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. Barry

    People do need to understand Romney's Mormon faith in order to understand the complete man. Women in particular need to understand what the Mormon faith thinks of them. Would women support him if they knew the facts regarding the ONLY WAY a woman can reach the celestial (highest) level of heaven in Mormon theology. Ummmm....no.

    December 12, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Joseph, Grand Rapids, MI

    Huckabee thinks that because he is an ordained minister that he some how is the expert on religion. He is clearly trying to make this a religous battle as it relates to the Mormon faith. Someone needs to remind "Huckabee" that he is running for President, and not for God. At least Romney understands the difference. It is ok to be a person of strong faith, but with all due respect haven't we had enough story telling from Huckabee? He has a heartfelt story for everything. He stands zero chance aganist the Democrats and frankly his record isn't that great either. Come on IOWA, Romney is the real deal. Romney has my vote.

    December 12, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. J.E., Nampa ID

    What's the controversy here? The answer to Huckabee's question is "yes." C'mon, CNN, do your job. If you do manage to dig a little deeper, you'd realize his question was not ludicrous at all. If you're going to report on the comment, you ought to report on Romney's dishonesty in calling it an attack. Ask a bishop - Jesus' and Satan's brotherhood is in LDS theology.

    December 12, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Pat

    Huckabee has a theology degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his undergraduate degree from Ouachita Baptist Bible College – and he "doesn't know much" about the Mormon religion? What else don't they teach about at those schools?

    December 12, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Norotye New Bern, NC

    Just proves he may be behind the puch polls, i dont think his lead will last long once people hear of this mess he has said, even people who don't know that much about mormons dont belive that.

    December 12, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Christen

    Attack away. I just left the mormon church last week and cannot believe the how brainwashed I was. America DOES NOT need a mormon President. Ask him about his "magic underwear" or about JS and his 24-33 wives (24 listed at familysearch.org, the churches website) or about the temple ceremony or how about the fact the family is so important as long as they are mormon. how moms cannot see their kids get married b/c they are not mormon. Or how missionaries at age 19 go away for two years and have to pay to do so and on top of that are not allowed to speak to their family for 2 years! (Except for on xmas and moms day, I guess dads are not important). Or about Gordon B. Hinckleys (Romneys Prophet) said that unwed moms were not LDS were to be encouraged my church members to give their babies up for adoption to LDS family Services so they can be in a mormon home. Or how about all the Racism in the church 30+ years ago that is covered up today, not even to mention polygamy. If one of warren jeffs followers was a running canidate ppl would be all over it. Yet, Romney is in one of the biggest brainwashing cults in the world and everyone is okay with that?

    December 12, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. ETM, Springfield, VA

    How unfortunate that our national destiny is being shaped by arguments over mythologies about an unknowable and probably nonexistent deity.

    It was nice when we had separation of Church and State and expected our leaders to make reasoned judgments sans superstition.

    December 12, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Joe, Indianapolis, Indiana

    I am a religious person, but I think Huckabee is putting a black mark on religion by manipulating it for his advantage. He says religion defines him, but he wont define religion itself, instead, offering vague quips about this and that...just to incite hatred of other religions.

    December 12, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. Mel, Orlando FLL

    For Pete's sake – give it a rest! If you ask stupid questions you get stupid answers. To press another candidate to comment on another candidate's religion is school yard gossip mongering. Get a life.

    December 12, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Anthony, Texas

    I love his response about making a God Speech! Why do we care what he thinks about Mormons and concentrate on the issues that face our great nation.

    December 12, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Kevin, Kansas City

    I don't see anything wrong with what he said. Mormons DO claim Jesus is Satan's brother. Biblical Christianity doesn't. That belief, along with a host of others, including their views of the Trinity being three separate gods, points to them being a cult.

    December 12, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. michaelindc

    Could you please post the statement on Huckabee's website related to this issue. The quote that is the subject of this post is taken way out of context and I am sick of the media finding ways to condemn this man because of his faith.

