Analysis: How a Mormon can be U.S. President

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  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Feb. 5, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Why won't I vote for an LDS candidiate?

    The media and voters are not the ones bringing up religion. It is Mormons themselves who push religion into everybody's face and into everything they do. They wear their religion on their sleeves.

    Socially, to a Mormon, you are either a fellow member or a "non-member" (also known as a potential investigator). Trying to be friends with a Mormon is like trying to be friends with a MLM-er. They are always trying to get you to "join".

    Politically, they believe they are supposed to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus, when their theocracy will rule for a thousand years, when "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that [the Mormon] Jesus is the Christ" (Philippians 2:10-11; Mosiah 27:31; D&C 76:110; D&C 88:104).

    They aspire to "put an end to all nations" (D&C87:6) that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent (in Missouri); that Christ will reign personally upon the earth.

    Romney and Huntsman believe this stuff. It sounds like Taliban or Hezbollah to me. We dont need that. Nobody does.

  • amst plano, tx
    Feb. 3, 2011 11:19 p.m.

    Doesn't really matter if other Christians consider Mormons christian or not they aren't the ones to say if we are christian or not nor is it any of my business to decide if anyone else is. Christianity has no main governing council to make such decisions it is made up of many different churches with many different opinions the only one who can determine if you are is yourself so say we aren't all you want it really won't change anything anyway. Christ lives and cares god bless.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 6:06 p.m.

    To my friend chucky - well, if every religion that believes in those silly Bible stories is an "extreme" religion, then you'll have a problem with many, many organized religions that are followed by many, many of our nation's leaders. By your definition, most of the common traditional religions are "extreme."

    I don't profess to know everything about other religions, but Mormon doctrine teaches that we are certainly not the center of the universe, but rather one of the countless life creations of God throughout the universe.

    Personally, I think it's far more egocentric to conclude that if I haven't felt God's presence in my life, then he doesn't exist. And if you believe in karma, fate, souls, afterlife, etc., then why is your belief system legitimate, but mine is like believing in santa and vampires?

    And please name one national LDS politician, Repub or Dem, that has ever encouraged his constituency to take the discussions, or who has allowed his religion to overshadow his political responsibilities, despite Penguin's nonexistent dream candidate. To claim LDS politicians allow their religion to make their decisions is truly the santa/vampire belief system.

  • charlie91342 Sylmar, CA
    Feb. 3, 2011 5:23 p.m.

    re - DSB | 3:45 p.m
    "have you ever voted? I'm curious, because nearly all public officials seem to express a sincere faith in a higher being, clearly having not outgrown what you claim is a silly notion."

    there is a BIG difference between someone believing in a higher being, karma, fate, souls and an afterlife, etc versus someone that thinks all the bible stories are true, evolution doesn't exist, God is always watching and is everywhere, etc.

    my point was simply that the bible stories, God always watching, etc are great for teaching children right vs wrong, but one would hope as adults we would understand that the stories are simply metaphors. and if there is in fact a god-type creator, he is probably off at some distant planet doing his thing there. and I don't mean creating a man and using his rib to make a woman...

    the problem with extreme religions is you think we are the center of the universe. it's actually quite a self-centered opinion. and as Bill said, your religion is a total way of life. so you cannot be impartial - your religion will make your decisions.

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    I would prefer an atheist for president which is as likely as Huntsman or Romney getting the nomination.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    Correction - I certainly hope I'm NOT alone in my thinking.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    To chuckie zip code of Sylmar - have you ever voted? I'm curious, because nearly all public officials seem to express a sincere faith in a higher being, clearly having not outgrown what you claim is a silly notion.

    Whether what you really feel is hate I have no idea. I'll take you at your word that it's not hate, but it's clearly an elitist mentality that holds in derision the faith of believers. Just because you haven't personally felt a spiritual experience that billions of others have felt, you conclude that God doesn't exist at all and everyone who has experienced something very real to them is deluded.

    And to everyone who thinks an Atheist President would be perfectly acceptable: I'll concede to the voters, but personally I would not vote for someone who did not hope for the hand of Providence in guiding our nation, or who would not say or believe in the entire Pledge of Allegiance, or who did not believe in the full intention and text of the Declaration of Independence. I certainly hope I'm alone in my thinking.

  • charlie91342 Sylmar, CA
    Feb. 3, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    re - Bill in Nebraska | 12:27 p.m

    well, Bill, you can read into it whatever you want, but there is no hate involved whatsoever. I certainly don't hate religious people - it's more of a "huh? really? you still believe all that?". just the same as if I told you I still believed in santa claus or vampires, you would find it somewhat disconcerting. would you vote for someone that said they believed in vampires or any other far-fetched belief?

    we can have different beliefs. and we can have discussions about them.

    that is not hate. it is simply different beliefs. just because someone doesn't share your views and finds them incredulous doesn't mean they hate you.

