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."

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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. David, Fort Worth, Texas

    The implications of the question is what is troubling. It is implying that Mormons put Jesus Christ and Satan on the same level. They do not. It is equivalent to asking "are Ghandi and Hitler both humans?" Technically, yes. But you are implying that similarities go far beyond that. Someone should turn the questions back on Huckabee and asks if he believes the Bible when it says that Satan is a fallen angel. Or better yet, leave religion out of politics.

    December 12, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Jovanna Stanley, Andalusia, Alabama

    He'll "throw in an offering and an altar call" for free airtime? Ick. If this is how he represents Christianity, how would he represent our country? Please God, that he doesn't get the chance.

    December 12, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Tim, Northern VA

    I'm curious to see how he looks in Iowa in new polls. I would imagine he has already peaked and is beginning his Dean-like collapse. There is more negative news about him as each day wears on.

    December 12, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. Jim P, Gardner, Ma

    Huckabee fanatical religious beliefs are just as bad as our Islamic enemy's. No one has the right to thrust their beliefs on others through legislation.

    December 12, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. Chuck, Miami, FL

    Romney is really desperate. He is so slick. Notice that he did not deny what Huckabee said as being false. Look it up for yourself and you will see it is true. I think people are starting to see Romney sweat through his slick oil.

    December 12, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. Jim - Tucson

    Barry,

    You left us hanging. How does a Mormon reach the highest celestial level of heaven?

    December 12, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. Atheist

    All religions are cults!!!!!

    December 12, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. Tyler, Cincinnati, OH

    Huckabee is starting to prove he is not ready for the limelight. He should understand that jokes in print don't come across as jokes. That is a basic of politics. I think Huckabee will flame out in the coming weeks because he is allowing Romney to be the victim; he is playing into the hands of the Romney campaign. He should have backed down from the frontrunner talk as soon as it came upon him, and tout himself as the underdog still. We are starting to see the effects of not having a solid organization that is vast and protects the candidate from such snafus.

    December 12, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. jw, canadian,ok

    As an Atheist, this is all high comedy to me.

    December 12, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Eric, MD

    I thought Christians weren't allowed to say hateful things?

    Posted By BlueGoose

    BlueGoose,

    Christians are allowed to say whatever they want. It is called free-will, similar to our Nation's recognition of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. God allows man to determine his own fate, unlike the Liberal Socialist agenda.

    December 12, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. Anon, Morristown, NJ

    I'm not Christian. I'm not a Morman (which I consider to be Christian too). I don't see what someone's religon has to do with the economic and education problems that this country faces. You know, the issues that nobody pays any attention to.

    December 12, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. Kent A., East Hartford, CT

    The comments posted from George of Raleigh, NC violate CNN's published policy that one may not post what is libelous or defamatory. His comments are both. They smell of stereo-typing, are un-true, and are both dis-crediting and harmful to Baptist ministers; (and as one, I am personally offended).

    December 12, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    Some of you are asking, "if that's the doctrine, then why isn't it OK?" Truly ignorant, must be Huckabee fans willing to justify whatever comes out of his mouth.

    The authoritative Encyclopedia of Mormonism, published in 1992, does not refer to Jesus and Satan as brothers. It speaks of Jesus as the son of God and of Satan as a fallen angel, which is a Biblical account.

    A spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Huckabee's question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine.

    "We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all," said the spokeswoman, Kim Farah. "That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for."

    The reason it is wrong is it was said with the express intent to smear and sensationalize. Huck is a juvenile and in no way presidential.

    December 12, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. Brandon Saint Peters Missouri

    STUPID ARGUEMENT. THE LDS DOES BELIEVE THIS. . . . WHO CARES? ANYONE HAVE SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO LEAD THE COUNTRY? NEITHER ONE OF THESE BONE-HEADS DO OR THEY WOULD TALK ABOUT THEM.

    SAVE US RON PAUL!!!!!

    December 12, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Jen P., Pt. Pleasant, NJ

    Does any intelligent person actually think Huckabee's question is an attack?

    I agree with a previous poster–did anyone have the journalistic sense to go to Romney's camp and get an answer? (I guess the answer is no. Big shock. Let's be responsible media members and hype the spin.)

    December 12, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. Alan Marna

    Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163.)

    Face Facts.

    December 12, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. thefishermen

    Sorry guys, I tried to give you the written difference between Jesus and Satan but evidently, CNN doesn't want you to get straight information here..

    December 12, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. Michael, Orlando Florida

    I'm from Arkansas was was brought up as a decons kid in a Southern Baptist church. All Baptists in the South are taught that Mormons belong to a cult and that all mormons will burn in hell for enternity.

    We are also taught that all Catholics are idol worshipers, and that idol worship is satanic.

    December 12, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Mark, Atlanta, Georgia

    The irony, of course, is the farther these candidate go to the right to court the evangelical vote to secure the nomination the less likely any of them is to actually be President of the United States. As a Democrat, I'm all for it.

    December 12, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. Jon, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I am an Xmormon. Mormons do believe the devil and Jesus are brothers. That is true.

    December 12, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Kate, gb

    Not a fan of either of these guys but...

    How is this question offensive?

    December 12, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    I forget if Romney is a Mormon or a Moron. Thankfully, he keeps reminding us that he's the latter.

    December 12, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Ken , Perry, Georgia

    I think if you study deep enough into the mormomn faith you'll see that this is indeed what they believe.

    December 12, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Drex Davis

    Here's one reason it stinks.

    Why is Huckabee, a minister, asking an NYT journalist about Mormonism after just saying you weren't going to talk about someone's religion.

    Andy why ask the unsolicited question that has been on the pamphlets of the anti-Mormon propaganda being handed out in Iowa?

    That's why people following the Iowa race picked up on this right away. It was very deliberate on Huckabee's part, and smacks of Dick Morris. Why is Huckabee running around with that cat anyway?

    Stick to policy, Huck! Leave religion out of it . . . You're giving yourself and your party a bad name.

    Think before speaking!

    December 12, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Joe

    In my faith Santa Claus is God

    December 12, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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