

    The Know-Nothings as a political movement died in the mid-1800s.

    December 12, 2007 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Lindsy, Billing Montana

    Mormon's aren't a cult. This is so dumb, get over it. My best friend is mormon and is a gret person. Focus on the type of person, not on the religion.

    December 12, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. cassy, farmington, mn

    bad move for huckabee!! i defiantly think he's going to lose a lot of votes for this one. i'm an ex-mormon myself and i have nothing but love for the religion.

    December 12, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Jeff, Dallas Texas

    The concerns over whether Mitt Romney can lead the nation without imposing his Mormon faith on US policy may still be a question for some people, but it is clear there is no question at all that Huckabee will indeed impose his religous beliefs and be critical of other religion. Has Romney critized anyone's beliefs? Has Hucakabee?

    December 12, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Rhonda, Dallas, TX

    He was asking a question! The fact is, I've read books written by former Mormons and they do believe that Satan and Jesus were brothers, among a lot of other things the average person doesn't know. Why not ask Mitt Romney that question and see what he says? He won't answer it, he'll just say it is attacking his religion. That's because it IS what they believe.

    December 12, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Mark San Antonio TX

    After reading all these comments I can understand now how a guy like George Bush got elected president. Only in America.

    December 12, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. lava, North Pole

    Steve, Landing, NJ:

    You said: "Huckabee would still probably make a better president than Romney."

    You probably know NOTHING about Romney and don't care to know anything. Very sad.

    December 12, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Maggie B, Ames, Iowa

    If our country is founded on the basis that there is to be an established freedom of expression and religion, and there is to be a distinct separation of church and state, then my question is this: Why would it matter what Mr.Romney believes if it has nothing to do with how he will run the country if elected president?

    December 12, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Ryan, Oakland, CA

    As a Mormon, let me explain our belief. We believe that we were all created by Heavenly Father, Including Christ and Lucifer. So we are all the sons and daughters of God and are brothers and sisters.

    But Mormons still get miffed when Evangelicals take this doctrine, look at one small piece of it and then claim that a principle doctrine of Mormonism is that Christ and Satan are brothers. Sure that can be inferred from other doctrines but its not like we go around in Church referring to Christ as "Satan's Brother" or vice-versa.

    It also implies that we think they're equal or somehow similar. This is not the case at all. As someone else said its equivalent to saying Ghandi and Hitler are spirit brothers. We believe they are, but that doesn't mean anything other than the technical fact that they were both created by God.

    December 12, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    First of all, anyone that would like to comment on this blog SHOULD READ COMMENTS posted by Erik, Austin TX – very insightful comment. Certain scriptures in the Bible cannot be taken literally, therefore, require intelligent interpretation like Erik's. Mr. Huckabee should be the first one to point this out since he is a theologian.

    Second, please stop generalizing that all "Christians are bigoted, small-minded, and wrong". As a Christian, I am offended by this.

    December 12, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Thomas williams,carson,calif

    Mike huckabee is right and mitt romney should get over it. The mormons say Jesus and Lucifer are brothers. well if you read the king James bible Lucifer became the devil when kicked out of heaven.

    December 12, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. Lorena, Lancaster CA

    After Huckabee's question was asked the press did quote an answer they received by talking to a Mormon church representative. She pointed out that this is frequently used to vilify the church not to clarify the doctorines. That's why it's seen as an attack even though it's essentially true.

    I don't buy Huckabee's argument that it was taken out of context. Why ask a question at all when you're being interviewed? I think he really was trying to stir something up. Even though it's just plain stupid. So, Mormons don't believe in the Trinity. Neither do Jews! So, would that mean he wouldn't vote for someone who's Jewish?

    December 12, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. David, Gilbert Arizona

    I have to chuckle after reading most of these posts. Some posters seem to think Huckabee is devisive and a bigot. Others think Huckabee's question is contrived to cause controversy. And yet others even ask why Huckabee would even discuss someone elses religion to begin with.

    What seems the most glaring omission by most posters is that the upcoming article is dripping with different religious topics ranging from the "Left Behind" books, Jerry Falwell, and the Book of Proverbs.

    It was the interviewer who brought up the subject of Mormonism. It was not Huckabee. If anyone was being controversial it would be the interviewer. Concidering the religious overtone of the article, the question Huckabee asked meshed very well. Huckabee stated he doesn't know much about Mormons and then asked a simple question, "don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

    I really like how some of the posters here seem to have some special crystal ball that lets them read the mind of Mike Huckabee and know beyond a doubt that he was being devisive. It might be that Mike was simply curious and asked a question.

    It doesn't surprise me that Mitt jumped on the question and spun it to come across as an attack when in fact there was no attack. How can you attack something by asking a valid question, one that is actually true? Can you attack a religion with the truth?

    December 12, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Jayson, Beale AFB, CA

    David,
    You spend your whole life being told by supposed Christians that you aren't a Christian because all the major Christians leaders said so and see if you don't get sick of all the crap that people can come up in regards to your faith. Bottom line is don't criticize members of a faith if you haven't walked a mile in their shoes.

    Anyways as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I could care less what any leader of any other church says about my church. The only people capable of telling me if I am a Christain would be God the Father and Jesus Christ. I absolutely get a kick out of all these people who think they have the right to judge whether or not I am a Christian. But that is human nature for yah, trying to fill in for God in judging.

    December 12, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Jeb, Austin, TX

    Commenters on this page are simply using this quote (which really isn't a big deal) as a platform to stand on and bash religion. If you have something to say that is meaningful and relevant than say it, but don't call Christians "close-minded" when all you can do is bash them for their religious beliefs or call them imaginary.

    That seems a little close-minded to me.

    December 12, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. David, Boise ID

    I'm a Mormon and the doctrinal statement is true and I'm not shying away from it. This article is a choppy piece that I don't fully trust. In reality, I don't believe Huckabee is trying to attack the Mormon religion but I also don't believe he doesn't know whether Mormons are a cult or not. That was a political line because most Bible schools southern baptists directly teach about the "Mormon Cult." For Romney, he's right on about religion and Huckabee agrees so he has nothing to add.

    In the end, Huckabbe is the first Republican candidate I would invite over for dinner but Romney is the first person I would want as my president.

    December 12, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Jewel New Orleans, LA

    Let me just say this, I do not understand why Mitt Romney's roll in the Mormon church is such a big deal. I do, understand why comments are being made. Now, I don't thing that Mr. Huckabee was trying to be hateful with the comment, but now is the most important time to seperate religion and the state. I think the main reason why Romney is not speaking up on the Mormon faith is because his faith should not over shadow the reason he is running and that is for a better America. Closing I should also say that I have not decided who is better for our country but someone's religion will not impact my decision!

    December 12, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Dwain Sims

    I think all American Politians should decalre that this country was built on Judea / Christen values and I don't think that there's anything wrong with that. Eastern Countries have no problem basing thier laws on thier Prominate religion, why should we?

    When our fore-fathers dictated separation of church and state, they were trying to ensure that religious influance would not dominate our government by the narrow views of clerics or others who would not be able to make decisions on indiviual freedoms regardless of personal beliefs without consulting a "Higher Authority" as was the case in England, Spain and France.

    It was not however meant to take "GOD" out of our lives or the values that we believe that come from "GOD". There will come a time when this country will have to decide on which of the World's religions our values hold closest to. At that time we will have to realize that it is because of our belief in The Christen "GOD" that we are tolerant of all others and without that belief we or any other nation can not truly be a melting pot.

    December 12, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Pejai, LA, CA

    What do you expect from a hypocrite.

    Ron Paul 2008.

    December 12, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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