    I certainly don't hate you. I don't even know you. I merely find your beliefs far-fetched and am not willing to vote for someone that shares them, especially when their entire life revolves around those beliefs. have a nice day.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 3, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    To Charlie: So what if Romney was to ask the whole country to take the missionary discussions. You still have the choice to say not I.

    Being a Latter Day Saint isn't something you do on Sunday only. It isn't something you out grow as you put it. It is totally a way of life. It is no different than being a full Catholic. To me having someone believe like you has no place in the White House or in Government at all. It isn't based on Common Sense as you put it but completely and entirely hatefulness.

    I would really have liked to have lived in a time where a President would wear their religion on their sleeve and think to the betterment of all people, not just their own party. The time will come when one is there whether he is Mormon or not depends on a lot of things. When that happens our leadership will be great and for once we would be the country we should be.

    Your hate really does show through.

  • charlie91342 Sylmar, CA
    Feb. 3, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    re - Penguin Inc. | 7:22 p.m

    "I hope he invites the entire country to listen to the missionary lessons. :) That'd be terrific!"

    huh? see - that's exactly what we are afraid of. everything is about religion to you mormon folks, and that's what will always keep a mormon from being elected president.

    for a mormon, religion will always take priority over everything else. and that's way too scary to most people.

    re - JSB | 2:39 p.m
    "I can understand it if people disagree with Romney because of his politics. But to refuse to vote for him because of his Monrmonism reveals something about your intellectual capacity. Anti Mormon materials generally appeal to bigoted, uneducated, red-necks."

    no, JSB. It's not the bizarre beliefs. it's the fact that religion is the MAIN focus in a mormon's life. we need leaders that focus on the country, not their religion.

    i would never vote for anyone that is overtly religious. to me it shows a lack of common sense. Religion and God is supposed to be used to show children right and wrong. but like santa claus, it is expected that you would outgrow it.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    Senator Reid already IS the Highest ranking memeber of the Federal Government, and Utah "Mormons" can't ever seem to acknowledge that fact.


  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 3, 2011 9:19 a.m.

    I could care less if they are Mormon or not speaking as one. What concerns me more are they principled and honest people who can demonstrate a vision of where they want to take our country next. The "President" is the chief administrator of our country, and what church they go to worship makes little to no difference. There are people of character in all faiths, and I support them equally without respect to their particular religious beliefs.

    There is so little that actually divides the religions. I think many make far too much of the miniscule differences between us.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 2, 2011 5:54 p.m.

    JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidtb - your comments are completely without any basis in fact. As someone born in Utah, who spent many years living in "Cali", and now lives in the South, I can tell you from personal experience that how you portray southern christians is completely out of line.

    First of all, evangelical is a very over used term. Most Baptist and other variants could care less about Mormons, and what Mormons believe. They are just as active in their churches as we are, and don't see the "missionaries" as any more threat than do we perceive JW missionaries. They don't obsess about us, and most don't care.

    The stereo types are way too far reaching, and only reflect a very small but vocal segment of people,same as the raging conservatives in Utah. The vast majority in Utah don't believe our country is on a head first nose dive into socialism... but you wouldn't know it from the comments here.

    Just as portraying those from Utah as white shirt wearing polygamist, southerns are not Mormon hating "evangelicals".

    Get over the persecution complex... please.... and the California is better mess.

  • donn layton, Ut
    Feb. 2, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    John Pack Lambert of Michigan, Catholics will not exclude a fellow Christian from office based on religion.
    Probably true with liberal Catholics, But serious, conservative Catholics and Evangelical Catholics would exclude Romney. Catholic Answers publishes a voters guide for the serious Catholic voter, pro-life is not an option. No flip-flop on state assistance for abortion. Catholic Answers considers Mormonism a Non- Christian religion and they are not considered separated brethren fellow Christian as Protestants. The Catholic Church is making an effort to respond to Mormonism through various methods.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 2, 2011 2:39 p.m.

    I can understand it if people disagree with Romney because of his politics. But to refuse to vote for him because of his Monrmonism reveals something about your intellectual capacity. Anti Mormon materials generally appeal to bigoted, uneducated, red-necks.

  • Democrat Provo, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    Too many people erroneously believe the because Romney lost in 2008 its proof that his religion killed him. Yes, religion was one of several factors, but people also need to remember that who wins in Iowa and NH is a huge determiner for the rest of the primary calendar in the way it impacts expectations. Romney led polls in both states for months, so when Huckabee (who was never viable) won in IA, it gave McCain the opportunity for an NH comeback (NH was a stronghold & must win for both McCain and Romney). Romney will likely be competitive in NH again and if the race were held today, he would win there. Also, Reagan was the runner up in 76, main guy in 80; Dole runner up 80, main 96; McCain runner up 2000, main 2008. Romney, for all intents and purposes was the runner up to McCain in the early states (though not the 2nd most delegates at convention because he did not hang on like Huckabee). The main thing going against Romney is the tea-party wild card. In normal times, it would be his to lose and that might still be the case.

