Bachmann, Cain duck question on Romney's faith
October 9th, 2011
10:16 AM ET
10 years ago

Bachmann, Cain duck question on Romney's faith

(CNN) - Neither Herman Cain nor Rep. Michele Bachmann would say Sunday whether they believe Mitt Romney is a Christian, two days after an influential pastor labeled Mormonism a "cult."

"He's a Mormon," Cain said on CNN's "State of the Union." "That much I know. I am not going to do an analysis of Mormonism versus Christianity for the sake of answering that. I'm not getting into that."

Bachmann echoed Cain's remarks, saying she didn't want to get into an issue she considers unimportant to the Republican presidential campaign.

"This is so inconsequential as far as this campaign is concerned," the Minnesota congresswoman said. "We have religious tolerance in this country and we understand that people have different views on their faith and I have a very sincerely held believe on faith and I think we just leave it at that."

When pressed by CNN's Candy Crowley on whether or not Romney is a Christian, neither candidate gave a firm answer - even when it was suggested they were dodging the question.

"If that's what it looks like, that I'm dodging it, it's because it is not going to help us boost this economy," Cain said. "You know that's my number one priority."

"I think what the real focus again is on religious tolerance," Bachmann said. "That's really what this is about. Again to make this a big issue is just ridiculous right now because every day I'm on the street talking to people, and this is not what people are talking about. I was very open about my faith, very clear about my faith. It's very important."

On Friday, the pastor of the highly-influential First Baptist Church of Dallas told CNN that his church had labeled Mormonism a "cult," and that Republicans shouldn't vote for former Massachusetts Gov. Romney because he is a follower of that faith.

"I think Mitt Romney's a good, moral man, but those of us who are born again followers of Christ should prefer a competent Christian," Robert Jeffress said outside of the Values Voter Summit in Washington. The First Baptist Church of Dallas has a congregation of about 10,000 and has long been considered a highly influential church in evangelical circles.

Romney's campaign said Friday they would not make any comment on the pastor's remarks.

On the CBS program "Face the Nation," fellow Republican candidate Newt Gingrich made similarly vague remarks about whether he believes Mitt Romney was a Christian.

"I think he's a Mormon and Mormon define themselves as a branch of Christianity," Gingrich said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. dt

    This country was formed as "One Nation Under God". Let us all remember that. By shutting God out of our government, we are setting ourselves up for disaster. I pray for all of you who suggest leaving Religion out of government.

    October 9, 2011 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  2. Jonathan

    I can't stand Bachmann or Cain, but I'm glad they answered as they did. Whether or not they judge that a "Mormon" is a "Christian" is completely irrelevant to this presidential debate. You shouldn't have to be confirmed as a Christian by the other candidates to be worthy of running for office.

    October 9, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  3. conoclast

    I'm hardly an expert on religion but I do know that the full name of the Mormon church is Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That kind of makes it a christian religion, yes? Can you republicans stop chasing shadows now and maybe begin talking about jobs?!

    October 9, 2011 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  4. BR

    The real Christians are not voting and do not care. The Mormons are liars. These other wolf's are even worse.

    October 10, 2011 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  5. mike21954

    Typical pandering politicians. They'll sell their souls for the right price.

    October 10, 2011 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  6. Miguel White

    Cain did not duck it. He said very plainly and directly he was not going to get
    into this non issue. He tried to talk about the economy and jobs, and candy kept trying to get him to take a position.

    No need for any candidate to answer, this is not relevant.

    Freedom to worship as we wish or not ...

    October 10, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  7. Really?

    The eleventh article of faith of the Mormons is this: (There are thirteen 'Articles of Faith'. )

    "We claim the aprivilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the bdictates of our own cconscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them dworship how, where, or what they may. "

    Now, why can't the rest of the candidates have the same respect for others?

    October 10, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  8. Jorge

    This isn't dodging the question. Only to the Obama loving media maybe.

    October 10, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  9. DavidKCMO

    Every religion is a cult

    October 10, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  10. Mark

    I took two year out of my life in a foreign country dedicating 100% of that time to teaching about Jesus Christ on my own dime. Over 100 people accepted Christ as their savior and were baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. I personally witnessed many miracles during that time. I have not had sex with anyone except for my wife and not until after we were married. We now have 5 beautiful children and we are teaching them that Jesus Christ is their Savior and to follow in his footsteps. I have always paid a faithful tithe and offerings. I serve in my church with no financial compensation nor do I want any. We do not have paid clergy and our members sacrifice their time to serve because of their love of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints otherwise known as a Mormon. That highly paid preacher may say I am not a Christian and all I have to say to that is I will let my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be the judge of that.

    October 10, 2011 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  11. SettingItStraight


    Mormons are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they believe in Jesus Christ AND recognize him as the Savior/the annointed one/the Christ/Messiah, etc. I am not sure why so many people hold such a deep-seated dislike of Mormons, they are good and decent people, and all citizens of our great United States of America should stand together against any threat to freedom of religion, including keeping someone from participating fully in civic matters because of their faith (i.e. not letting someone be president because they don't go to your church). Haven't we moved past religion bashing in politics in the US?

