The Other McCain

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CNN’s Jack Cafferty: ‘Lingering Questions About Mormonism … Odd and Insular’

Posted on | April 18, 2012 | 49 Comments

A steady drip, drip, drip from the major media continues, and notice how this is framed as helpful advice to Mitt Romney:

Now that Mitt Romney is likely the Republican nominee he may begin talking about his Mormon faith. Politico reports a lot of Republicans think he should embrace his Mormonism publicly so people can better understand him. . . .
Mormonism is a big part of who Mitt Romney is. He traveled to France on a two-year mission for the church as a young adult, and who raised his five sons as Mormons and has held several church leadership positions. Nevertheless, Romney doesn’t really like to talk about it. . . .
His aides say he has no immediate plans to make another formal speech at least for now, but maybe he should. It would help clear up lingering questions about Mormonism, a religion that still seems odd and insular to many.
Mormonism has a tainted past that includes racism and polygamy. a CNN/ORC poll taken last October shows 17 percent of Americans would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who is a Mormon. That’s not a small number. . . .
Here’s the question: Mitt Romney is a Mormon. How much will it matter?

See? Cafferty’s just askin’ questions. And in the process of asking questions, he brings up the “tainted past” and mentions — oh, just by the way — that Mitt spent two years as a Mormon missionary and “held several church leadership positions.”

Perhaps you didn’t notice how ABC’s Diane Sawyer managed to bring up the same issue in “just-askin’-questions” mode:

Sawyer brought up Romney’s Mormon faith, prompting, “Would you sit down sometime and really talk the two of you about something that holds a lot of curiosity for people?”
Signaling that this would be a campaign issue, she continued, “So, do the people think you’re reluctant to talk about being Mormon?”

These are the overtures to the grand opera, folks. Did you know that last summer, Ron Howard bought the movie rights to Under the Banner of Heaven, a book about murders committed by members of an fundamentalist Mormon extremist splinter group? While there’s no way they could complete a major motion picture before the election, I’m willing to bet stories about the making of the movie will start showing up in the major media this fall.

Drip, drip, drip . . .


  • Fitzgerald

    This whole site’s basic premise is that Romney should not be nominated because he’s a Mormon and Americans hate Mormons.

    EVERYONE knows Mitt Romney is a Mormon, yet he’s LEADING Obama in the polls.

    Sorry, I don’t see a hidden “Bradley effect”, especially since hating Mormons doesn’t violate political correctness on either side of the aisle.

  • Rodtheold

    This should not be  news nor a surprise. Huckabee started it 5 years ago; and is still at it 2 weeks ago. Now Mike is  “helpful” 5 years ago he was negative. Jack was  regurgitating Mkie’s comments of 2 weeks back. Not saying Mike’s a lib  – how could he be….  he has a R ?

  • Rick

    Luckily, this is on unwatched and uninfluential CNN.  Extremist backwater.


  • Garym

    Or maybe RSM is reporting on how the Dems and the media (but I repeat myself) are going to attack Romney. Which goes back to electability. Romney supporters have informed us over and over that he is the only electable candidate, well we’re going to find out if thats true.

  • ThePaganTemple

     Didn’t Ricky Poo claim to be the only electable candidate? So did Michelle, and a lot of others to one degree or another. Santorum harped on it more than anybody I can think of, including Romney, BTW.

  • ThePaganTemple

    Cafferty tries to portray himself as one of these lovable curmudgeonly types like Beckel, but nobody takes him that seriously. This kind of stuff if taken too far would come closer to backfiring on Team Obama than helping them.

    There will be no brokered convention. Mitt is going to be the nominee. Stacy, you need to repeat this like its a mantra until it sinks in. Ask yourself, is it really that much sillier to believe that you, too, can one day be the god of your planet than it is to believe that people can rise up out of their graves with new and improved physical bodies, even if they’ve been dead for decades, centuries, or even thousands of years?

    There are all kinds of questionable beliefs in any and all religions. If you don’t want to be ridiculed by anybody, be an atheist.

  • Charles

    Notice how this is framed as helpful advice to the Republican Party?

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Just asking questions?   Where have I heard that before?  

    Meanwhile:  Mitch Daniels and Rob Portman want to be Mitt’s prom date…  

  • Fitzgerald

    Exactly, an afterlife in the clouds with roads paved in gold is just SO much more realistic than the Mormon’s silly version of Heaven. 

    And being a Protestant, I also have MAJOR theological issues with the concept of Purgatory, so I guess it’s a good thing Santorum lost.  My main criteria for picking a President is what they think the afterlife looks like.

    Note to SoCons, we’re not electing an American Pope, if you look to the White House to be your spiritual leader your soul is already S.O.L.