  • ObamaRepublican Chandler, AZ
    Feb. 2, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    People wake up Catholics do not hate Mormons, evangelicals do! The GOP has been captured by the Christian RIGHT and the Christian Right wont tolerate a Mormon President! Go outside at conference look at those groups bashing the church they are Republicans just like most of you. They call for religious freedom when their children can not pray in school, but would vote to Mormonism if they had the power!

    Those citizens bashing the door down in Carthage IL on June 27th were good Christians too. Most probably showed up for services on Sunday. Just remember next time you vote for the GOP you are giving power to a party which is made up of radicals that hate your religion and would see you muzzled!

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 2, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    The claim that Catholics will make sure that a Mormon is never elected is 100% false. Due to the history of anti-Catholicsm in this country, Catholics are not going to exclude a fellow Christian from office based on reigion, and many of them would not exclude a Muslim or a Buddhist.

    Romney may have trouble with Catholic voters, but that is because he is inconsistently pro-life and has donated to Planned Parenthood. Huntsman, on the other hand, is consistently pro-life and thus has an equal chance with other pro-lifers to get Catholic votes.

    Catholics have been the most consistent allies of Mormons on all sorts of fronts. It is the Evangelical Chritians who belong to congregations with no loyalty beyond their pastor, who are the most likely to oppose a Mormon candidate, not Catholics with a clear Church structure who will see many of the attacks on Mormon candidates as repeats of attacks on Catholic candidates.

  • charlie91342 Sylmar, CA
    Feb. 2, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    personally, I would never vote for a mormon because his (your) entire life revolves around religion. I am not saying that is a bad thing for an individual or family, but I think it would be terrible for a country. it would be impossible for him to separate his religious beliefs from the job.

    I don't think anyone that is "super-religious" should be president, and from what I see on these boards, mormons are extremely religious. certainly I don't need to cite examples. and I think any good mormon would be proud to be looked at as "their life revolves around Jesus". It's not a bad thing - it simply makes it so in my opinion you are not fit to running the country. Any time an issue came up that concerned laws to impose morals, the extremely religious person would side on his religious beliefs - even if that is not what most of the country wants.

    I would be concerned that laws would be implemented that would impose mormon beliefs onto everyone, especially in areas such as abortion, SSM, divorce and cohabitation, gambling, etc. these things are only "immoral" because of your religious beliefs.

  • donn layton, Ut
    Feb. 2, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    amst ,Who cares if a Mormon is elected or not other presidents of the past have also been elected even though they were from a different denomination of Christianity.
    First,you have a false premise. The pale of Christianity(Orthodox, Protestant, RCC)does not consider the Mormon religion a Christian faith.
    Second the conservative Catholic vote is pro-life and Romney care flip-flops on state funding for abortion.

  • amst plano, tx
    Feb. 2, 2011 8:04 a.m.

    Who cares if a Mormon is elected or not other presidents of the past have also been elected even though they were from a different denomination of Christianity, JFK comes to mind, if a Mormon is elected I doubt it would be much different than in the past just another good christian fellow elected. Heck in this country anyone can be elected at least in theory shouldn't matter if your christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist Etc. Vote not on the faith but on if the person in question is qualified for the job.

  • gwest Melfa, VA
    Feb. 2, 2011 5:42 a.m.

    When I imagine a Mormon actually becoming president, it's not a pleasant picture. You think the "birthers" are bad? Just wait until political opposition, PAC money, and anti-Mormonism combine against a Mormon in the White House. Every week will bring some new anti-Mormon slam with the clout of the mainstream media behind it.

    We won't be able to go to a temple without having to walk through a mob carrying political signs intermixed with anti-Mormon placards. Our meetinghouses will get vandalized. Our missionaries will get harassed in foreign lands because of a president's unpopular policies.

    Let these political partisans quarrel over the corrupt, decaying carcass of this fallen world. Latter-day saints should be focused on building the Zion that will ultimately replace it.

  • UtahVoter Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:00 p.m.

    I'm happy to see Huntsman and Romney join the race. I may not be swayed by their political rhetoric and doubt I could vote for either of them, but I did feel like Romney was a fairly good example of LDS family values last go round.

  • Utah Joe murray, utah
    Feb. 1, 2011 10:58 p.m.

    This is a well written article. Short, insightful, informative and interesting. Great reporting.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Feb. 1, 2011 10:49 p.m.