    October 10, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  12. Jena

    Mr. Jeffress sounds to me like you are afraid of the Mormon religion. you have 10,000 members. Can't imagine what you get paid? Maybe you think that the LDS church will convert some of your members and it will be less money in his pocket.I don't really think it is all about whether Mitt is a christian or not? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), does not have a paid ministry, which is the same as Christ's church. Yes, we are a christian church, probably more christian than any other church. The leaders of the church are the most loving towards all members and instill only goodly things in them. They give money and food to the poor, they guide and teach us to love our families and pray daily with them, love our children and teach them the things of the Lord. These are only a few of the good and godly things that they guide us to do. In our church we study the Bible, The Book of Mormon (Another testament of Jesus Christ), the pearl of great price and the doctrine and covenants. We have so much more information to learn and study from God until we don't have time to down grade another religion like yours. I CAN ASSURE YOU, WE ARE A CHRISTIAN PEOPLE! IF WE ARE NOT CHRISTIAN, YOU ARE NOT EITHER!! I feel sorry for your ignorance of our church.

    October 10, 2011 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  13. Felix Giordano

    Someday everyone on this Earth will realize that all religions are based upon extraterrestrial visitations and nothing else. There is a Supreme Being but he has never visited this Earth or sent any offspring to teach us. To think otherwise is to ignore the facts and believe in myths created and modified by human beings over thousands of years.

    October 10, 2011 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  14. CRB

    How can you be a Christian and a politician...someone please explain that, because politicians rarely tell the truth, rarely have their facts straight, and rarely get anything done because of their infighting.

    God can't be smiling about that...can he?

    October 10, 2011 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  15. skarphace

    The question of whether or not Mormonism is a cult is not the core issue. The core issue is whether or not the faith of polititians should define their public policy.

    The true question at hand is the validity of the First Amendment of the Constitution. If faith should define public policy, then the First Amendment is not valid and should be abolished.

    If we are to live in a Theocracy, as Teavangelicals seem to want, then much of the Constitution needs to be rewritten.

    October 10, 2011 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  16. DoNotWorry

    Cult, like Mythology, is just a way to devalue another person's spiritual beliefs. I took Mythology in high school, and it took me weeks to realize that we were actually studying religions! Young people today are much more aware, thank God. It is a serious degradation to use the word Cult about someone's religious beliefs. It denies the person's entire belief system.

    October 10, 2011 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  17. DoNotWorry

    Oddly enough, in the Bible God acknowledges that there are other gods. Thou shalt have no other god before me because I am a jealous god. It is clear throughout the old testament that God acknowledges the existence of other gods... and is jealous of any attention they might get. The Bible can be very funny to read. I have, many times.

    October 10, 2011 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  18. Mirosal

    I don't care much for Cain. And as far as Bachmann, I'd rather vote for Randy Bachman than Michelle Bachmann ... Randy could aways use his theme song for the campaign "you ain't sen n-n-n-nothing yet!!"

    October 10, 2011 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  19. Serious Lee

    Who cares? If can just all agree to focus on who is most qualified and then once elected support plans to move forward with REAL issues......Thanks.

    October 10, 2011 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  20. TheAlaskaCurmudgeon

    Pastor Robert Jeffress said: "those of us who are born again followers of Christ should prefer a competent Christian"

    Well, I guess that rules out the entire current Republican field then, doesn't it?

    October 10, 2011 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  21. krehator

    *yawn* Conservatives talking about moral values, yet practicing something else.

    You have to be a fool to not see it.

    October 10, 2011 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  22. Kenny K


    "We elected someone who converted from Islam to Christianity. This during a time when we were all scared of Islamic terrorists. Do we really care if the person belongs to some variant of christianity. We need to grow up and get coutry back on track. Let us elect some real leaders if we want to continue having a great country."
    Actually Obama was elected by Democrat voles; GOP hold the same religion issue again him after he had said over and over that he is a Christian. Even a popular pastor's son still doubt Obama's belief recently.

    October 10, 2011 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  23. zackerycarnley

    as always, people are forgetting that Christianity is just as much a cult as Mormonism is....Mormonism is just a newer cult with less followers. religion by definition is a system of cults. a cult is a group of people led to believe in some sort of metaphysical argument that might be true, however improbable. and religion is EXACTLY the same thing, a large group of people led to believe in a common philosophy or deity. i'm not trying to make a comment about religion...i'm merely saying that this argument should be moot because Christianity and Mormonism are in exactly the same category.

    October 10, 2011 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  24. tcaros

    Cain and Condoleeza Rice would make a great couple. Both benefited from the Civil Rights Movement even though their parents were too chicken to do so. Both carry a chip on their shoulder for how their parents were ignored for being appeasers to racism.

    October 10, 2011 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  25. Terry

    Please don't ask us any questions about President, sorry, Governor Romney, we are looking for sweetheart deals in his cabinet.

    October 10, 2011 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
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