  • Garym

    Romney SUPPORTERS have told me over and over that he is the only electable candidate. I would hope that any candidate would think that he/she are the only electable candidate.  Me, I personally think that anyone would have beaten Obama. Btw, I am voting against Obama. If that turns out to be Mr. Romneycare, so be it.   

  • Fitzgerald

    Every candidate says they’re electable, the difference is, not all of them are right.

    Romney led every other GOP nominee by a wide margin in every poll I saw against Obama, and now he’s actually BEATING Obama outright according to several polls.

    Romney’s Mormonism WAS a problem, but it was almost exclusively in the deep South among Evangelicals that also believe Obama is a Muslim.

  • ThePaganTemple

     The governor of Virginia is his best bet, at least on paper, the way it looks now. He can win back Virginia, North Carolina, and maybe even Pennsylvania, and would be a big help in a lot of other states. Admittedly I don’t know a whole lot about him, so I’m sure I’m going to be hearing about what a big RINO he is.

  • cowbelltg

    This is what happens when you don’t vett a candidate fully.

    We dicussed Mitt’s flip-flops.We discussed Romneycare.We discussed Mitt and his wealth.What we never discussed and was held off limits was Mitt’s Mormon faith.

    Since this baggage wasn’t unpacked in the primary,the MSM will unpack it all in the name of ‘understanding’ the Mormon faith.

  • Garym

    I don’t live in the south and I am not an evangelical. I live near the Utah border and have Mormon friends. I’m just pointing out that the media/Dems are going to ignor Harry Ried’s faith and are going to attack Romney’s faith with blind hatred.  

  • hrh40

     Well then, won’t you be disappointed when Romney loses.

    He is John Kerry.

    How’d that work out?

  • hrh40

    We never seriously discussed Bain Capital.

    The GOPE circled the wagons and shut that down.

    They will regret that.

    If they really want to win, that is.

    Course, they may be just as content to lose, so Jeb can come in and save the day in 2016. Like W did in 2000 after 8 years of Clinton.

    Just what was said in that totally out of the blue Oval Office meeting in January between BO, H.W., and Jeb?

  • ThePaganTemple

     Wow, that’s a low blow. Mitt is not John Kerry by any stretch. Granted, Mitt is more moderate than I would like, but Liveshot Kerry was the most liberal member of the Senate at the time he ran for President. And even at that, if one or two states had went the other way he’d have won.

    Keep the faith and don’t be so downhearted. Slowing the decline might be preferable to taking a blow torch to the works, if it leads to reversing the decline later under a more conservative President, like a Palin or a West.

  • ThePaganTemple

     Did that happen? I never heard about that. If that really did happen, I have an idea it didn’t have anything to do with the election, it probably had something to do with oil and doing something to increase domestic drilling. Still, they shouldn’t have met with him, if they really did.

  • Garym

    Here you go TPT. Story doesn’t explain what was talked about.

  • hrh40

    The analogy was to the party out of power nominating the worst possible candidate to take on an unpopular incumbent president.

    And the results of that election, therefore, are a preview of things to come. Learn from history and all that.

    The analogy also works that they hold office in Massachusetts; a state that is about as far out from the American mainstream as anyone. Save, perhaps, California.

    But even California doesn’t have mandated medicine.

  • hrh40

    No, I am not a liar, which you keep insinuating with your repeated “if they really did” nonsense.

    And there’s many more links where that came from if you just do a quick search on

    And no, I doubt they talked drilling. The Bushes are globalists as much as the Clintons and the Obamas.

    It’s just that you can get away with pushing the globalist agenda a lot more quickly in the Dem party than the GOP.

    At best, Mitt will bring us back to Bush levels of spending. But that won’t save the country. Obama’s pushed it too far.

    And the Bushes don’t seem too upset about it, do they?

  • Adobe_Walls

    I’d say Governor  MacDonald is to the conservative side of establishment Republicans, but he did run a damn effective campaign in 09. I don’t understand why everyone thinks we need to “win back NC”. It did not suddenly become a blue state in 08. It was a big year for democrats and a bad year for republicans. Obamsky only carried the state by 14,000 votes. For some context Kay Hagan unseated Libby Dole by over 350,000 (Dole was a poor senator). The state reelected Burr with 55% of the vote in 2010, the first time anyone was reelected to that senate seat since Sam Erwin. NC has more reason to vote against Obamsky than they did to vote for Burr. According to the Feb. unemployment rate state wide is 10.10% with only 4 of 100 counties below the national average. One county in Shuler’s district is at 20.7%, wonder why he’s not running for reelection.