    Yes. This time around the Evangelicals who refuse to vote for a Mormon, will be vastly outnumbered by the entire country's Independent voters. And a significant majority of those voters want Mitt.
    That's a fact.
    Mark my words.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    "Despite the high minded claims that religion does not matter, it really does in 18 important states. "

    If the person with the atypical religion is a Democrat, this is less of a problem (who cares if a hypothetical Harry Reid loses virtually every southern and midwestern state, it's not like democrats win those anyway). New England is Catholic but they aren't intense enough in their religious fervor to block someone over religion (particularly if it's a democrat).

  • DeepintheHeart Lewisville, TX
    Feb. 1, 2011 9:15 p.m.

    Handicapping a race is different from picking the one you'd like to see win. I don't think a Mormon can win because of religious bigotry. I think either Huntsman or Romney would do a far better job than Obama. It would be better for the country if either of them were elected. I like Palin, but not as president or even vice president. She's too much of a lightning rod. Charming and a great attention getter, but not presidential material, sadly.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 8:23 p.m.

    Who Cares.....GOP is done with RINO's ....Huntsman should consider running as a Liberal....He could beat Obama in the primary?

  • HCB63 Orem, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 8:10 p.m.

    Article Six, Third Clause of the Constitution of the United States reads [in part]: " religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

    That means that discussion of this issue should be irrelevant. However, members of the media, as well as political candidates, regularly ignore the law (as clearly stated above) and use religion to attack, deride and demean the good name of individual candidates.

    In a poll issued during the last Presidential campaign (don't ask me which poll...I don't remember), voters were asked if they would vote for a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, an overwhelming number said 'yes.' When asked if they would vote for 'a Mormon,' the majority said 'no.' (I don't know if the pollsters then pointed out that Mormons ARE of the LDS faith. However, this clearly illustrates public perceptions.)

    So long as candidates ignore Constitutional law, and media highlight and attack a candidates' religion (or non religion), the odds of a 'Mormon' becoming President are low...even if that candidate is far and above the best individual to be elected.

  • JJ Morales Visalia, CA
    Feb. 1, 2011 7:27 p.m.

    NO to Huntsman

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 7:26 p.m.

    As a Mormon I have minimal interest in Romney and far less appreciation for Huntsman. Just like I don't appreciate people voting against someone for their religion, I think it would be just as bad to vote for someone just because they are of the same faith.

  • Penguin Inc. Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 1, 2011 7:22 p.m.

    I hope he invites the entire country to listen to the missionary lessons. :) That'd be terrific!

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 7:08 p.m.

    Huntsman is not a viable candidate. Quitting after just 2 years as an Ambassador will greatly harm his chances. Huntsman has a name and some clout along the Wasatch front, but beyond this geography he is a complete unknown...

  • Resolute Voice Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 6:23 p.m.

    We Will have a woman POTUS long before we ever have a Mormon. Why? Despite the high minded claims that religion does not matter, it really does in 18 important states. Catholics, Evangelicals, Baptists, and Protestants will all make sure that a Mormon is never elected. Remember people are open minded until that voting booth curtain is closed then all bets are off. Huck and McCain ran specifically to sabotage Romney, and the media was complicit because there was no personal dirt on Romney or his family that they could use. Religious bigotry lives folks, thats just life.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 6:03 p.m.

    Johnny Triumph asks: "At what point in the past 40 years did America start with advanced religious bigotry?" I'd say it was somewhere just a while before the last top 40 song was heard on an AM station in this country.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 5:25 p.m.

    Perhaps the (R)'s will realize that electing a Mormon who might know something about leadership, getting things done and the economy might be a good thing. Or else they can go into the predictable evangelical frenzy and make sure the (D) gets elected.

  • PAC Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 1, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    What does having to be a member of the Church have to do with anything? After all is not the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS the only American church anyway in this country????

  • TRB Mesa, AZ
    Feb. 1, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    my earlier comment was mis-understood - of course an athiest or agnostic could run the country. What I'm saying is that the second a candidate is labeled as someone who goes to church and identifies themselves with a religious body it suddenly makes them inadequate in some way? Why are we so afraid of having a person who is actively religious to be our leader? And don't mention "separation of church and state". Not even close. If that were the case, then no one in public office could be a member of a religion. A mormon leader does not mean that suddenly the mormon church will run the government - again "good grief".

  • terlds Ogden, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    I don't focus on religion when voting. I focus on the issues. Whoever agrees with my most important issues has my vote. I insist on researching the issues. I wish more people would research the issues before they go out and vote.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 1, 2011 3:46 p.m.

