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. Marie MD

    All religiond are cults and there is no such thing as a competent christian when your hate of anything non christian is all you think sbout.
    Carrying that bible but not living by shat it reads makes jeffers and all these religious fanatics hypocrites!

    October 9, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. jd

    Election won by 1%
    15% of population would never vote for a Morman. No matter what.
    i.e. 7 and half % Republicans.
    Leave 3 and half % for error.
    Obama win by 2%, in 2012

    October 9, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. Larry L

    Why would they answer honestly? That evil pastor said the things the other evangelicals wanted to hear so these two coiuld act like they were too "good" to make such a comment. Both said hateful things about Muslims and both profess to be devout Christians. How much proof do we need that religious people are always more about hate than kindness? I'll vote for President Obama because he is the only candidate who seems to care more for real Americans than politics!

    October 9, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. Chrisg

    Hypocrites, Every last one of them. And these pastors that want to play politics will lose their churches tax exempt status.

    October 9, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. frank hernandez

    if they LOOK like a nut,
    ACT like a nut,
    and SPEAK like a nut....then they're DUCKS!

    October 9, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. Not Fat

    Does Mitt Romney believe God lives on the planet Kolob, like most Mormons?

    October 9, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. BellevueMan

    As usual, the Republican candidates are playing the "I'm more Christian than the other candidate" game. Absolutely disgusting.

    October 9, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. Not Fat

    Theses are the same Republican nutjobs that attack Obama for not being a Christian. "Religious tolerance"? Give me a break.

    October 9, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. Lars

    If you look at America in terms of her actual day to day, television/web oriented culture, she is not anything like a "Christian" country. If aliens arrived on this planet and were shown the whole history of this world, they would say that American is a materialistic pagan country if it is anything at all. And most professed American Christians live materialistic pagan lives resembling absolutely nothing like the original first century Christians that we know were persecuted by the Romans and often martyred for their faith. Today we have cultural Christians, not real followers of Jesus whose hearts have been supernaturally changed by God.

    October 9, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. Brett

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is the same church that Mitt Romney goes to. We know ourselves as Christians, as do those who know the tenants of our religion best. Those who do not fully understand our teachings, or try to abbreviate the church's name, call us Mormons.

    We believe in the Bible. The volume of scripture that some feel distinguishes us from traditional Christian ideology is called the Book of Mormon. On the front cover of the Book of Mormon, the inscription reads "Another Testament of Jesus Christ".

    The book testifies of Jesus Christ. No teaching in the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible in any way. We believe in these two volumes of scripture equally. They are comparable. We use them both to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. The whole of our faith is centered in Him, who we consider to be our Savior, just as other Christian religions believe.

    As a nation, and together as the human family, we should all seek to be more understanding of those around us.

    The true measure of a man or woman is who they are. The true measure of faith is what it produces. But if that faith, whether Christian, Muslim, Agnostic, etc., does not produce elements of love, patience, kindness, respect, thrift, and good for all mankind, then that faith is in vain.

    October 9, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. Utah Resident

    One aspect of Mormonism which concerns me is the "Living Prophet" who leads the church.
    The Mormon Prophet speaks for God and practicing Mormons are required to follow the Prophet's instructions.
    Can a person who does what the Mormon Prophet instructs be President of the United States?

    October 9, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. Charles

    I feel the question was unfair to Mr. Cain and Mrs. Bachmann, after all Romney isn't trying to be elected Pope. The more interesting question would be where Perry was when the so called dream act was passed in Texas ! If Perry had anything to do with that I, for one, would NOT want him in the White House. I also understand he would be willing to send troops to Mexico to help with the drug problem there, I say, we already have our fine young men & women dying in 2 other lost causes and this man wants to send more to their deaths when all that needs to be done is for the Federal Government to enforce immigration laws and quit punishing States that enforce them !

    October 9, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. BK

    I don't like either candidate, but I agree with dodging this question. It IS irrelevant.

    October 9, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. Chi-Town Gal in Houston

    To Slightly Left of Center:
    Thank you, couldnt have said it better myself.

    October 9, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. fmjk

    When Bachman says, "I'm not going to do an analysis of Christianity vs. Mormonism," isn't she saying it all? If they are on opposite sides of the vs., they are not the same thing in her eyes. A very cute way of answering without answering.

    So what would the pastor day if a Jew ran if accepting Christ is a credential for the Presidency? And isn't it pretty hard for the Perry folks to say, who cares what his pastor said? after Fox News fueled the anti-Obama movement for weeks with Rev. Wright?

    October 9, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  16. Flyover land

    Interesting Herman Cain can claim that Muslims could not be part of his Cabinet because they want to supplant the U.S. constitution with Sharia law. That statement is ludicrous in that how many Christians would want to replace the U.S. constitution with Biblical law? Yet when asked if he thought Mormonism is a cult, he replied "I'm not running for theologian in Chief". Not afraid to make a theological statement about Islam but not about Mormonism. Where's the backbone Herm?

    October 9, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  17. bigdoglv

    Way to go see-in-in, you are really bringing them to the trough with this story. Read these comments. You expect Cain to trash Romney because he is Morman? Sorry clowns, Cain is way above that. More class than most on this thread.

    October 9, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  18. mary

    Gingrich, Cain, and Bachmann are all LIARS. None of them believe Romney is a Christian, They just want a corporatist in charge,

    October 9, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  19. Havoc7

    I saw a comment that since the name of the Mormon church includes Jesus Christ, then they must be christians. The question for some christians is not whether Romney or mormons consider themselves christians, but whether other christians consider them/him christian. I say feed them all to the lions. I do not favor one cult over another.

    October 9, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. Sick-of-Tea

    I hope all six million plus U.S. Later-day Saints are paying very close attention to what these sorry bunch of wingnut fundamentalist fools think of them and their faith before they cast their own votes. The Mormon faith has existed for over 180 years and yet they’re still being vilified and viewed as a cult. I’m not a Mormon, but I am a Christian and I find this dark ages mindset to not only be ignorant and offensive, but its also dangerous and it has no place in 21st century America. I also hope that the Mormon church leadership is taking note of this, and perhaps the next time they decide to wage their own campaign of marginalization and discrimination, as they did with their all out support of Proposition 8 in California, they’ll remember what its like to be regarded as outcasts and second class citizens.

    October 9, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Honestly, most of you Libs claim to be atheists so what does it matter what Mr. Cain thinks about the Mormon faith?
    Get a life.

    October 9, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  22. Trueguy4ever

    Honestly, Most of you Libs claim to be atheists so what does it matter to any of you what Mr. Cain thinks of the Mormon faith? Get a life.

    October 9, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  23. Ben

    Good for both of them. That's exactly the answer everyone should be giving. His faith is his own, and holds no bearing, whatsoever, on his ability to govern.

    Know who looks bad in this? The reporter trying to push the issue.

    October 9, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It sounds like they are already denying that Romney and Mormons are Christians. Does it really matter? I don't think so, but what really matters is what is policy goals are. I don't know if I really know all that much about his time is private business. Why haven't media outlets gone after that? What did his company do with the companies they acquired? Fire people or get them jobs here in the US; what did he really do?

    October 9, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  25. CedarRapids

    Too funny, now that they are being asking If Ronmey is christian then its all tolerance and a non-issue. I didnt see the same 'non-issue' when people were talking about Obama being a 'closet muslim' or when Cain was talking about patriotism testing for muslims and refusing to put muslims or 'other extremists' in his cabinet.

    October 9, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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