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. Craig from Pa.

    Who really cares what his religion is?? ..That is not the big problem at this point, and we have freedom of religion here in the USA, so it should not be an issue...get real folks and deal with real problems!

    October 9, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Jack V

    This field, in public, pretends it has a pea sized brain. Talk about playing to the lowest common blockhead denominator! As long as there are Republicans, we'll never be as great a country as we could be.

    October 9, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. SixDegrees

    Well, I can see why Bachmann wouldn't want to talk about this. It would open the door to uncomfortable questions about that whole "Pray the Gay Away!" clinic she runs that she's also declared unimportant to the campaign. And outright denunciation of this bigoted preacher and his cesspool of hate he calls a church would cost her standing with the religious right, part of her foundational support.

    October 9, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Perry, Cain and Bachmann are showing that they are not presidential material by ducking the religious intolerance issue.

    October 9, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Bozzz

    Cain clearly answered the question when he said he wouldn't compare Mormonism to Christianity. In other words, he feels that it is not. What a bunch of nut cases these fundamentalists are.

    October 9, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. vp

    I believe the Republicans have triangulated themselves into a corner.

    Mormonism is not a Christian Religion.

    October 9, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Joe

    The real problem here is that someone thought that the opinions of these mental midgets had any significance. Who cares what they think about religion or any other subject?

    October 9, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    Got to love it when their true colors come shining through. I hope all non-Christian voters (those that don't fit their definition) are taking notice.

    October 9, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. matt

    Didn't these same two candidates accuse the President of being a foreign born Muslim? But it doesn't matter what faith their republican counterpart is? Hypocrites.

    October 9, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. American Pie

    If you use common sense, and really sit back and look at the issue...all religions are cults...

    October 9, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. pikerover

    "We have religious tolerance in this country" ...... What rock is Bachmann living under

    October 9, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Lies, Hate, Fear, Cults, Gay Husbands...

    October 9, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Early guessing who win this discussion

    Robert Jeffress started this issue then its started the fire works in Values Voters Summit so Sunday talks picked from there

    Tomorrow Monday FOX and all right wing radio will attack other news network for this issue they will say it was created by main stream media. This is the way FOX and friends do the business they will win

    October 9, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. otomotopia

    Let me be blunt. Conversations like this is why we have separation of church and state along with the ability to practice and establish religion freely (with some caveats, like polygamy, and some enabling laws, like allowing Native American hallucinatory rituals). Religion should not be brought up in politics, simple as that. Your sense of morality matters more then what religion you practice.

    October 9, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. EddyL

    Ya don't answer the question. What happens when someone asks a hard question? LOSERS

    October 9, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Max


    Cult: a pejorative term for a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre...

    Does Mormonisn fit this definition? Well, YES it does! So? Mormonism is a cult. Romney is a mormon who's deedicated to Mormonisn. Romney follows a cult.

    Christianity is fundamentally opposed to cults. Christains opposes Romney. Romney is not a Christain, but a follower of a cult.


    October 9, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. breed11

    To all the people saying America is not a christian country, that's totally BS. The majority of people in this country are christian or have at least been raised in christian household. The founders were christian too, very few were agnostic, they just believed in the separation of church and state, which I believe in too, but we're a majority christian nation, always have been and hopefully always will be.

    October 9, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Max


    Both Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann know that Mormonism is a cult. They are both fundamental Christians. They both oppose Romney on this, but are being hypocritical.

    Do we want people who are not straigthforward in their views to lead us? For political gains they are dodging the question instead of simply admitting that as Christians they both believe Mormonisn is a cult and as a Mormon, Romney is not morally sound to lead our country.

    Man up! Cain. Woman up! Bachmann. We need to hear from you on this particular issue. It is important.

    Both of you, stop being so hypocritical.

    October 9, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Jeffrey Root

    If this is such a non issue with Republicans then why are they always talking about how important this "Christian Nation" is? Seriously! They can talk all day long about how they think God is so important in guidance in this country and when a question is asked about a big religious topic they just ignore it. What a bunch of morons. I used to be Mormon but I'm an Atheist now. I can't stand religion, but if you were to ask me if Mormons are Christians I would tell you most definitely yes. I thought being a Christian meant that you believed in Christ as the son of God and savior of the world.

    October 9, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    mormonism is a denomination of christianity, like baptists, or lutherans or evangelicals. They believe that Jesus is the son of god, all that is needed to make one a christian.

    Every republican should be coming to Romney's defense, unless of course, they want to play politics with religion.

    Most religions are crazy sauce, when you get into the meat and potatoes of it, they all involve imaginative leaps of faith. What would be nice is if we had a discussion about the differences of religion and an understanding that maybe, just maybe, there's some funky stuff that's in all of them so we shouldn't let the religions dictate public policy.

    October 9, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Victoria

    face it romney you should just switch to a democrat. If your own party cannot support your ideas as a man because of your religious beliefs you should switch teams. Then you would not have to flip flop all of the time on issues you believe in your heart just to appease some way toooooo conservatives. I would respect you more, like I do the president, on going against your party for the good of the people.

    October 9, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. ED FL

    I keep reading about the straw poll, value poll,Iowa poll and mormon poll, I have only been alive 82 yrs with 22 inmilitary sevice where I got to see about every name in the world. There isn't many people named straw or value or even Iowa.Real people with arms, legs, heads and many with other unfornuate conditions VOTE and their votes do count. I do not think there are enough real people named straw poll, Value poll or Iowa poll to really make votes that are legitimate to put anyone in office. it is just another way or term to try and get people to donate money for mostly losing campaigns.

    October 9, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. Squigman

    Evading=lying. Never seen a republican yet that could be trusted. Always with the agendas that self serve, and line pockets of those who's pockets are well padded to begin with.

    October 9, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Fda

    JaneEyre if you know so little about what the Mormons believe in Christ, you shouldn't speculate. They do indeed have the exact view of Christ as the rest of the Christians. They differ only in Christ after resurrection and they claim to have the works that Jesus did in the Americas. I have lived around Mormons most of my life! They are very normal people.

    October 9, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. Jay

    the GOP keep putting themselves in this position. they love bringing up faith and love imposing their religion on people, but when we question them on faith (christianity in particular) they get upset and say we shouldn't be focusing on that.

    October 9, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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