New York Times explores Mormon ad campaign's impact on 2012 race

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  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 6:05 a.m.


    We can hope and pray that you are right.

  • LDSareChristian Anchorage, AK
    Nov. 20, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    als Atheist posted:
    They SAY they are, but if they really were, they would not run the campaign at all during the elections. They knew Mitt was running for office years in advance when they were planning this campaign. It is disingenuous to say otherwise.
    I suspect the real trigger for the I Am a Mormon campaign was the Book of Mormon Musical. If that hadn't happen, I'd bet the Church would still be sitting on the campaign, waiting for the election to be finished before starting it.

  • Larry Willard, UT
    Nov. 20, 2011 2:42 p.m.

    A Mormon will not get into the White House, The other 48 States will not allow it.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Nov. 20, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    The fact is at this very moment the public profile of the Latter-Day Saint religion is at an unprecedented pinnacle which will become even more elevated in the months to come. Even the bigotry and lies will ultimately play out for the better as honest, sincere folks seek out the truth. This whole anti-Mormon debate is actually a "sifter"(wheat from the chaff).
    Mitt has never allowed his religion to take center stage but more wisely seeks to focus on what REALLY matters: the ECONOMY! Religious debate does not belong in the campaign. His opponents wish to hi-jack the debate away from what really matters.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 20, 2011 8:59 a.m.


    That is the whole point: they are the same campaign.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Nov. 20, 2011 12:58 a.m.


    I don't think Romney's campaign will be good for the church. The result, in my opinion, is that a lot of people will read about the church on their own rather than having it presented in an orderly, understandable fashion. When people read about things like to Book of Abraham translation, DNA and American Indians, or Joseph Smith's multiple first visions, they will throw out the baby with the bathwater. Many things have changed - such as polygamy - but people will never learn about the changes because they won't be willing to listen once they have made up their minds. I think the internet has already wreaked havoc and the "I'm a Mormon" campaign is one way to try to turn the tide.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Nov. 20, 2011 12:52 a.m.


    I feel like Romney has flip flopped on his religion. I looked at his website. Romney doesn't say a word about serving a mission. And, Romney does not even mention that he is LDS. In all of his speeches these days, he only passingly mentions his "faith" but never mentions what his faith is. Disappointed? Extremely. Some things are not worth turning your back on in order to win an election.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 18, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    How did this evolve into a discussion of Mitt Romney's fitness or lack thereof for the office of POTUS? I thought the article was about the "I'm A Mormon" campaign. Not Romney's campaign.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    Romney will hit a grand slam home run in 2012 and people will have a great image of the "one Mormon" of whom they are familiar. He may win, he may not, regardless, it will be like Rocky in the 15th round and he will lay it all out on the mat, and regardless of who wins, he very well may affect our country for the best for the next 50 years. Many times a loser can in many ways be the winner.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 18, 2011 8:14 p.m.

    I will also submit that it is a good think the Church stays out of politics. Politics is divisive, and can drive away the spirit. It is best to keep it out of church.

    At times there are moral issues that need to be addressed, and the church does speak out then. However candidates are another matter. Despite single-issue groups and the like, no candidate is just one issue, just one thing. All people are complexed with multiple issues.

    I do think that other Churches should have the right to endorse candidates if they want. Religious groups should be able to work in political campaigns how they chose. It was religious leaders who were key to abolition and other 19th century reforms.

    However I stand by our church's policy of neutrality, and think in the whole its pluses outweigh the minuses.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Nov. 18, 2011 8:12 p.m.


    "I don't believe the timing of the campaign by the church is purely coincidental, and many others share the same belief."

    Uh, you do know that this ad campaign has been around for over a year, right? This ad campaign did not start when the primary circus started heating up. The LDS church has been running these ads since long before either Romney or Huntsman announced their candidacies. I know that this request will be hard for those who have an axe to grind with the LDS faith, but please stop looking for fault where there isn't any.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 18, 2011 8:02 p.m.

    Now you claim that trying to tell people about your CHurch is endorsing a candidate? That is just totally bizarre.

    To endorse a candidate you have to say "vote for x". This add not only does not endorse a candidate, it does not mention an election or any candidate, or any political position.

