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. GI Joe

    So much hate and prejudice based on Nationality, Race, Religion. Lady Justice wears a blind-fold. (HER Statue). Maybe all candidates should be behind a screen and we never see them, but only hear how they would fix our country. Leave race and religion totally out of it. Also leave out the social issues of gays, guns, and "gonna be babies".

    October 9, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. The Right left

    Wherever there is a strong presence of religion, money and guns are not too far from them. Religions divide people. It is a convenient tool used by the rich to deflect the attention of the poor, creating adversaries that may or may not exist. It is a sort of anger management method that keeps the money flowing upwards by channeling the anger of the masses more towards movements that may actually benefit them, by calling them socialists, anti-Christ, and Godless etc. It has worked from the days of the Pharos to the current day Koch brothers.

    October 9, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Norm

    What a low blow. Attacking a man's faith in the United States of America.
    Are these the people you want running this country?
    I certainly hope not.

    October 9, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. TomCA

    You know after one of these idiots gets the nomination they are going to campain against Obama claiming he is muslim.

    October 9, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    Media stirs up a lot in order to get "ratings". I say listen if you want, or hit mute or change channels. At least the republicans haven't made channel changing illegal YET.

    October 9, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. contessa

    Who the $####&& cares!!! AMERICANS NEED A JOB!!! What have the Republican Candidates or the Republicans on Capital Hill been doing to create jobs!! POSITIVELY NOTHING!!

    October 9, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. MikefromWV

    I won't vote for Romney, partly because he is a Mormon and partly for his other widely held political beliefs. But my disdain for his religion is not due to his faith in his religion, but in the actual precepts of the religion itself. I do not agree with the day-to-day ways in which a Mormon lives their lives. They have their right to their beliefs and their religion, but I do not believe in it and will not vote for something I don't believe in. Just as I won't vote for him because of his radically conservative political beliefs. And as far as his business record, the only thing he is notable for in that regard is his consistent firing of people from companies that he acquired. Buy it, fire a large percentage of the employees, then resell it, all in order to make a personal profit, with no regard to the harm he did to the lives of those people he fired, to the lives he ruined. And he is also a hypocrite, big time.

    October 9, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Thomas

    The Candidates are not the ones making an issue out of it. The news people are.

    October 9, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Sonnie2

    one thing to remember, we are A Christian Nation from Birth. It it written on most every building in Washington things like the ten comandment. On our money it say's In God We Trust. So I have a hard time letting people say we are not a Christian Nation. One Nation, Under God, with liberty and justice for all!!!

    October 9, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Thomas

    It's strange that Obama's faith is not an issue with the media. Who even knows what his religious beliefs are? If there is an election close, he says he's a Christian. That's good enough for the liberal media. But anything having to do with Republicans and religion is big news at any time.

    October 9, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Carol

    Cain used good sense in his ans. Bachmann when put on the spot trys to be bipartisan, because she is put on the spot, and who is surprised about that? What everyone needs to do in politics and everywhere else is stop analyzing each others religion and who is more Godly or ungodly. Leave religion in your families and churches and Wash D.C. in Wash D.C. It's called "freedom of religion". If religion is hurting someone and killing someone then it's time to talk about it and make some laws.

    October 9, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Nothing new here

    The Republicans have played the "religion card" for toooooo long. Maybe 10 years ago, I would have found all this to be funny. But unfortunately, this is not the time, not when there are BIGGER issues in this country to be dealing with. It is about the Economy, anyway!!

    October 9, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Dr.Tong

    Inevitably the Mormons are playing the bigot card. So predictable. Are we all supposed to cower and go along to get along?

    I'm not so much concerned about what Mormons believe as I am about the fact that *they will not stop lying about what they believe*.

    October 9, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. jasmine

    What happened to seperation of church and state?? Thats the only question that sits on my mind.

    October 9, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Bob

    I'm so sick and tired of these phony, right wing, "Christian" Evangelicals callling our great nation a "Christian" country. It is NOT! It is made up of many different people of different faiths. A a Jew I am appalled by these candidates and wouldn't vote for a single Republican if someone were holding a gun to my head. They are the most disgusting bunch of people hiding behind Jesus in a quest to become president and ruin our country. Very nice of the Tea Partiers to cheer and say "Let him die" about a person with no health insurance or boo a gay solider who served our great land. Just what Jesus taught. If I need spiritual guidance, I'll go see my rabbi, not some filthy, disgusting presidential candidate. I've never seen a bunch of fools tripping over each other praising Jesus, like these fools. . God help us all!!!

    October 9, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Pjlytle

    Mormonism is not Christian it is a cult.

    October 9, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. jim

    The choice of a candidates faith is so inconsequential to their ability to govern that to give it any legs in the press is just plain sorry. A house divided will not stand. We must elect a president and then support that person regardless of what our beliefs are. Please let us not forget that we are all Americans and whoever is in the White House is our president. If we do not like that person wait for election time and vote them out. We only prosper when the majority of us agree. For the last three presidents 50% of us have liked that person and 50% of us have disliked that person and we have slowly slipped down in every category. Stay United America!

    October 9, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. logikflux

    It doesn't seem like they dodged the question at all. It was just an eloquent way of saying, I have no idea what at all what Mormons believe b/c I am of a different faith. This is a non-event. Oh,... and I don't like any of the 3.

    October 9, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Charles

    The correct answer is, "It doesn't matter if he's Mormon, or Christian, or Jew, or Muslim, or Buddhist. Running for the nomination is about competency and the issues, not his religion."

    October 9, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Debbie

    None dodged the question. A true Christian will not judge someone else. To the pastor, God's word says to judge not.

    October 9, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. JP0

    I strongly doubt that Bachmann's religious tolerance extends to atheists or to any non-christian religion.

    October 9, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. logic in LA

    What is the old saying- if you can't say anything nice- don't say anything at all. I guess Cain and Bachmann spoke volumes about how they feel.

    October 9, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. GoUSA

    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.

    October 9, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. billy5521

    Sometimes I think this stuff is all a big joke, or a very smart Democratic strategy. With these candidates, there is no reason for an election, because Obama is a shoe-in. True conservatives are incapable of supporting ANY of these candidates; Black (Cain), female (Bachman), Mormon (Romney), amnesty for illegals (Perry), Doves (Paul), the list goes on-and-on. All the Dems have to do is wait!

    October 9, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. no1atall

    Didn't Christ take a vow of POVERTY? Didn't Christ's followers and 'divest themselves of worldly goods' so that they could become "fishers of men'? So how does that reconcile with the republican mantra of 'greed is good'? How can you be a good christian and rich? Me thinks the so called 'christians' of the Tea Party are severely lacking in faith that the way of Jesus actually works; I think they're just using christianity as a talking point.

    October 9, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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