LANSING, MI – MAY 8: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Lansing Community College May 8, 2012 in Lansing, Michigan. Last night former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum gave his endorsement to Gov. Romney in an e-mail sent to supporters. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

So, tomorrow (or today, depending on when I actually finish this) the Republican Presidential Primary season officially begins, as voters in Iowa hold caucuses to vote for whom they think the GOP nominee should be. Mitt Romney, who had a strong performance in the 2008 primaries, entered this race last year as the presumptive front-runner, yet he has had a hard to connecting to the base (ie The Far Right) of the GOP and gaining any real enthusiasm. It’s as if most of the people who support him do so by default, just because they’re desperate to get rid of President Obama and they think that Romney can beat him, but they’re not really motivated by Romney himself. And that’s why we’ve seen the up and down polls with the rise (& eventual fall) of several other candidates. The base is just looking for someone to excite them.

What’s clear, to any objective observer, is that Romney has, so far, been running a fantastic campaign. He stays on message, doesn’t fumble his words, & has an answer for every criticism you can throw at him (his answers may not always be believable, but at least he has an answer). So far, his biggest mistake was when he challenged Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet in one of the debates, which his critics were able to pounce on and make him look as if he’s out of touch with middle-class Americans. I’ll admit that wasn’t the wisest move, but compared to Rick Perry’s infamous brain-fart, that’s not so bad.

And that’s the other thing Romeny’s had on his side: great luck. First, his biggest competition on the Right side of the GOP, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, refused to run this year, and so did his biggest competition on the Moderate side, Mike Daniels and Chris Christie. So he’s basically got the moderates all wrapped up, while the Right has pushed several candidates against him who have all either simply failed to catch on (like Michelle Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum), or they’ve self-destructed on their own (like Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich). So all Romney’s had to do was sit back, and not screw up.

Of course, he does have one major weakness, at least in regard to the GOP base, and it’s something he can’t do anything about: his religion. Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Many fundamentalist Christians do not consider the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be a “real” Christian church, and even less-devout Christians think of LDS as a cult. And, because of this, many simply don’t trust Mitt Romney. I have to say that this is extremely unfair, in my opinion.

First, let me state that, for the record, I am not endorsing Mitt Romney for President, and am not saying that anyone should vote for him. I’m just saying that if you’re not going to vote for him, it should be because you don’t like his policies, not because you don’t like his religion. His religious beliefs (like those of every other candidate, and every other citizen) are his own business.

Look, I’m not an expert on the Mormon faith. I own a copy of The Book of Mormon, but never really got around to reading it past the first few pages. But, yes, I saw the infamous South Park episode, so I know that religion has some rather…let’s say UNORTHODOX doctrine, especially in regards to Joseph Smith and how he founded the church, but so what? All religions are kinda wacky when really look at them. C’mon, virgin births, talking serpents, resurrections, etc. Are the beliefs of Mormons really so much worse?

One of my friends said that Romney’s continued belief in the teachings of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, made him question Romney’s judgment, and his ability to make rational decisions. But, again, I just think that’s wrong since you could say the same about every other candidate. Unless you can PROVE to me that anyone else’s religious beliefs are 100% true. But nobody can do that.

I say, if you really think his religion is a good measure of his character, then why not look at how he has behaved during his life? The man has been married to the same woman since 1969, and raised 5 sons, all of whom, I think, went to Ivy League schools. So, as far as I can tell, as a person he is a pretty swell guy. And if his religion is part of what made him this way, then that’s good enough for me. Actions speak louder than words. There are plenty of people who proudly proclaim a belief in some other “mainstream” version of Christianity, yet act like horrible people. Romney seems to practice what he preaches, so to speak. So his religion should only matter if he was running for Pastor of the United States, but he’s not, he’s running for President of the United States. So, the relevant question is, is he qualified to do THAT job? And that’s up for you (yes, YOU) to decide. Again, I’m not endorsing him, there are plenty of reasons not to vote for him, if you don’t want to, I just don’t think his religion is one of them.