    By your logic the church should just lay low if there is a political campaign that involves a church member going on. With the never-ending nature of US elections, this would mean that the Church would have to lay low for years.

    The Church has a right to go public, and those of us who believe it is Christ's Church with his commssion to spread the word also feel it has a duty to go public.

    The assumption you work on is the Church wants Romney elected, but the leaders of the Church have made it adundantly clear they are in no way endorsing or supporting any candidates.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 18, 2011 7:57 p.m.

    Well, there is always Harry Reid, and he clearly does not agree with Romney on many things. People who would say "I know one Mormon, our president, I hate that guy, I want nothing to do with the Mormons", may not have really been much more open earlier.

    Larry Echhawk, the current head of the BIA, is another Mormon who in general has different policies than Romney.

    The real problem is that some news people think everything is about politics. A lot of things are not, and the I'm a Mormon campaign is one of those things that is not.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    David King,

    First point, note that I didn't say that a conflict of interest wouldn't be present. I see the problems completely. Personally I am for an open and transparent control of presidential debates (which we don't have) and I'm for a separation of Business and state. By all means, I get the concerns with Romney and business bailouts. I just don't think it hurts his ACTUAL credibility in regards to his ability to govern. How people perceive it is a whole other story though.

    "I could see how people could view him as a political opportunist"

    That's all you had to say. I think I understand far better than I did before. I have many concerns with Romney, and out of the two I'd vote for him. But I'm a firm believer in voting for who I actually resonate best with (which will likely be someone most people don't know). My impression of your first comment was my own fault. I was taking it as 'Obama over Romney because of those issues'. I don't think Obama is any better, and in some ways worse. So from that perspective I thought you weren't reasonable.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  • als Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    "The church is extremely sensitive to perceptions that it tries to influence politics in any way,"

    They SAY they are, but if they really were, they would not run the campaign at all during the elections. They knew Mitt was running for office years in advance when they were planning this campaign. It is disingenuous to say otherwise.

  • amicus Ann Arbor, MI
    Nov. 18, 2011 6:07 p.m.

    "For all their success professionally and financially, Mormons still face a level of religious bigotry in the United States equal only to that faced by Muslims."

    Ironically, the New York Times has been tapping into this bigotry recently by publishing numerous articles attacking Mormons. In an effort to sell a few papers, the New York Times has clearly ceded any moral high ground it may have once held.

  • MormonConservative A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Nov. 18, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    Now why would there be Mormon ad campaign's impact on 2012 race for their icons?. Mitt Romney has moved up to 40 percent in New Hampshire for two reasons: Herman Cain and Rick Perry. Herman Cain is being criticized for his lack of knowledge on foreign affairs, but he denies that he lacks expertise in that area. In fact, today, Cain said when he becomes president, first thing he's going to do is go to Iraq, meet with Saddam Hussein personally, and get this whole thing worked out. At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire yesterday, Rick Perry said that no illegal immigrants would be allowed to attend. In fact, the event was held in an overgrown backyard with nobody to park the cars, and nobody to watch the kids. Romney and Cain's health care plan?. The government took action and introduced a bill to classify pizza as a vegetable in schools. Mark this down: November 17, 2011: The day America gave up. The food industry says the new rules give schools the flexibility to increase nutrition. The same way elastic waistbands give us the flexibility to keep in shape. Now pizzas can be vegetables in public schools.

  • David King Layton, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    @A voice of Reason | 4:31 p.m. Nov. 18, 2011

    I would disagree on your first point. If a politician receives substantial money from companies bailed out by government, it keeps the cycle going in favor of big business bailouts or handouts. As an example, note the fact that people like GE, Johnson and Johnson, were big donors to Obama's campaign, and will see big increases in profit under Obamacare. Sadly, money talks.

    Please note I'm not questioning the sincerity of LDS members in general. I'm a member myself, but I try to live by the philosophy you judge people by who they are as individuals, and not for the groups they belong to, for good or bad. I think Mitt Romney is a great man but I could see how people could view him as a political opportunist. I contend that Romney changing his mind on climate change, abortion, healthcare, and other things is the biggest challenge he faces to winning a sizable portion of the electorate, not Mormonism. I'm out of repsonses but thank you for your reply. Please know I appreciate your thoughts.

