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. ThinkAgain

    Can you say "hot potato"? Funny to watch these folks dodge the question about their opinion of Romney's faith ... This shows that as President, they wouldn't uphold the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom and separation of Church and State: they'd actively pursue creating a State religion.

    Completely anti-American and un-Constitutional! What a bunch of losers!

    October 9, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Larry L. Clifton

    the left is we need to see who is the 'blackest'...real important in light of the bs the Obama admin has the PC hate that comes from the left is a joke. they blame anyone and everyone for the failures of the Obama crowd and themselves. Cain sleeps just fine at night and is, rightfully so, very proud of his accomplishments, relationships with all peoples, and his life in general. People LOVE Herman Cain because he is a good man and has done so many good thing with and in his life. Hopefully, after he is elected he can 'heal' and put to bed some of the racial divides, class warfare, and Guv corruption brought to us by the PC left. Pathetic bunch really....

    October 9, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. aQuietObserver

    google dwight.eisenhower's real religion that has been so carefully hidden.

    October 9, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Bill C

    A very typical CNN slander job. They did not "dodge" the question anymore than Democrats "dodged" the question of whether President Obama is Muslim. They rightly declined to enter into a discussion that they should not be getting involved in. Far from dodging the question they exercised restraint. But CNN won't write that. It might not help their left wing cause.

    October 9, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. midnitejax

    The religous Taliban are trying to hijack this nation yet again. We had enough of that during the Bush administration. It has cost many lives thru unneccessary war against Iraq. It has didvided this nation. Bachmann and Cian don't have the backbone to admit they have fundamental beliefs that Mormonism is a cult. ALL religions are cults. Perry aligns himself with a radical madman as his minister of choice, because Perry is a madman himself.

    October 9, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. butch

    one's faith shouldn't matter but lets be honest, it does. mormonism IS a cult but thats neither here nor there. romney is a crappy candidate because hes a fraud, as are perry, bachman and cain. they ALL are owned by the Banksters. only one candidate hasn't taken a dime from special interest groups, Ron Paul. hes also never taken a dime from the pensions that millionaire congressmen have voted for, for themselves even though they are ALL independently wealthy. hes never flip flopped on an issue as have the afore mentioned frauds. hes basically americas last hope. the military industrial complex have almost bankrupted us beyond the point of no return and only ONE candidate knows how or even WANTS to stop it, Ron Paul. End the Fed and all these useless, unending unwinnable wars. Ron Paul in 2012!

    October 9, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Nadeem

    Can someone educate me on how Mormanism is different from Christianity, what is the difference anyway? I thought they were all the same.

    October 9, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Made

    Mormon's are more closer to Muslims then Christians. Mormon's can have many wives better known as haroms.
    Mormon's believe that both Mohammed and Moses spoke to the burning bush on a mountain. They both killed a lamb and had a feast thus the term scraficial lamb.

    October 9, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Tim

    I'll take an honest Mormon over a wife-beating, cheating Baptist anyday.

    October 9, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. rexedie

    when kennedy (a catholic) ran for president...all the idiots thought the Pope would end up running america if he was elected.... ...when will amerikaners get some mental growth akin to something more than football stats.... and adults with the mental ages of 5 year olds
    apparently....not too many know the reason America was created.... to get away from the overbearing religious zealots (the church) that were running the British well as unfair taxes.... to create a government .....that did not involve itself with religious "bs"..... where a citizen was free to think and act to his own design....{as long as it did no physical harm to anyone else}

    October 9, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. T'sah from Virginia

    When you duck a questions, that means you're NOT comfortable with your answer. Therefore, they believe what the pastor said – otherwise, they would have repudiated him. They feel MITTens should not win because he is a Mormon..... PERIOD!!

    October 9, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. anahadwolves

    To quote the article: Herman Cain said..."He's a Mormon, 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."

    Umm, Herman, I think you did answer the question. You said "Mormonism versus Christianity". Therefore, you must think Mormonism IS NOT Christianity, otherwise, you wouldn't have made that differentation. Dolt.

    October 9, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Rienone

    Ron Paul didn't duck the question and even defended Romney as an American with rights! REPORT THAT! 🙂

    October 9, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Mike from MN

    It's the CONSERVATIVES who care what a person's faith is! Liberals could careless.

    The mere act of just calling Romney a Mormon is enough to scare CONSERVATIVES from voting for him as the GOP Presidential candidate.

    Make no mistake about it. This is a strategy of Romney's opponents. And Perry just happened to conveniently bring it up again as an issue to hide from his own problems.

    October 9, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Howard

    Obama is incompetent ... CAIN IS ABLE !!!

    October 9, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Chir O. Practor

    I've seen an awful lot of Repugnantcans in my practice lately – all with sore necks from ducking questions.

    October 9, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. AK_steve

    I have to agree, who the heck cares about Romney's religion. The question isn't relevant. But on thing it does point out is how crazy the christian right is – they would rather cut down one of their top candidates than accept another religion. These whacko's want to run the country... God help us.

    October 9, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. Clwyd

    The crazy lady from Minnesota wouldn't make sense anyway and what would you expect from a pizza salesman who wants to be president?

    October 9, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Racism in Mormon Faith

    Please note that the Mormon faith believed that people of color were cursed by God and could not hold "The Priesthood" until their docterine was modified in recent history.

    October 9, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Kate

    I don't see Cain's response as a dodge...First, he's right– who cares...and second, if he isn't familiar with the faith how would he know if they consider themselves Christians or not. He is correct, we need someone to fix the economy, not a theologian. Bachman is right to, the focus should be on tolerance... Can't believe the media is playing into this bigotry. Good for Bachman and Cain for calling them on the stupidity.

    October 9, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. jim

    it doesn't matter what faith romney, cain, bachmann or anyone follows.

    unless, of course, you are a right wing zealot.

    October 9, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. ST

    Interviewers be aware of these so called politicians. When they don't like the question they tend to to turn to you and ask: "why are you not asking about the tanking economy". They are using this trick in order to avoid the question. Please continue to press them. Voters want to know everything in various issues and not only one!

    October 9, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. blf83

    The Dallas Southern Baptist pastor, and, yes, I note his denomination, for many others associate his church with bigotry, and racism. It is interesting to note that Bachman and Cain deflected the issue, wisely so, for commenting is a lose/lose situation. Unless you are accepting of others' faiths, including Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism, etc., you are biased and bigoted. On the other hand, no religion has any place in being the basis for political decisions in this country.

    October 9, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. ab

    It doesn't matter, the same way it shouldn't have mattered for Obama in 2008. Or are there suddenly exceptions?

    October 9, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    In a certain way, JESUS WAS A SOCIALIST, Think about it for a minute – in political terms. Maybe that's why religion and politics really don't mix.

    October 9, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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