Cantor doesn't believe religion should be factor in 2012
October 11th, 2011
06:19 PM ET
9 years ago

Cantor doesn't believe religion should be factor in 2012

Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the highest ranking elected Jewish leader in Congress, said Tuesday he doesn't believe religion should be a key factor in choosing a GOP nominee for president.

Asked about the recent controversy sparked by a Texas pastor who stated he believed one should vote for Christian over non-Christian candidates, Cantor said "I don't know what to say to that, other than to say if people view that as their driving factor then this country is one that affords all of us to practice our faith."

But Cantor made it clear he didn't believe a candidate's faith should be a disqualifying factor.

"Obviously I don't think that one's religion is demonstrative of anything other than that is their faith. And you look to see their record and how they're affected by their moral values, and if those moral values come from their faith."

Rev. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Dallas, caused a stir last week when he referred to Mormonism as a "cult "and said Christians should support other Christian candidates. Jeffress endorsed Texas Governor Rick Perry for president at a conference of conservatives in Washington and said Republicans should not vote for former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. Another GOP presidential hopeful, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, is also a Mormon.

Also see:

Jeffress: I'm not 'Rick Perry's Jeremiah Wright'

Huntsman: Pastor is a 'moron'

Huntsman: Mormon controversy a 'political sideshow'

Filed under: 2012 • Eric Cantor • Faith
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    A Jew does not want religion to be considered in 2012. Eric is a piece of work.

    October 11, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. NoTags

    I seriously doubt that the majority of Americans care what you believe Mr. Cantor.

    October 11, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. normajean

    RELIGION DOESN'T BOTHER ME IN THE POLITICAL SCENE NEARLY AS MUCH AS DISHONESTY,RUTHLESSNESS, LACK OF CARING,ARROGANCE ,VICIOUSNESS,BLATANT GREED AND HATEFULNESS. I COULD GO ON as could the majority of American citizens. It doesn't make any sense that our lives and futures are in the hands of politicians that don;t give a damn whether we live or die...They just want THEIRS. There is so little we can do to help ourselves.We will vote when the time comes but these weasles are even trying to mess up a persons right to vote.This is beyond disgraceful... I have to say however that I laugh when I see John Boehner on the screen and Cantor is so close behind him that I'm sure he thinks if John should drop dead, he will be right there in his foots steps. ready to take over... What a bunch of rotten subhuman beings . IF THERE IS ANY JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD.....IT'S TIME FOR IT TO TAKE OVER..!!!!! HEAVEN HELP US EVERY ONE!!!!!

    October 11, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. Larry L

    I've never seen a politician I trusted less than Eric Cantor. He is the poster child for slimy, right-wing, corporate weasel. He is the Republican Party.

    October 11, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Reggie from LA

    Too late!!
    Cantor and the rest of the GOP have allowed religion to be a part of any and all recent and future elections. They have not said a word until now. Why now? Because it's starting to look ugly for the candidates. Looking ugly for the GOP and just ugly period. GOP acquiescence has unleashed something that now owns them. LIVE WITH IT!!

    October 11, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Not even republicans care about what this over zealous fanatic thinks. He is so deep in the pocket of the wealthy and so far out of touch with real Americans, that his positions on issues and statements are ridiculous. I'm sure the good people of VA are extremely embarrassed by him.

    October 11, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  7. Bundermint

    Cantor don't believe? Does this means he has no faith?

    October 11, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. Nothing new here

    Once again, politicians, it is the ECONOMY and jobs that matter.
    Please leave your religions at home.
    Thank you.

    October 11, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. GOP = Greed Over People

    "Obviously I don't think that one's religion is demonstrative of anything other than that is their faith. And you look to see their record and how they're affected by their moral values, and if those moral values come from their faith."

    Cantor has been "palling around with Palin" and caught that contagious Palinese disease.

    October 11, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Ain't life strange?

    Well... ain't that special... its a known fact conservatives are fundementaly Christian based and vie for their support. How can he say that with all of the christian organizations supporting only Republican candidates. If the extreme right have their way we'll all be living by the twisted man made edicts of a convoluted bible. Just think... what would Jesus do. The Republicans haven't a clue... they make it up as they go along.

    October 11, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  11. duckbutter

    its about jobs ,,, jobs,,, and only jobs....

    October 11, 2011 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  12. candycane

    Eric Cantor knows very well that relgion is the center of every Presidential Election!! It's the Evangelistic Christians VS the have nothings!!!