Just my opinion.


  1. J.R.,
    You’re absolutely right; Romney should not be judged because of his religion. There are some wonderful people out there who’re Mormons and they can make good judgments the same as anyone else.
    Let’s not forget last election when the moderator of a Republican presidential debate asked all of the contenders which ones didn’t believe in evolution and almost all of them raised their hands. So when it comes to rational thought, religion should have no bearing on someone’s ability to lead, only if they’re going to use their religion to tell everyone else how to live as far as pushing for constitutional amendments to limit the rights of some of our citizens.
    The reason I would have a problem with Romney, if I was a Republican voter, which I’m not (diehard Obama fan all the way), it would be because I fondly call him “Whichever-way-the- wind-blows Romney”. I call him that is because he switches his position depending on whatever office he’s running for. For a man who suppose to be religious, he seems to lack core values that sets in stone his principles, not someone who can change his moral ethics at the drop of a campaign hat.

    Great article J.R., keep it up.



    • Thanks. I will also not be voting for Mitt Romney, because I know that in the next 4 years it is highly likely that @ least one (Ginsburg), and possibly two (Kennedy) Supreme Court Justices will be replaced, and I’d much rather President Obama be the one to pick the replacement(s) than Romney or any other Republican President.

      Plus, there’s all the potential openings in the lower Federal courts. This is a point I’ve tried to make to many disgruntled Obama voters. The ones who are upset that he hasn’t been the extreme Liberal crusader that they convinced themselves back in 08 that he was (although anyone who really paid attention always knew he was really a centerist, not a liberal), and now say things like “He’s no different than Bush.” And I’m like, really? You don’t think there’s a difference between Sotamayor/Kagen and Roberts/Alito? There’s a HUGE difference, and that’s what’s really important: the makeup of the courts. That’s the real legacy of Presidents. George W is gone, long gone, but Roberts and Alito could be on the court, making decisions that will affect all of our lives, for the next 20 years or more.


  2. You’re right J.R.; Supreme Court appointments have a long, lasting effect on our country. Gosh knows the current majority of conservative justices have almost destroyed our campaign finance system with “Citizens United vs. FEC”.

    I also think that those who expected more from Obama than what he delivered, obviously haven’t paid much attention to how well most presidents do when it comes to fulfilling their campaign promises. Barack actually did much better than most; he did something at least about health care, repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, ended the war in Iraq; signed a bill to regulate the financial industry and etc.

    The only really big thing he hasn’t accomplished is getting the Dream Act passed, but he did all those things with complete opposition from the Republicans and most of it done after they took over one of the houses of Congress and added enough Republicans to the Senate to block everything with a filibuster. I think he’s done wonderfully considering all that he has come against.

    So I’m confident if we would simply give him another four years and give him a majority in both houses of Congress, plus a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, he’ll fulfill the rest of the promises he made.


    • Well, @ this point, I think the best we can hope for is him getting reelected, an the Dems retaining the majority in the Senate. I’m not sure if the Dems taking back the House, not to mention with a filibuster proof majority, is a realistic option.


  3. I don’t care about Romney’s wacky religious beliefs, either. I care about the fact that he’s clearly one of those flip-flopping politicians who will say whatever he has to to get elected. When he was running in liberal Massachusetts he claimed he was a moderate. He was pro-choice on abortion, pro-gay rights, and pro-government health care. Now that he’s running for President, he’s a conservative whose against all those things. He’s just pandering to the white extremist tea party movement. So fuck him.


  4. I agree “Kill All Lawyers” Newt would be worse than Romney. I remember him well from his House Speaker days and his “Contract Against America”. It was another boondoggle for the wealthy and big business. He also was leading the prosecution on Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal while he was in the middle of having an affair of his own. He’s just another sleaze ball and very explosive.


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