Biden defends Romney on faith
November 5th, 2011
05:21 PM ET
11 years ago

Biden defends Romney on faith

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden said it is "outrageous" that a portion of the American public feels uncomfortable with presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormon faith.

"Even though he may very well be our opponent, I think it's outrageous - I think it's outrageous that people - or the polling data show that they will not support him, whatever percentage it is because he's (Latter-day Saints), because he is a Mormon," Biden said while speaking at the University of Pittsburgh on Friday.

Romney's faith was the center of controversy last month when an evangelical leader and Rick Perry supporter called Mormonism a "cult" and urged Republicans to vote for a Christian instead of a "non-Christian," referring to Romney.

But according to a CNN/ORC International poll in October, 80% of respondents said a candidate's Mormonism wouldn't make a difference in their selection process.

Still, 17% said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who was Mormon.

On Friday, Biden, a Catholic, argued religion should have no weight in a candidate's qualifications. Speaking on a personal note, the vice president said the election of John F. Kennedy to the White House "totally legitimized" his family, along with other Catholics.

"I find it preposterous that in 2011 we're debating whether or not a man is qualified or worthy of your vote based on whether or not his religion - being a Latter-day Saint - is a disqualifying provision," Biden said. "It is not. It's embarrassing. And we should be ashamed anyone who thinks that way."

Recent polls show Romney in a virtual tie with President Barack Obama in a hypothetical 2012 matchup. According to a Reuters/Ipsos National Poll released Friday, Romney edged Obama 44% to 43%, with a one-percentage point margin well within the sampling error.

- CNN's Jamie Crawford contributed to this report.

Also see:

5 GOP pres. candidates praise Regan, berate Obama

Gingrich weighs in on campaign momentum

New poll shows Romney and Obama nearly tied

Filed under: 2012 • Faith • Joe Biden • Mitt Romney
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Paul


    Whatever Biden wants to say or's faith has a lot to do with how he will govern and MUST be taken seriously when voting. Why is it that Americans would never even think of electing a Muslim to a public office? Isn't it as a result of his faith. There's s huge difference between a mormon and a catholic in terms of spiritual values, and there's a vast difference between a baptist and a's faith does matter and we ALL know that.

    Romney needs to speak to the American people about mormonism and Joseph Smith. Many of us are very ignorant as to the relationship between both of these. Obama had was to give a national speech with respect to his faith when he ran for president. Romney and the others should be held to the same standard.

    November 6, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  2. morpunkt

    Thank you Brother Biden!

    November 6, 2011 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  3. dolceamara

    I always knew Joe Biden was a nice man. Now I know he's an honorable one, too.

    November 6, 2011 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  4. Chuck Carpenter

    I wonder if Biden would feel so charitable if he read what Mormon leaders have taught about the Catholic Church:

    "The Roman Catholic Church specifically—singled out, set apart, described, and designated as being ‘most abominable above all other churches’ (I Ne. 13:5)" (Cited under "Church of the Devil" in Mormon Doctrine, 1958, 129).

    But at this point, it's safe to assume that Biden is not actually concerned at all about this. He's campaigning and is a purely political creature. This is done as a backhanded slap at the Republicans. Let's see if he pulls out the race card if Cain is not the Republican's candidate!

    November 6, 2011 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  5. s kel

    Thats sad, goes to show you how hateful and narrow minded the religious far right nazis are.

    November 6, 2011 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  6. Voice of Reason

    Hooray for you Joe! For once someone on the left sees that the 1st amendment is still alive and kicking! He's treating the Mormons with more respect than most of the GOP candidates.

    November 6, 2011 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  7. JFritz

    Take note, GOP. This is how a gentleman talks. Classy guy, with an occasional f-bomb that makes him human. No hypocritical religous posing. Joe Biden 2012!

    November 6, 2011 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  8. FIELD1stSGT

    Watch out Romney for the rat in the woodpile. For they are playing you and the American people like the suckers they are.

    November 6, 2011 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  9. Bill in Florida

    Being a Democrat = supporting your opponent when the media are being unfair. Being a Rethuglican = criticizing the President NO MATTER what he does or does not. Voters will have a clear choice in 12 months.

    November 6, 2011 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  10. Clwyd

    Joe defend as much as you want, but I know that Mormonism is a religious cult having relatives who have been there and done that!

    November 6, 2011 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  11. Marie MD

    Mr. Vice President, it's not his faith that scares me personally. It's the fact that all of the teapublikan candidates heard a calling from their god that they had to run for the presidency of the US.
    Separation of church and state is something these morons don't understand. I don't want a president who tells me whom I need to "talk" to, like so many of them want or what to do with my body or that god is all. It's NOT this for everyone!!

    November 6, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  12. zb

    The issue with Romney is not his faith but his hypocrisy and lies. Those who expect equal rights for themself but deny it to others are hypocrits. Those who change their positions for politics are liars. Romney does both.

    November 6, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
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