    You provide two examples to prove a point. I can prove a conter-example. George W. Bush first made a serious run for the presidential nomination in 2000. Gerald Ford was only ever a contender in 1976 and he got the nomination that year. Goldwater was only a serious contender in 1964, the year he got the nomination, and Dwight Eisenhower got it on his first try in 1952. Nixon also got the nomination on his first real try, although he lost the presidency. That means 5 of the last nine Republican candidates for presidency got the nomination on their first try.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 1, 2011 3:44 p.m.

    As a Liberal I believe and affirm the separation between curch and state. Therefore, if a candidate is Mormon or atheist is irrelevant to my decision in the polls. Is the candidate educated?, intelligent?, non-sectarian in any way, shape or form?, knows about the issues and present him/herself as capable of dealing with them?. Then, if he/she is the best candidate he/she would have my vote. Mr. Hunstman at this moment would make a respectable candidate in my opinion. I would advice LDS's not to playing victims and do not make an issue of religion, chances are that few other people will.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    Mormon or not, I wouldn't vote for Huntsman for Dog Catcher of Peoa. I would however vote for Romney in a heart beat. You hold Romney's resume up against Huntsman's and Romney has actually been his own man, in business and in politics. George Romney hasn't helped him much (since he's dead). Huntsman wouldn't be where he is today without Dad's money and connections.

    Huntsman is a RINO. He ran as a conservative but governed to the left. Utah runs well because we have a legislature that has the guts to sometimes stand up to a governor and make them toe the line. Huntsman grew the state government at a faster rate than Leavitt did.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 1, 2011 3:39 p.m.

    Ure alumni,
    Would anyone say they are overly religious? OK, maybe a few, but most people would not self-describe as overly religious. Your comment strikes me as part of a truly under-handed attack. To try to claim that Huntsman is a lukewarm or insincere believer is just not justified and even more than that it has no relevance to political discussions.

    Your comment is part of the disturbing trend of low-blows and mean-spiritedness we too often see in politics.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 1, 2011 3:36 p.m.

    MT and P,
    If the best you have to attack Huntsman is that he served as US Ambassador to China than you have nothing. If he had been a cabinet or sub-cabinet appointee in Washington that would be one thing. However Ambassadors are much less directly beholden to the administration, especially on the domestic issues that are the bread and butter of the matter.

    Also, it boils down to the fact that Obama appointed Huntsman because he recognized he needed someone truly qualified, and Huntsman filled the bill.

    It is far too soon to say what will happen, but saying that Huntsman and Romney do not have a chance does not work. We really have no clue who will be running. Santorum, Palenty, Hutchinson and several others may or may not run, it is all pretty much up in the air. It is still a whole year until the first of the primaries.

  • nick Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 3:22 p.m.

    Romney has a natural base of Mormon donors and volunteers because he is a moderately conservative former bishop and stake president. I don't think Huntsman has a natural base. Huntsman says he is not "overly religious." How many liberal, secular, rich Mormons are out there?

  • DR Hall Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 3:17 p.m.

    No LDS person that stays true to the teachings of Jesus Christ will be effective in Washinton or in the state. There are far too many compromises required to remain true LDS. And a true Christain would find the same thing as referring to members of Christain churches other than LDS. With all the corruption going on all over a true christain would not be a part of those activities.

  • Happy Valley Hillbilly Alpine, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 3:14 p.m.

    Personally, I don't believe this is as big an issue as some (mainly staunch evangelicals) might think it is. The LDS church and it's members are generally portrayed in a very favorable light today, especially when stories and articles touting the tremendous assistance they provide to many developing countries and at times of natural disasters around the globe. Many made similar arguments that JFK was unelectable due to his Catholic religion, and don't forget about Richard Nixon who was a Quaker.

  • ST Layton, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 2:51 p.m.

    so is Huntsman going to run as a Democrat or Republican ?

  • granolagirl Draper, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 2:28 p.m.

    Huntsman has one major thing going for him that none of the other conservative contenders have: Glenn Beck's seal of approval. Have you ever heard how much Beck talks up both Huntsman Sr. and Jr. on his radio show? I've heard him praise them quite a bit, in the past couple of years.

    And seeing that Glenn Beck is the (unofficial) leader of the Tea Party movement...that is a HECK of a lot of the conservative American base that will follow what Mr. Beck says. Beck's followers feel they can trust him.

    Now, Beck would never come out and say "Vote for Mr. ________ for president - that's who I'm voting for!" but he sure can still use his love for the Huntsmans to heavily influence the Tea Partiers' votes.

  • ObamaRepublican Chandler, AZ
    Feb. 1, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    It is sad but true, the GOP will never tolerate a Mormon at the head of the Party. If you think your tent is big enough for a Mormon Presidential candidate you are sadly mistaken. Harry Reid can lead those crazy liberals, I suppose they are more tolerant!

