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LDS spokesmen are 'relatively pleased' after Mitt Romney's presidential campaign

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 6 2012 6:56 p.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visits a campaign call center in Green Tree, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

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With the 2012 elections complete, the top two spokesmen for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are "relatively pleased" with the way journalists portrayed the church's political neutrality while Mitt Romney campaigned as the first Mormon candidate running for U.S. president as a major-party nominee.

On Monday evening LDS Church public affairs director Michael Otterson told the Washington Post, “For people like us it’s been incredibly intense because of all the media interest. … Plenty of exceptions, but we are relatively pleased that we got through this campaign without the church being dragged into the middle of politics.”

The Washington Post’s Election 2012 Blog published Tuesday the interview transcript of a conversation with Otterson and LDS spokesman Michael Purdy.

“It’s a great thing when people are asking questions, when you are replacing misperceptions with fact,” Purdy said. “When you are having a conversation and understanding each other, that’s a good thing for everybody. … People are getting a clearer picture of what Mormonism is at its core rather than what are these little things I hear out in the ether that other people have tried to use to define us.”

The 2012 election cycle that left Otterson and Purdy feeling “relatively pleased” included several instances of high-profile coverage from the mainstream media regarding the LDS Church.

Newsweek ran a cover story about “the Mormon moment” in June 2011.

The New York Times published an article in October 2011 detailing Romney’s church service as a Mormon bishop and stake president.

Seven months ago, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell made inflammatory and inaccurate statements about the LDS Church and its founder, Joseph Smith.

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