    The democrats are scared up and down ticket. The democrats in the state legislature sold out the Gays by agreeing to vote the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage out of the legislature but onto the May primary (this was before Purdue announced she wouldn’t run for a second term as Gov) the Dem’s did this because they were afraid the amendment would drive even greater conservative turnout in Nov. than the chance to vote against Obamsky.

  • Fitzgerald

    Is it even worth the bandwidth to argue with someone who has Sarah Palin as their avatar?

  • ThePaganTemple

     I think its not so much they are looking to elect their spiritual leader so much as they are looking for someone that might lead and inspire others to become “saved” and in the meantime promote and enact their own legislative agendas on the federal level, with the full force and power of the federal government behind it.

    And any other candidate, even if they are solid conservatives, who doesn’t fit that bill, sorry, they’re just not good enough. Never mind that they want to promote the same kind of judges they want, and want to promote overall conservative polices which would actually benefit them more in the long run. They’re not on the right side of the Pro-Life Constitutional Amendment debate, for one example, so screw ’em.

    And now they’re pissed because the rest of us didn’t take kindly to, as one of them put it on another thread, having a stick taken to our heads. It evidently never occurred to them some of us might take so unkindly to that we might snatch that stick and shove it up their chosen candidate’s self-righteous ass.

    They’ll learn one of these days. Maybe.

  • ThePaganTemple

     I was not calling you a liar, I would never call anyone that unless I had good reason to think that. The only reason I put it that way was because I had never heard that before, and it just shocked me.

    I understand too that the Bushes are globalists, but that doesn’t discredit my theory. The Bushes don’t want domestic oil production limited to domestic use, they want to put it on the global market. The idea being this would make the global price of oil go down worldwide.

  • ThePaganTemple

     Thanks. It was the day after Obama slammed Bush for causing the recession and increasing the food stamp rolls, according to the story, but really they could have been talking about anything. It wasn’t a good idea in my opinion, but I seriously doubt they were discussing the election, certainly not for Obama’s benefit. The Bushes aren’t that craven, and certainly not that stupid.

  • ThePaganTemple

     Good point about NC. I was thinking more Pennsylvania (and of course Virginia) since it is a neighboring state, and he might wield a lot of influence over “Pennsyltucky” voters and maybe other Midwestern states we lost last time, like Ohio and Indiana.

  • Fitzgerald

    You’re right, and what a stupid way to look at politics.

    On the issues SoCons care about (gay marriage, abortion, etc.) Mormons are far more “hard core” than the average Catholic or Mainline Protestant would be.  You can pretty much thank the Mormon Church for killing gay marriage in California.


  • Bob Belvedere

    New here, eh?  Or just dumb?

  • Bob Belvedere

    You’ve got a lot of class, Clyde.

  • Adobe_Walls

    Thanks Mormon Church.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    yeah, why not?

  • Ninjawoodworker

    Yes, the MSM is going to attack Romney’s faith. Do you believe that they would not do the same to Santorum? They are going to attack us on every issue and every level. We just need to be ready for it. Have you seen what has happened to their attack on Romney and his dog? They brought up that Obama ate dog when he was a kid. We have to be ready to give as good as we get.aa. This is going to be a dirty campaign and nobody is going to come out clean.

  • ThePaganTemple

     Hell, we should be looking forward to it. We have so much material we can use on Obama and the Democrats in general, they should be scared to death to try to get too dirty with us. But right now they’re bluffing because we act like we’re the ones that are afraid. It’s just plain crazy.

  • rbeccah

    I’m old enough to remember when the biggest negative meme against electing John F. Kennedy was that he would allow the Pope to run the country.  Religion is and ought to be a private matter.

  • Tennwriter

    Nope. And you libertarians start it, but can’t take it.

    Which just means I need to hit em harder.

    See, that’s one reason that libertarians are stupid to take on socons.  Socons are reasonable, flexible, kindly, trusting people… a point.  After that point they turn into rabid wolverines on meth.

    Its that whole…’the nice guy is the meanest thing’. 

    Whereas libertarians are constantly picking fightings, insulting socalled allies, backstabbing, etc. etc…..but when push comes to shove they tend to back off.

    A large part of this is personality of the people involved.  But also a large part is the Structure.

    See. there is a very small, but dedicated group of libertarians.  They are practically identical to socons in their views.  Socons are OTOH a huge group.

    So the libertarians need to attack socons to make sure no one forgets them,  or thinks of them as some weird variant of the socons.

    They need to be pains in the neck in order to get something, or so they think. 

    And this strategy works to a degree, but socons have been increasingly noticing that they’re not even getting the short end of the stick.  And once the socon dragon wakes up….well anyone near it is going to get mighty crispy.

    The logical thing for the libertarians to do is to support the socons in kicking out the RI NOS from the seat of power, and have the socons take over the GOP.