    The GOP will continue to toss Utah and Mormon politicians scraps from the table of the Defense Budget to keep you voting in line but if you raise your head from the gopher hole be ready to be hit with a shovel!

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 2:05 p.m.

    Utah is horribly mismanaged, and most of our legislature is Mormon.

  • Mike in Texas Allen, TX
    Feb. 1, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    Huntsman could win. Even a lefty like me would have to give him fair consideration unless he does a Romney like aboutface. In my view he is a stronger potential candidate than Mit Romney or any other Republican. But the party has moved so far to the right that I doubt they have the political will or intelligence to nominate any moderate no matter how competent, Mormon or otherwise.

  • rocklaw Holladay, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    Just wait until the White Horse prophecy becomes part of the dialogue. That will be the end of any Presidential aspirations for these guys.

  • GWB West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    When the question was asked whether a mormon could be President, it pointed out that only 21% of the people in a poll said they would not vote for a mormon. While that is good, the problem for both Romney and Huntsman is that the 21% that said that are located mostly in the South and will be out in force in the Republican primaries.

    Their Southern Baptist preachers regularly preach anti-mormon sermons. The Southern Baptist Convention website has lots of information showing how the Book of Mormon is wrong and how Mormons are in a cult.

    This means that the best chance any Mormon will have to become President is if they are a moderate Democrat that has a strong economic agenda that says that the Federal Government does good things and has a legitimate role in regulating businesses (like banks) but says the role of the government is not in social issues.

    That Mormon Democrat could get elected President. A Mormon Republican never will because they will not get past the primary in the southern states!

  • Democrat Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:36 p.m.

    That said, I think it is marginally easier for a Mormon to win the Democratic nomination or the actual presidency (once having obtained either nomination) than it is for a Mormon to obtain the GOP nomination itself...that's the main hurdle for Romney and Huntsman).

  • Democrat Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:35 p.m.

    Polls showing X% would not vote for a Mormon are misleading. They focus on one aspect and can create a negative in the respondent's mind. It's like asking if someone would vote for a divorced person. Some will say no, but if you call back the same people a month later and ask if they would vote for Ronald Reagan, many will switch their response even if they know that Reagan was previously divorced. Mormons have been elected Senator in Oregon and Nevada and governor in Michigan and Massachusetts, so I dont think its a big worry. Polls are insightful, but you have to have all of the facts about what is being asked and how it is being asked. When a pollster asks some dude watching TV if he would vote for a "Mormon", many times the dude is thinking "Muslim" (not that that should matter either). Or he presumes that there must be something wrong with Mormons or why would they ask? Or a liberal respondent from Nevada might be in a bad mood about Prop 8 and answer no but then go to the polls and vote for Harry Reid.

  • justaguy Out There in, WI
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:32 p.m.

    There are also Mormons all through the government at the federal level as well. The nation could and has done a lot worse than the Romney or Huntsman.

  • cindyacre Shelley, ID
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    What matters to me about a president (or someone running for president) is that he loves liberty and this nation, is mindful of the military, knows a thing or two (actually a lot more) about banking and monetary policy, is willing to TELL THE TRUTH, is good to our true friends of state and firm with those who aren't (you can't negotiate with bullies except from the "respect" position), and has COMMON SENSE.

  • Democrat Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    Ironically, its mostly Mormons who are skeptical of another Latter-day Saint's chance of being elected President. I think this inferiority complex is misplaced and overblown. Many Republicans who might not vote for a Mormon in a primary would come around quickly on Election Day. In Mitt Romney's case in 2008, his religion (while a hinderance in some quarters) was ultimately a plus when it came to fundraising. Polls show that Romney is competitive now in the GOP and in a general election. One good thing about Huntsman (an old McCain ally) running is that it will show that Mormons don't represent a political monolith in the GOP or in society.

    Part of coming of age as an ethnic group and really taking one's seat at the table of society is being able to handle defeat without blaming it on bigotry or unfairness. Mormons are real and legitimate players in society, politics and culture.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    It is not Romney's nor Huntsman's religious affiliation that should present a real problem to their serving as president. Rather, it is their left wing political views.

    Romney is a fine LDS and has served honorable in his church. But he is not conservative. His version of socialized health care in Massachusetts should be as much of a concern to real republicans as Obamacare. He is not friendly to to the right to own and peacefully carry a firearm for self defense. He spent a lifetime being pro-abortion in his public life and converted to pro-life only shortly before his run for president last time. He is soft on defending the real definition of marriage. He is soft on illegal immigration. He is not particularly fiscally conservative.

    Huntsman is similarly liberal. He is not overly friendly to RKBA. Is soft on illegal immigration. He is soft on defending marriage. He is not very fiscally conservative. And so on and so forth.

    I don't care if we ever have an LDS as President.

