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'Other-ness': What Obama and Romney have in common on religion, race
Mitt Romney delivered the commencement address at Liberty University in the midst of attacks on Mormonism.
May 22nd, 2012
05:13 PM ET

'Other-ness': What Obama and Romney have in common on religion, race

By Halimah Abdullah, CNN

Washington (CNN) - The uproar last week over a proposed campaign ad highlighting President Barack Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, lit up political circles before organizers finally backed off the idea.

And Mitt Romney came under fire from evangelicals before his speech to Liberty University in Virginia earlier this month because some at the traditional Christian school still believe Mormonism is a cult.

Two very different candidates joined by similar, yet hollow, attacks on their faith illustrate the intense mix of identity politics simmering just beneath the surface of the presidential race.

When it comes to faith and race, there are some who want to paint both candidates as outside the mainstream, not members of the traditional American club. They want to paint them as "others."

Both Obama, the nation's first black president, and Romney, a Mormon, have found that their shared status as members of minority groups and political pioneers, in many ways, has also changed the rules of this presidential campaign cycle, said Nancy Wadsworth, co-editor of the anthology "Faith and Race in American Political Life."

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Belief • Christianity

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.