    I know he's been a Stake President and taught Sunday School

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Nov. 18, 2011 5:08 p.m.

    Out of one side of the mouth. "The LDS church is extremely sensitive to perceptions that it tries to influence politics in any way." Now out of the other side of the mouth. QUICK, hand me a tissue, I'm about to cry like Glenn Beck & Mitt Romney. (BOO, HOO, there, I'm better now). The truth's now came out. Here's why nothing gets done in Congress. Joe Lieberman, will speak at BYU on Oct. 25, one of many who have weighed in over the past week about the controversy regarding a Baptist pastor's remarks about Utah's RINO icon "Poster Child," Willard Mitt Romney the RINO politician and Mormonism. That was "NOT FROM" the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics. Robert Bennett, asked a question, would America vote for a Mormon?. That's a loaded question that "ROGER AILES" would ask. It depends how many secret meetings Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman had with the Koch Brother's. I would say no. The most powerful man in television news, using his instincts about on-air talent and the assault on American values, ROGER AILES has set the new agenda for TV journalism. Tell me now, who flip flops more here?.

    My views.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 18, 2011 4:45 p.m.

    @ San diego Chargers Fan: thank you for your post. I understand exactly what you speak of, having moved to Utah from California just a few years ago. I often hear the statement among LDS members in Utah that you cannot be a good mormon if you are a democrat. The attitudes among many LDS in Utah is like you are on another planet sometimes. And the lifers here don't get it.

  • San Diego Chargers Fan San Diego, CA
    Nov. 18, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    I live in California, am a registered republican, Mormon, and mostly have a moderate to conservative political view. However, when I lived in Utah, I was the precinct chair for the democratic party. I could not in good conscience support the radical form of social and economic policies that has taken over the republican party in your state.

    People would say to me, how can a bishop in good conscience issue a temple recommend to a democrat? My answer: because your political affiliation is not one of the temple recommend questions.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    David King,

    1) I don't care if Bill Gates got a bailout and he was Romney's biggest supporter. It wouldn't say anything about Romney's ability to govern.

    2) I can see your point regarding the abortion bit more than most other things people gripe about. But where I myself went from being mostly liberal to mostly conservative- I can't help but understand that Romney could be telling the truth, which would make any commentary on the 'switch' pointless.

    3) The illegal worker bit i'm not as versed on as other issues, so I'll give in for not knowing enough there. However, Romney's sincerity is not a major weakness in his campaign. I argue his main is being LDS. His second is how conservative he is. I can understand a lot of difference with Romney, but questioning the sincerity of a guy who is LDS is very atypical of the general opinion people have of Mormons. While many question the LDS Church, few would claim it not being sincere in it or its members beliefs.


    We're not talking prejudice for all politics, but for president. Otherwise people would never have brought his religion into it.

    So much cynicism today...

  • dhsalum Saint George, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 4:16 p.m.

    "...Mitt Romney , a Mormon who has held senior positions within the church,"

    Anyone know what callings he's had? I know it doesnt matter, just curious..

  • DaveRL OGDEN, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    Mitt's biggest problem is he is Mitt Romney, the LDS connection is minor at best.

  • LiberalEastCoastMember Parkesburg, PA
    Nov. 18, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    A bigotry against Mormons in politics? Really? Then how do you explain Harry Reid?

    There is some bigotry to be sure, but it not enough to adequately explain Romney's or Huntsman's inability to capture the imagination and hearts of Republican voters. While both men are quality individuals with extensive resumes, neither is very apt at "marketing" himself on the campaign trail. One appears to vacillates while the other seems to lack the killer instinct to go for rival's jugular.

    That inability to 'speak' to voters has more of a negative impact on both man's efforts to win their party's nomination than does their church membership.

  • David King Layton, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 3:33 p.m.

    @A voice of Reason
    the list of people who donate to Romney by employer includes some of the biggest banks in the nation. You will see that the people of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan Chase are huge donors to Mitt Romney who was in support of the Wall Street bailout. In other words, the people who got bailed out are giving money to Romney. Is this not a conflict of interest for him if a similar situation arises in the future?