    But I certainly hope our next president and both houses of congress are solidly conservative; boht fiscally and socially.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 1:00 p.m.

    It is the ungodly who prosper in the world. (Psalms 73)

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:57 p.m.

    @TRB: I believe you have it just backwards: Most presidents have been Christian, or at least have had to say that, to be elected. My question to you: Why can't an agnostic or an athiest become president? Why does a person have to believe in God to run this country?

    @Tom in CA: Can you please explain your comment, as it's not clear as to whether you are Muslim, or just believe - it's certainly not fact - that the President is.

  • Love_The_Beehive Orem, Utah
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    If a BLT (Black Liberation Theologist) can be president of the United States, most certainly an LDS (Latter-Day Saint) could be president of the United States. In a country of twisted morals and values, however, it is not likely to happen.

  • Patrick Henry West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    Who cares what religion the president is. As long as he is a man of the constitution he has got my vote.

    Ron Paul 2012.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    At what point in the past 40 years did America start with advanced religious bigotry?

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    By the way, any Mormon thinking religion is not an issue. Read some political forums where no one suspects you are Mormon, have conversations. You will see the same intolerance that Muslim evokes similar to Mormon. It is an issue on the Republican and Conservatives because they tend to not be open to differences. Mormons in politics are like broccoli, good for you (votes) but you don't love them.

    My fellow Mormons needs to think twice about aligning themselves with people who would have you believe every single Muslim out there is a hateful terrorist because behind closed doors they have anti Mormons feelings.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    I don't think that the question is "Can a Mormon be elected president?" The real question is "Can a Republican Mormon get nominated to run for president?" I think that Huntsman is just breaking the ice with this run for office, he's just giving the American people a little dose of his charm, and waiting until 2016 to make a real run.
    By the way, Huntsman said to a reporter that he is not "overly religious" does that make him a Mino and a Rino?

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    Let's see....

    "Religion doesn't matter": Gee, why did Romney have to give his Religion Speech? It matter or else he could have skipped it

    "Mormons are accepted for office": State offices do not have the same rigor as the primary and caucus process present. WInning over portions of the country, particularly the South are mission impossible. Look at Romney's numbers in 2008, so weak.

    "Vote for his politics": Romney is sunk, the Mass healthcare has his name on it, the one that requires everyone have insurance. No backtracking there.

    "Huntsman does't even practice": First of all, his level of worship is his own business before God. Secondly, while it doesn't matter to me, it matter to to many people unfortunately.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:41 p.m.

    The issue here is not the general election- in that format either Romney or Huntsman would probably do just fine and their religion would not be that big of an issue- of course that assumes they can make a general election- it is the republican primaries that is the issue- each one has its own flavor and so to categorize them together is useless but at least consider Iowa, N.H. and South Carolina and you can see why either has some problems but certainly not a closed door at this point- the ground game in those primaries matters and Mitt is way way ahead on that one- as the joke goes in Iowa- well I am not sure who I will vote for yet- I have only met each candidate 4 times personally and so I am still not sure what I think of them- ohhh that the rest of us had such power

  • American First Merced, CA
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    Mitt Romney IS a Conservative. Huckleberry is a moderate.

  • Mom of 2 Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    I honestly don't know if a Mormon will be elected President for years and years. There are too many other religions who would see to that. I was in a Baptist church when Romney was running for President and the pastor made a special point to tell his congregation not to vote for him because he was Mormon. Not because of any of his politics, but because of his religion.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Feb. 1, 2011 12:15 p.m.

    The fact that many conservatives are upset over Romney's Mass. health care plan show that they do not understand what the real issues are. The real issue threatening our republic is not big state government, it is big federal government. The fact that Massachusets took the initiative to do something about their own problems instead of relying on the federal government for a solution is a huge plus, regardless of what solution Massachusets came up with. If we stick to the federal system set up in the constitution, Massachusets can chose their own solutions and Utah can chose theirs, with neither state having to fear the federal government coming in and imposing their own solution that may or may not serve their best interests. Romney understands this, and has absolutely no intention of imposing a federal government solution to the problem, which shows that he is intelligent enough to understand what the real issue is, which is the right of states and individuals to govern themselves, without unecessary intervention from the federal government. Perhaps you think Mass. went too far, but that is the perogative of the people of Mass., who are more comfortable giving up freedom than you.

  • JFFR Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:59 a.m.

    So I have a question. Does Jon Hunstman run in 2012 just so he has a better chance in 2016? I'm a young buck (in my 20's) and it seems to me that most republican nominees usually have to fail in a couple of primaries before they get their shot (Bob Dole, John McCain)

    @ute alumni- his dad is a Seventy. I think he's pretty Mormon, but he might not let the public know that.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    It doesn't matter what level of devout practice either candidate has, they will be branded Mormon and even in 2011, it matters. In the South, you say Mormon, you might as well say Muslim. Mitt had a terrible showing in the South, terrible.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    "I get satisfaction from many different types of religions and philosophies."

