Huntsman: Pastor is a 'moron'
October 10th, 2011
05:43 PM ET
11 years ago

Huntsman: Pastor is a 'moron'

(CNN) - GOP presidential hopeful and Mormon Jon Huntsman had some choice words on Monday for the Dallas pastor who's repeatedly described Mormonism as a "cult" and a "false religion" this weekend.

"The fact that, you know, some moron can stand up and make a comment like that, you know, first of all, it's outrageous," Huntsman said on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." "Second of all, the fact that we are spending so much time discussing it makes it even worse."

Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Dallas, ignited a debate this weekend over the relationship between faith and politics when he argued that Christians should vote for other Christians.

In his remarks, Jeffress discouraged Republicans from voting for Romney, a Mormon, because of his "non-Christian" beliefs.

On Monday, Huntsman, former Utah governor and U.S. Ambassador to China, called on fellow Republican candidate Rick Perry, to cut off ties with Jeffress. The Baptist minister has been a vocal supporter of the Texas governor, in part, because of his Christian faith.

"Make an immediate and decisive break, period," Huntsman said, referring to Perry. "This kind of talk, I think, has no home in American politics these days. You know, anyone who has associated with someone willing to make those comments ought to stand up and distance themselves in very bold language and that hasn't been done. And Rick ought to stand up and do that."

While Perry has largely avoided questions on the subject, he told reporters in Iowa on Friday that he doesn't think Mormonism is a cult.

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Filed under: 2012 • Faith • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Jake

    once again, why is he running as a Republican!? he is the only guy running who could make a great President, and his own party won't even give him 1% of their support!

    October 10, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. Randy, San Francisco

    Huntsman shoud be wary calling Jeffress and others "morons"...they comprise at least 35% of the the GOP/Tea Party.

    October 10, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. kimsland

    Religion should be kept out of politics and the law.
    Everyone agrees with this already, except for religious nuts who feel they are above the law.

    October 10, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. Edwin

    I think Huntsman has character and ability. Thus, he will never get the nomination.

    October 10, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. paulet

    I agree with Huntsman - I am appalled in this day and age a "preacher" would get involved with politics much less "judge" others.
    The Christian faith that I was taught was tolerant, non judgmental, empathetic and loving. Intolerance of people is not the way of the Lord; he accepted us all, with all our warts and imperfections.
    I have alway felt that Evangelicals are a "cult" of haters and mean spirited people - I didn't understand when they tried to persecute Kennedy and I still do not. No one person should be filled with that much hatred least of all someone of the cloth who purports to teach others. The division in our is taught by this hatred.

    October 10, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. B

    Can you all imagine what this race will be like close to the election?

    All of the haters and Bigots will be out of the Woodwork by then clamoring for the spotlight..

    Religion brings out the best in everyone, doesn’t it? Bigotry, Hate, divisiveness, hypocrisy, And Mythology.

    October 10, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. tor5

    I love this Huntsman guy. He’s a real throwback to the great Republican era, before it got taken over by the fundamentalists and teabaggers. Too bad he doesn’t have a chance. He's way too sane.

    October 10, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. Ed DFWTX

    I think any religion could be described as cult" or a "false religion. Our country was founded by people who understood the dangers of religion mixing with politics. That's why there is a seperation of church and state AND no official religion in this country. People like Pastor Jerress needs to stick with making money for his tax exempt organizaiton that, hopefully will help the poor and disadvantaged, "saving souls" and staying out of politics.

    October 10, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. peick

    Let's avoid the labels and just compare truth claims. Mormonism and mainstream protestant churches teach different things. People have to choose what to believe, because they are different in very essential ways. That is all one should say: Group A teaches X, and Group B teaches Y. Which is true, is neither true?

    October 10, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. CJ in AL

    Correct Mr Huntsman!

    October 10, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. Thad

    Any religion that believes black people are inferior is a cult Mr. Huntsman you might as well join the klan. America doesn't need racisit leaders at this present time. Maybe 400 years ago when it was acceptable.

    October 10, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. Deborah Elvald

    a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies

    a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols

    rites – a formal or ceremonial act or procedure prescribed or customary in religious or other solemn use: rites of baptism

    Every religious group is a cult!

    October 10, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. Mary

    Bravo! Finally someone has guts to say it as it is! Way to go Gov. Huntsman!

    October 10, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. Daniel

    OMG.I agree with a Republican!

    October 10, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. Debbie

    Nice way for Huntsman to deflect the issue that he is Mormon and his father is high up in the LDS church.

    October 10, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  16. stevie68a

    I like Huntsman, but all religion is bogus. Think about it-imaginary people guiding your destiny. Phony, phony, phony.
    Then there are the TV preachers, whose only god is Money. Teach ethics instead.

    October 10, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. Gavin Veasey

    I think it’s funny that Huntsman wants Parry to cut off all ties with Jeffress when Christ made an example of being a friend to the worst of the worst.

    October 10, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. duckbutter

    amen and amen .. you are right sir

    October 10, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  19. PA Moderate

    why, yes he is

    October 10, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. Amunaka

    Jeeeze...this freedom of religion thing is really taking a hit...didn't mormonism and evangelicalism ...both come from around the same time period late 18th early 19th centuries are they both not a cult created by man..

    October 10, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. Joe

    There you go again, Jon, trying to inject common sense and decency into the Republican primary. You'll never get the nomination that way.

    October 10, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  22. kuewa

    Is Huntsman planning to write The Book of Moron based on his current experiences? If so, he's got a lot of material to work with, starting with the 5 or 6 debates that have been held so far....

    October 10, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. Steve

    Huntsman is the only republican candiate for president with character and good sense. After the 2012 election shellacking and the party comes back to reality he should be the best guy to win the nomination 2016.

    October 11, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  24. ChumBucket

    So, a preacher has an opinion on another religion, and voices it, and is now vilified and told he should not be saying these things....

    What happened to Freedom of Speech?

    And too all of you out there that are saying all religion is bogus, and that anyone who practices religion is a nut, didn't I just see Obama in a church, worshiping?? Or is that ok as long as he's not a republican?

    October 11, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  25. mklsgl

    What's that 'thing' about not learning from history? Alas, the Postmodern Crusades and Inquisition at its finest!

    October 11, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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