    December 12, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. Anna

    I don't really care about Mike Huckabee, but he was right. The Mormons believe Jesus and the devil are brothers, and a lot of other trippy things, like someday we can all become gods. I believe religion has everything to do with a canidate, especially if its important to them. We need to be careful who we pick.

    December 12, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. Heather Paris, France

    Mormon theology is very different and in many places drastically opposing Christian doctrine.

    Romeny is obviously an honorable man – but that doesn't make him a 'Christian'. Call him what he is. People are trying to make mormonism mainstream to wash over the conservative gop base.

    He can be endorsed without endorsing mormonsim.

    December 12, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Stephanie, Columbus, OH

    Huckabee needs to get facts about the LDS faith or shut up. He can go to LDS.org and find out for himself. He's running for president, not preacher.

    December 12, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Huckabee, of ALL the Candidates, should KNOW about Mormonism. If Huckabee really is an Ordained Baptist Minister, then he should be aware of and know the Doctrine of other religions. SHAME ON YOU, HUCKABEE, and your reported GREED!. Your comment was LOW, MEAN-SPIRITED and STUPID. NO EXCUSE.

    December 12, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. LEW HEGE NORLINA, NC

    It doesn't matter what either Huckabee or Romney say. Neither has a realistic chance to be president. Huckabee is more of the tired old George Bush mantra, and Romney makes 'Slick Willie' look downright genuine.

    December 12, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Humpty Dumpty

    I think someone needs to ask Romney if Mormonism theology supports the idea that Jesus and Satan were brothers. After that he can tell me why Mormon women have to wear special underwear with some kind of special symbols on them. Oh yeah, and why is it that if you are not a Mormon and your daughter is a Mormon, then they will not allow you to attend the wedding.

    December 12, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. john, Des Moines, IA

    Huckabee is just another fast talking, hypacritical politician. What a jerk for insulting millions of Mormons throughout the US, and the world. Are people really taking this guy seriously?

    December 12, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Burley Mitchell, Raleigh, NC

    Did anyone have the journalistic curiosity to ask what the answer to Huckabee's question is? It might be worth knowing.

    December 12, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. Raman, Plano TX

    Our leaders and voters are suing religion as a tool to get into white house.

    Judging by some comments on this political ticker, some of the respondent are seemingly fanatics.

    How how are these leaders and people different from Islamic fundamentalist and jihadhist?

    Is it not a shame that on one hand US defense forces are fighting an endless war in Iraq and Afghanistan and Iran to stem Islamic religious fanatics, while on the other we have leaders like Mike Huckabee, Bushy who are hell bent on exploiting religious sentiments of people to achieve their own narrow and mean ends.

    December 12, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Raman, Plano TX

    Our leaders and voters are using religion as a tool to get into white house.

    Judging by some comments on this political ticker, some of the respondent are seemingly fanatics.

    How are these leaders and people different from Islamic fundamentalist and jihadhist?

    Is it not a shame that on one hand US defense forces are fighting an endless war in Iraq and Afghanistan and Iran to stem Islamic religious fanatics, while on the other we have leaders like Mike Huckabee, Bushy who are hell bent on exploiting religious sentiments of people to achieve their own narrow and mean ends.

    December 12, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Karen, Little Rock, AR

    As an Arkansas resident, I sincerely hope that this man NEVER makes it to the White House. Putting aside his constant holier-than-thou attitude, his chronic case of 'foot in mouth disease' could prove fatal in foreign relations.

    December 12, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. Voltaire Enlightenment, Middle America

    What an absurd argument. I wonder what relevance Zeus of Poseidon will turn out to be this coming election. I need a candidate steeped in antiquated myth. Preferably one that doesn’t believe in evolution too!

    December 12, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Lars, DC

    Huckabee needs to value the LDS vote a little better to be a viable candidate in the primaries and genreal election. Utah, Idaho and Arizona are important states that Repblicans rely on, but I think it would not be easy for Huckabee to win them if he is antimormon. Huck needs to leave religion alone and start talking about how he could lead the country.

    December 12, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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