    But we run into another problem with libertarians: they tend to hate socons more than they love liberty.

  • Tennwriter

    The last time the Socon dragon woke up we got Antietam, Shiloh, and the March to the Sea.  And why?  Because the cowardly powerbrokers of that day wanted to ignore moral issues, and in the end every lash of the whip was repaid with a bullet.

    But calling the GOP Establishment shortsighted dimwits is insulting to shortsighted dimwits.

  • ThePaganTemple

     but when  push comes to shove
    they (“libertarians”) tend to back off.

    Yep. Here’s one example. For awhile, a good many of us “libertarians” supported Santorum (though admittedly, many of us did so grudgingly and warily), but ol’ Rick got the idea he could insult us, could push us and shove us around.

    So we backed off our support.

    The result? Get ready to say “GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney” here in a few short months.

    Reckon the next SoCon candidate might learn a lesson from that?

    If they’re smart they will.

  • ThePaganTemple

     Now the biggest meme about him is, or at least should be, that he was nothing but a damn scumbag, him and his punk little brother Bobby both. But you’re right, a candidates religion is, or at least should be, irrelevant, unless of course he’s a Muslim. That would be cause for concern for me, and I admit that freely.

  • JeffS

     No, California doesn’t have mandated medicine.  But they have everything else that socialists want. 

  • Bob Belvedere

    Well put, but, yet, Willard still goes around calling Obama a ‘nice man’.  So, on some things he gives as good as he gets, but on others he doesn’t.  This is his eternal problem: lack of consistency.  Ask the people of Massachusetts about Wishy-Washy Willard.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    Do you understand how your last two statements contradict (within the statement as well)?

    Religion (or lack thereof for that matter), even though we are founded on the idea of religious freedom and that religion is a private matter, does indeed matter — it is a component of what makes up a person, so it does affect their worldview.  There is no getting around this, and people have a right to know what a leader’s worldview entails before handing over the reins to him.  Look at what happened by not allowing the people to get a good, unbiased look at the present leader’s worldview (which included religion).

  • ThePaganTemple

     I just meant that a candidate’s religion should not automatically be grounds for disqualification from office. The vast majority of religions teach the same values. I ignore what I consider the mythological aspects of a religion, your Tower of Babels, Red Sea Partings, Great Floods, and being the God of your own planet kind of stuff. To me, that kind of thing is wholly irrelevant. What’s important is your Golden Rules, your Ten Commandments, Beatitudes. That’s the stuff that matters, how you practice that part of your faith, what some might call the “meat and potatoes” of the religion as opposed to the “pablum” that so many people become focused on.

    As long as a candidate can assure me that he doesn’t intend to use his power to enforce his religious beliefs with the force and power of the federal government, why should I care whether his religion used to allow polygamy at one time, or believes in Baptism Of The Dead Now? As long as Mitt doesn’t try to start a Cabinet For The Proper Baptism Of The Founding Fathers I couldn’t care less.

  • Tennwriter

    PT, if the situation was as you described, you’d have a very good point.

    But, the libertarians have been sniping at Santorum for a very long time before he shot back in this campaign.  Bullies seem to feel that its ‘not ok’  or ‘whiny’ for someone who is being persecuted to fight back.

    Well, snot on that.  And I’m fairly sure you agree with me on this point.  You just haven’t been paying attention to this part of the race. 

    If the libertarians don’t want a fight, tell them to stop picking one every chance they get.  Otherwise, I think the rational thing to do is for the socons to attack first.

  • davidfarrar

    Mitt Romney and John McCain are alike in another way. Like Barack Obama, neither Mitt Romney, nor John McCain, are constitutional natural born Citizens.

    ex animo

  • ThePaganTemple


    Yeah, I know some FisCons gave Santorum a hard time, but this was mostly about his role in the GOP Senate leadership during the Bush years, in addition to some reservations about his SoCon leanings.

    Frankly, neither aspect of the man bothered me that much. Admittedly, it did a little bit, but remember, I was always a Bachmann supporter, who happens to be every bit the SoCon Santorum is and even supports a Right To Life Amendment the same as he does.

    If I can grin and bear it for her, I could have for him as well. But he just went off the rails once too often, in my opinion. I won’t go into the old video again, I’ve said enough on that score, but you get my point.

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  • ThePaganTemple

     I know, he bugs the hell out of me doing that to the point it makes me want to punch something inanimate, which would probably be bad for my fist. Maybe he’ll catch on. There’s always that chance, because I have a feeling once the election campaign really begins in earnest, he’s going to figure out the hard way that Obama is anything but a “nice guy”, and on top of that, he knows exactly what he’s doing.

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