The Mormon Factor: a Romneyesque View

romney18.jpgGary Marx, the conservative coalitions director for Mitt Romney, spearheaded the campaign’s outreach to the conservative Christian community. After Romney withdrew from the race yesterday, God-o-Meter asked Marx how big the so-called Mormon factor was in stopping Romney candidacy:

It was ultimately less a factor than I thought it would be because of the College Station, Texas [“Faith in America”] speech was so successful. It didn’t play out in the media after that. It came up as something that was stirred up in places by the other campaigns.
At the same time, Huckabee was able to be successful in his brand of identity politics because there was a group of people who were looking for an alternative [to Romney].


For what it’s worth, God-o-Meter agrees. Yes, the Mormon factor helped do Romney in, Huckabee’s presence makes it impossible to isolate Mormonism as a variable. It’s a lot easier for evangelicals to take Romney’s Mormonism into account when there’s a clear evangelical alternative, when the choices aren’t just Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, or Mitt Romney.
Since Romney’s planning to run again in 2012, God-o-Meter asked whether it wasn’t likely that another evangelical candidate would be able to benefit from the “Mormon factor.” After all, Huck isn’t the only Republican evangelical candidate of recent cycles. Remember Pat Robertson in 1988? Gary Bauer in 2000? George W. Bush more recently? “It’s totally different when you’re running against pastor,” Marx said, “who’s preaching from a different pulpit each Sunday.”
No doubt about that. Of course, if you’re a Mormon running to be the candidate of the GOP’s evangelical base, you’re going to meet some serious resistance, whether facing a Baptist preacher like Huckabee or not. Perhaps 2012 will present another test of whether it’s possible to overcome that resistance.


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posted February 8, 2008 at 3:19 pm

It is a shame that Romney’s kind of Christianity is not wanted in the Republican party. So much for the big tent acceptance of value voters. This is further evidence that the Republican party that has been formed by a large religious base can not show enough Christian good will to keep from falling apart. What goes around, comes around.

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Peter Moss

posted February 9, 2008 at 11:03 am

This is nothing new. Christians have been persecuting people with other beliefs for centuries. Mormons don’t pull any punches in this game either. Try sending your non-LDS child to a predominantly LDS school in Salt Lake City.
The real shame is that you cant zoom out your viewpoint further to see that religion itself is the divider. Still, your last statement is correct.

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Robert Brown

posted February 9, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Mitt Romney and so many other hard working patriotic citizens who hold active membership in the “Mormon” church will have to be satisfied with staying in the business world and fixing the economy, employing other Americans in great businesses and building their country’s best image in other nations. Also, many will still need to work in government as senior advisors to presidents and others, in the Congress as the House Leader Harry Read does and Sen. Orin Hatch and others (The LDS presidnet in late 80’s was Ezra Taft Benson who was Eisenhower’s Sec. of Agriculture while he was one of the 12 Apostles, because Ike knew him as a welfare organizer in war-tirn Europe right after WW2.) and in foreign affairs and CIA because they come back from church missions with excellent foreign language skills, and continue to be super representatives of American values. In small ponds everyone wants to be the mayor, but those who are best qualified usually prefer to get much more done in not so high profile positions. Mitt Romney will realize that he can accomplish a lot more for freedom, prosperity and feeding the world’s hungry from OTHER than that desk at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC. Did you ever check into how many cargo planes the LDS Church has ready to fly supplies to disaster areas anywhere in the world? And how many of its 55,000 plus foreign missionaries are out there doing rebuilding and welfare service projects like building potable water systems as their freely offered, self-supported service missions? It is at least as effective as any Peace Corps was.

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posted February 10, 2008 at 4:53 am

Peter Moss,
That is what I love to see, some good old fashioned bigotry!!! Let’s hate the Mormons together!!!

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