    Makes perfect sense to me. There is nothing in my LDS faith that precludes me from appreciating wisdom and truth found in other religions or philosophies. I think this statement just shows that Huntsman is a smart, reasonable guy.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    ute alumni | 11:33 a.m. Feb. 1, 2011
    Salt Lake, UT
    August 2010:
    "I can't say I am overly religious," Huntsman tells Fortune, according to the Deseret News. "I get satisfaction from many different types of religions and philosophies."


    Nice --
    Black & White
    All-or-Nothing thinking there.

    I too find "Mormonism" in EVERY religion.
    From Shamanism to Taoism.
    especially Judahism and Islam...maybe even more so than current Christianity.

    He means he's not a religous zealot fanatic wack job.
    Willing to start wars with others who pray different than he does.

    And in order to represent all of America,
    he needs to be tolerent and inclusive of EVERYONE -- not just the tiny little 0.05% of those who live and exist only in the Utah bubble.

  • TRB Mesa, AZ
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    What is sad is that for ANY OTHER job in the U.S. to NOT hire someone because of their religion is against the law and discriminatory. What a nation of hypocrites who won't "hire" a president because of his religious affiliation. Too bad presidential candidates can't sue the American public. And, when did it become a "bad" thing in this country for a "person of faith" to be a leader? What, so only athiests and agnostics can run the country? Good grief. Shame on America - a nation of bigots.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    The interesting thing about both Huntsman and Romney, is that neither of them quite fit the right-wing stereotype that the left loves to hate and independents shy away from. When it comes right down to it they're populists who would probably govern from the center and could potentially wind up being popular presidents once people got to know them. This would do wonders for Mormons' image. And frankly, either one of them would have more relevant experience going in than Obama did, and I think either one of them would do a much better, more competent job than Obama. I'm not really an Obama hater, I just don't think he's qualified to be president.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:41 a.m.

    Seems to me if you're bent on making "religion" a deciding factor, and given all of the chaos we have to endure coming out of the Middle East on a daily basis, then why would you vote for a Muslim for President??

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:40 a.m.

    Senator Harry Reid has a better political chance of being the 1st U.S. President who is a Mormon.

    Most Utah mromon's wouldn't vote for Reid, Romney or Huntsman...they aren't right-wing extremeist enough for them.

    Oh, how I remember the whining about LIBERAL Reid, Romney and Hunstman are....[snicker snicker]

    For the recond - I'd vote for Jon Hunstman Jr. in about 1/10th of a Nano-Second.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    Even is a Mormon could get elected president (which will never happen) Huntsman has the added burden of proving to a new conservative - tea party based - GOP that he is somehow returning to his conservative roots. Easier said than done. Compare Mike Lee to Jon Hunstman and you see very quickly why the new GOP has left the old liberal GOP behind. The Nov elections showed that conservatism is back in full force and Huntsman is going to have to somehow distance himself from his current boss (Obama) whom he as praised for 2 years now and suddenly go on the attack. I think Jon has a credibility problem to overcome as well.

  • ute alumni Salt Lake, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    August 2010:
    "I can't say I am overly religious," Huntsman tells Fortune, according to the Deseret News. "I get satisfaction from many different types of religions and philosophies."
    I would agree, he's Mormon like many other Christians are Christians, when it is convenient and beneficial.

  • American First Merced, CA
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    Hunstman will never get elected, he's waaaay too him entering the race he will be splitting the Romney vote and may be helping Huckleberry or Palin win the nomination, which automatically equals four more years of Obama.

  • Most Truthful and Patriotic Layton, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    Romney's Massachusetts healthcare plan (with its requirement to buy insurance) was the model for what the right-wing calls "Obamacare".

    Huntsman's association with the Obama administration, will be anathema to right-wing voters.

    With "only" 21% saying they wouldn't vote for a Mormon, that's still considerable odds.

    Put it all together, guys, and you'd be well-served to wait until 2016.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    a Mormon can't be elected in the US. Too much bigotry and mis-information which translates to fear. Huntsman and Romney are wasting their time running.

  • LeonardL Midvale, UT
    Feb. 1, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    Mormon Schmorman! Who cares? All I know is that the economy in Utah is booming compared to most other states. We have construction everywhere you look. Companies moving here in record numbers. The best Trax system, the only one I know that is actually growing. This state is being run very well and much of that was because of Jon Huntsman Jr, who really got Utah on track. It's obvious there are Mormons all through the government in Utah and they are doing one heck of a great job. And that is just what the rest of the country needs soon!!