    October 11, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It would make sense that Cantor would think that. Given that Perry and his Dominionist bunch wouldn't want Cantor because he is Jewish. I guess that Cantor doesn't see it or just doesn't want to worry about it until it is too late.

    October 11, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  14. GunnerGA

    Cantor is a Jew in name only. He is 100% counter to every other Jewish Republican that has served in the Congress in the past. Jewish Republicans have typically been fiscal conservatives and social liberals, moderates or libertarians. The ONLY Jews who can justifiably call themselves social conservatives are the more orthodox. Cantor is not one of them. He is a Reform Jew and thus the ONLY reason why he is 100% social conservative and holds the positions he does is to be in power. Thus, he exemplifies nothing of his faith in the views he holds - at least as it relates to social justice. He is a sell out. Jewish Republicans are Rockefeller Republicans.... not Pat Robertson Republicans! As a Jewish Republican, I am ashamed of Eric Cantor.

    October 11, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. Aaron

    It's ironic that he doesn't mind playing the Israel card to influence Jewish voters to vote Repub. One day, one of these less than brillant politicians is going to realize that the Jewish vote is only 1.8% of the total American electorate and quit cowtowing for it....if they can live without the monetary contributions from Jewish voters. I'm very pro-Israel, but don't appreciate it being used for propaganda in our elections despite the screams from Cantor that religion shouldn't matter.

    October 11, 2011 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  16. Debbie

    But Cantor your own party the GOP has made religion a factor every election since 2000. Think Cantor think...remember back when the platform for the GOP was: "family values" of course those where "Christian family values." Then the platform morphed into the Evangelical Christian platform. Remember Cantor? And once again the GOP platform has morphed into the "Conservative Christian" platform today. So how can you say religion should not be a part of the election when your own party dictates it should be so and has for over a decade now.

    October 11, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  17. jane

    Don't worry Cantor you wont be a factor 2012.....Cantor enjoy your time now, the middle class voice will be heard at voting booth

    October 11, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    Cantor is correct, in that position.

    No candidate's religion should be a factor in running for office. However, if that religion, intrudes upon running the government, after becoming elected, then the people should have the right to recall the candidate, on that basis. America needs government free from the influence, of any particular religion.

    October 11, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  19. Liz the First

    Wow, something intelligent from this guy? didn't see that coming. but tell this to the so-called 'values voters.' they want their brand of religion to be the law of the land. we are not a theocracy. anyone who wants to make this country one needs to be exiled to one of the actual theocracies for about a year. they'd be begging to come back to separation of church and state. true morality transcends religious doctrine, it's within us all, no matter how or whether we pray. when someone tries to impose his religious beliefs on those who don't share them, that is as wrong as it gets. the people who scream the loudest about liberty these days have no problem denying liberty to those they don't like. true believers in liberty don't try to take away others' basic human rights.

    October 11, 2011 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  20. fernace

    It's waaaay to late for that comment, Eric Cantor! Just about every Repub candidate has to play up how religious they are! The 2 Mormons have had to bring Jesus into their speeches, to let people know they "believe!" Even guv'nah Goodhair Perry is in on the action! I did not know he was a Christian til this year, that he's running for president! Seems the Fundamentals, such as Michele Bachmann have caused a Revival of sorts in the GOP-TP, & they have all forgotten that church & state are constitutionally separate in this nation!!

    October 12, 2011 12:51 am at 12:51 am |

    Pop goes the Weasel. This guy must be an embarrassment to the Jewish community. Virginia should give him the political boot.

    October 12, 2011 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  22. Carlos

    Isn't it funny that now that "Christianity" is affecting the very party that has relied on it to gain support by maligning gays and lesbians, it is suddenly crying fowl now that it's in the crosshairs of these freaks? Republicans are just fine as long as Christians point their campaign of hate away from their candidates. Did they really think these power hungry zealots were not going to ultimately turn on the Republicans? This is what happens when you blur the line between church and state; the church wants it all.

    October 12, 2011 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  23. Petra

    It matters if it leads to them infringing on our liberties though – if it affects their views on abortion or gay equality or euthanasia for instance. Plus with Bachmann, it matters if she believes in a headship arrangement within marriage – will she defer to her husband's judgment?

    October 12, 2011 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  24. Marie MD

    Why tantrum boy? BTW – I see the confederate governor of virginia is running your battles for you and your distrcit which was hit by the earthquake in August.
    Are they leaving you out of the equation because he is begging for money for your district while you are trying to make sure other areas hit by disasters don't get any unless you take more from the middle class?

    October 12, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  25. jim

    This is almost as silly as saying you don't think politics should be a factor.

    October 12, 2011 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
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