    A politician changing his mind isn't bad, it's the timing of Romney's flip flops. I'd be more inclined to believe him if he were pro-life as governor of a liberal state and then went pro-choice for a Republican presidential primary, instead of the other way around.

    He didn't say he fired people when he found out they were illegal BECAUSE they were illegal but the image effect it would have on his campaign. In his own words, "We can't have illegals, I'm running for office for Pete's sake!" Romney's problem is not Mormonism or that he's too moderate or too conservative. People doubt his sincerity.

  • David King Layton, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 3:23 p.m.

    @Uncle Rico
    "Mitt's problem is that people like you don't like what he stands for"
    I like many of the things you listed. Successful businessman, great! Devoted to wife. Excellent! "doesn't like Obamacare"? I'm no fan of Obamacare, but does Mitt really hate it, if he enacted a plan with similar features, such as the individual mandate, in Massachusetts? The crux of the matter, (and the crux of my point) is that people wonder if Mitt Romney really believes what he says, and that's what hurts him with some people. We focus too much on the "Mormon" issue.

    I"m not a Barack Obama supporter, and not sure where I led anyone to believe I was. The problem with Romney hiring illegals is the reason he gave why he didn't want them. It was about running for office, he wasn't worried about the legality of it, he was worried about the appearance. That is the point of my post. Mitt Romney has a problem with some voters who doubt his sincerity. My point was that the Deseret News has published many articles dealing with the Mitt Romney "question". His Mormonism is not the issue.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    If people are going to base their search for religion or investigation of faith, based on the US president and his/her political standing. Then I'm not sure how they could feel confident in their choice and decision.

    For example you could look at any religion, any political group or look at atheists etc. and find people that you disagree with in regards to policies and beliefs.

    To toss out options based on that thinking, just doesn't make sense to me.

    Imagine if you looked at Albert Einstein and thought the guy was an idiot and you disliked a few of his ideas. So you toss out all of his scientific contributions, because you disagree with a few things. Therefore all scientists that use his formulas must also be like that. Therefore you can never accept science.

    Same thought process with Muslims. People dislike what radical islam is doing, and in the process toss out all Muslim beliefs and culture. No matter the amount of good the majority of Muslims contribute to the world.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    David King,

    Wall Street type? This is an appeal to how people feel about other people and not an appeal to reason.

    Some disagree with Romney on healthcare.

    Romney admittedly changed his mind on Abortion. Is changing one's stance on an issue bad? Is doing it openly and honestly (unlike most politicians) bad?

    Why would a man of the law hire someone breaking the law? I guess if Obama did it, it would be good PR. If Romney does it, he's a racist or something?

    Wow, he isn't even president but any statement he makes is considered a presidential but illegal declaration of war? FYI, even a president saying it wouldn't make it illegal. DOING it would, unless Congress sanctioned it.

    So, now POTUS is the United States District Attorney?


    It seems Romney shouldn't be my concern, but rather how much other commenters understand their own government.

    This article wasn't about "Mormons feeling picked on" but "The NY TIMES giving an opinion". Did you ever think that maybe it isn't everyone else on here who is overly sensitive about "Mormon" issues?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 2:30 p.m.

    'Mitt's problem is that people like you don't like what he stands for:' - Uncle Rico | 1:28 p.m. Nov. 18, 2011

    *'Let Detroit Go Bankrupt' - By Mitt Romney - NY Times - 11/18/08

    Yeah, GREAT actions, this Mitt Romney:

    *Mitt Romney: Corporations are friend - By Phillip Elliot - AP - Published by DSNews 08/11/11

    I enjoy when the Deseret News brings up Mormonism, it's not 'bad.'

    And whe people say NOTHING about Mormonism, they claim they are, anyway.

    *'President Obama's purported 'weird'-Mormon strategy against Mitt Romney will backfire, pundits say' - By Hal Boyd, Deseret News - 08/10/11


    Then, when Republicans make an issue of Mormonism...

