Romney responds to Huckabee’s “Religious Attack”

From Fox News:

BOSTON — Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Mitt Romney answered rival Mike Huckabee’s upcoming published comments about Mormonism, declaring Wednesday that “attacking someone’s religion is really going too far.”

In an article to be published Sunday in The New York Times, Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asks, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”

Romney, vying to become the first Mormon elected president, declined to answer that question during an interview Wednesday, saying church leaders in Salt Lake City had already addressed the topic.

“But I think attacking someone’s religion is really going too far. It’s just not the American way, and I think people will reject that,” Romney told NBC’s “Today” show.

Asked if he believed Huckabee was speaking in a coded language to evangelicals, Romney praised his rival as a “good man trying to do the best he can,” but he added, “I don’t believe that the people of this country are going to choose a person based on their faith and what church they go to.”

Huckabee has been surging in recent opinion polls, taking the GOP lead in Iowa and pressing closer to Rudy Giuliani in polling.

At this point it’s really hard to tell if Huckabee was sincerely just clueless in asking that question or if he was trying to plant a bad seed of thought in people’s minds, but I’m not here to debate either issue.

What I WILL debate is Romney’s naivety in thinking the American people don’t care what religion their president is. He’s clearly forgotten the fear the American people had when Kennedy was elected, that he would take direction from the Vatican due to his Catholic faith.

Unfortunately religion is at the very center of this war we are engaged in and has become a centralized topic of news for the past years mainly due to the war, the Da Vinci Code, and all the priests engaging in sexual intercourse with young boys.

Of course the people are going to be concerned about the faith of their next President, you don’t think a Muslim will ever get elected do you? How could Romney make such a silly uneducated comment?

  • Suspected

    Romney wouldn’t have given a speech on religion if he truly believed people didn’t care; he knows they care but he has to try to downplay the issue. His flip flopping on abortion is what will do him in, though.

  • Joshua Pratt

    Obviously Romney recognizes that Americans are concerned with the religion of their president and the faith that he has, as pointed out in the previous comment. Romney is not saying that it is not of concern to the American people but that he believes the American people are not going to elect the president based on their religion. Just as one would hope they wouldn’t elect the president based on ethnicity. One of the true meanings of having separation of church and state. The American people can look at the individual and how they have conducted their lives in office and private and base their decision on this and their ability to lead. To imply that the American people will never elect an individual of the Muslim faith is offensive and shows your lack of faith in the American democratic process and people as well as your own possible prejudice.

  • The Angry American

    No it simply employs common sense. I have no prejudice towards anyone of any faith with the exception of the extremeists which doesn’t include moderate muslims. I actually grew up with muslim nextdoor neighbors. The husband from Pakistan, rasied in Iran, and the wife Pakastinian. Thier son and I were good freinds. Religion was never an issue for us.

    A person is intelligent, groups of people are simply dumb angry animals. THe American people as whole, due to the the political and religous atmosphere of the time, will never elect a Muslim president for fear of a takeover on American values which are already being eroded on a daily basis. They would fear that we would be under the rule of Mamoud Ahmadinejad or Bin Laden by association per my example of John F. Kennedy and the Vatican.

    The seperation of Church and State has been in dire straights for some time now. Why else do you think religion has been such a controversey in the debates and at the center of media attention?

    Notice how people are constantly challenging for the removal of religous references in our currency such as “In God We Trust” ? How about the peple that constantly sue schools for religious groups linked to campuses? Or the lawsuits trying to remove prayer from school, or the attempts at ammending the Pledge of Allegiance because it includes the words “One Nation Under God” ?

    I don’t personally have a lack of faith in the democratic process, Americans as a whole do, when’s the last time you checked out the polls on Congressional or Presidential Aprroval?

  • Michael Jeryson

    As of now there has been only one president who was not a White Male Protestant– and that is John F. Kennedy. Kennedy played to the tune of being American means being above religious preferences. Romney is attempting this. It is not whether he believes the public has this view or not– he is trying to impress the public in this manner.

    Unfortunately, he waffles on this. Kennedy was centered in his remarks about not making religion a focal point of his presidential candidacy. Romney will give the Kennedy line, but then counter with ways of enforcing that he is “Christian” enough (e.g., he believes Jesus is the son of god, etc.).

    I am not siding with Angry on this one, but he has a point. I do not see people grilling Clinton on her Methodist leaning, or McCain or others on their particular Protestant sect (what Baptist might imply for Huckabee, for instance). The scrutiny is over a non-Protestant, in this case Mitt Romney. According to most U.S people, Mormonism is in a liminal space between Christianity and the “other religions.” Islam, however, is not.

    I am not going to say the U.S public will never elect a Muslim, but I will say it will take quite some time. Over two hundred years to go Roman Catholic once, and then forty years after that to have another viable Catholic candidate (Kerry) and a Mormon makes one wonder how long before we can see a Muslim, a Buddhist, or a Hindu behind a strong political platform.

  • John

    I for one am weary of the continual bigotry coming from Huckabee and other extreme evangelicals. I know and work with a significant number of people who are Christians – and frankly I find them better Christians than many of my friends who call them themselves borne again Christians/Evangelicals. Huckabee is a disappointment.

    The elections is over – let the rhetoric die for a while.
    By not doing this, the evangelicals are serving to stain and tarnish themselves further.