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Romney's Mormonism may not be an issue

Romney's Mormonism may not be an issue

By Matt Hopkins | Posted - Apr. 27, 2011 at 4:10 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY -- For Mitt Romney to make a successful run for president in 2012, he will most likely not have to defend his Mormon religion.

This may come as a surprise to some of you considering what he went through in 2008.


If we have two Mormon candidates in the race, (Mormonism) becomes less of an anomaly.

–John Green


In that election season Romney was known as the Mormon former governor of Massachusetts. There was uneasiness about the unknown commodity in national politics. Now, he is a known candidate. He has spent the time in between elections showing his fundraising prowess and making connections with other republican politicians.

In 2008 Romney's Mormonism was front and center. He decided to give a speech directly addressing the issue, with hopes of addressing those voters who might see his religion as liability. In the end, the speech was not successful in convincing everyone. Romney may now have time and his potential competition, Jon Huntsman Jr., to thank for a softer stance on his religion. In an interview with ReligionNews.com, John Green, an expert in religion and politics at the University of Akron in Ohio gave his opinion on the dynamics of having two Mormons in the race.

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"If we have two Mormon candidates in the race, (Mormonism) becomes less of an anomaly," Green said. "You may see somewhat greater acceptance (of Mormons) on the part of the general public."

POLITICO.com reported that there was a meeting between Evangelical and Mormon leaders in March. According to the website, this would present an opportunity where the two groups could further reconcile their differences. They also quoted Romney adviser Mark Demoss, who is himself an evangelical.

"Time has enlightened a lot of evangelicals," DeMoss said. "Nationally, Mitt Romney was virtually unknown in 2008, and now he's better known. The question I often pose to evangelicals is not ‘Could you vote for a Mormon?' but ‘could you vote for this Mormon?'"

Coming up tomorrow:

With his Mormonism now a softer issue, Romney will face more heat this election for his record as a politician, especially concerning health care. Romney has already stated that he would grant health care waivers to all states if he became president, but his past may come back to haunt him.

As the governor of Massachusetts, Romney instituted health care reform that is similar to Obamacare. Now he criticizes that program. His conservative opponents have continued to bring this up, along with other issues, to paint him as a political plastic bag, changing his views to go where the political winds take him.

If Romney can overcome this impression, than he has a chance to not only be the republican presidential challenger but become the next Commander-in-chief.

Email: mhopkins@ksl.com

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Matt Hopkins

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