    *'Fox News host: Romney not Christian' - By Hal Boyd, Deseret News - 07/17/11

    *'Rick Perry backer decries Mitt Romney, Mormons' - By Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News - 10/08/11
    " (Robert) Jeffress described Romney's Mormon faith as a 'cult,' and said evangelicals had only one real option in the 2012 primaries. ... Asked by Politico if he believed Romney is a Christian, Jeffress answered: 'No.' "

    It's 'Obama's fault'....

    The bias some perpetuate...

    is self-evident when directed at, themselves.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    The last two paragraphs of the story are critical. I've argued for a long time that the close identification of the Church with the Republican Party is harmful to the Church. I know for a fact it has been a problem in the East and in Europe in advancing the mission of the Church. The Church News did an article recently about how President Packer went to the Johnson Administration to get the military to recognize LDS chaplains. He was successful. Back then, the Church was not seen as partisan. Times have changed. Having good relationships with both major parties is a good thing. But this has been lost.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 18, 2011 2:18 p.m.

    I don't believe the timing of the campaign by the church is purely coincidental, and many others share the same belief. And since the law prohibits a non-profit church from endorsing a particular political candidate this doesn't sit well with many people.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Nov. 18, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    Davidking, much of what you say about Romney vs Mormonism transfers to the "Support Obama or you're a racist".
    So are you saying that we are all better off now that Obama has been president?
    As in billions of dollars in bailouts,(Obama) a health care plan that will probably be deemed as unconstitutional,(Obama) You speak of an undocumented worker...Any idea how many people have used them? And yet an actual family member that was a non citizen benefiting from Obama's shiney new position as president, now suddenly is legally documented. You speak of shifting beliefs? Shall we talk about a man who worshipped God at one church, then ABANDONED his religion because, well because the beliefs that Obama and his family were espousing were anti American and racist.
    So do you really want to walk down the road of "flip flopping" when your own president flip flopped on his own religion for the sake of his new political image?
    I'd call that a sellout at the highest level.
    I guess we all see what we want to see in people, unfortunately we also ignore as much as we don't want to see.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    re: David King

    Mitt's problem is that people like you don't like what he stands for:
    He is a successful businessman who has eliminated inefficient business's, (something big government would never do)
    created new jobs, has a no-apology position on the US, is married to the his (original) wife, believes in a strong military presence, and doesn't like Obamacare.

    Your post simply could have read: Vote for Ron Paul.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    The "I'm a Mormon" initiative is designed and intended to be a missionary tool. It is not intended to impact the United States presidential election.

    "I'm a Mormon" is more of an exploration of the diversity of the international and diverse membership of the LDS Church. While some who hold influence in politics, media, and elsewhere have portrayed the church based on the region of Utah exclusively; this is not an accurate representation of who we are. Promoting what we believe to be an accurate portrayal of ourselves does not hinder or promote anything within the election.

    However, if we assumed that it did. I would still suggest that an impact, if any, would be minimal at most. If it does, the diversity would suggest people from multiple political backgrounds which would not promote or hinder any political party but actually level the playing field. And if one even were to make the wild accusation to say that the LDS Church did this on purpose- I then submit that a message of "We're normal too" only attempts to remove prejudice, which even then would do good for any election.

    So I say, I believe it does NOT have an impact! And if you believe it does, it could only be for the good of everyone.

  • David King Layton, UT
    Nov. 18, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    There may be a bias against Mormon candidates for some voters, but is that Mitt Romney's real problem? Could it be that some conservatives worry about his support for the Wall Street bailout, when he gets millions from the Wall Street types? Could it be some disagree with his health care plan and individual mandates in Massachusetts? Do they trust him on life issues when he says himself he was "effectively pro-choice" as governor? Do they find anything to worry about when the reason he says he doesn't hire illegals is he's "running for office, for pete's sake"? Would it bother them when he was asked if he had the authority to take the country to war against Iran as President, he said he would consult with attorneys, not noting the Constitutional requirement for a declaration of war by Congress? Does it bother people that he says he won't waste his time going after Ben Bernanke or the Federal Reserve because " Ben Bernanke is a student of monetary policy; he's doing as good a job as he thinks he can do."

    Nah, couldn't be those things. Gotta be the Mormon thing.