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Viral video shows Romney in testy exchange over his faith
Romney has said he didn't know that a testy 2007 exchange was being videotaped.
November 5th, 2012
01:19 PM ET

Viral video shows Romney in testy exchange over his faith

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – In campaign time, it’s ancient history: a 2007 video showing a testy off-air exchange between Mitt Romney and a radio host over the candidate’s faith and his stance on abortion.

But the back-and-forth has resurfaced in the days before Election Day. Video of the exchange posted on YouTube on October 31 had garnered nearly 1.8 million page views as of noon ET Monday.

“You don’t understand my church like I do,” Romney tells conservative Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson near the beginning of the roughly five-minute video, recorded in August 2007. “I understand my faith better then you do. You don’t believe me, do you?

“I don’t like coming on the air and having you going after my church and me,” says Romney, who at the time was conducting his first campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. “I’m not running as a Mormon, and I get a little tired of coming on a show like yours and it being all about Mormon.”

Imagining a Mormon White House

The Washington Post reported that Romney has said he didn’t know he was being recorded, saying the conversation had been captured by “hidden camera” after a radio interview.

The video was posted by YouTube user thedbartnick, whose comments on the video include: “There is only one way to defeat this nut, Vote for Barack Obama on Election Day.”

The video has been promoted online largely by Romney’s opponents.

How Romney’s faith life shaped him

During the exchange, the radio host suggests Romney’s former support for abortion rights was out of step with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, prompting the former governor to explain that his church opposes abortion but tolerates members who support abortion rights.

At another point, Mickelson presses Romney on Mormon belief about Jesus’ Second Coming. Romney explains that Latter-day Saints expect Jesus to appear in Jerusalem but then, over the course of millennia, to reign both from Jerusalem and Missouri.

A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, Andrea Saul, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

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As a candidate, Romney has sought to avoid talking about his Mormonism. He gave a speech about his faith in 2007 but has talked about his religion in the broadest possible way this time around, speaking in terms that all Christians would find familiar.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. pastmorm

    So, the past few months, I've been really concerned about a mormon in the White House because of my background with the mormon church (7th generation...ancestor even mentioned in the D&C) and how horrible I know it to truly be.

    No more of CNN (which obviously supported Romnesia, the big hairy ape). No more fighting with a bunch of mormon propagandists. All that matters is that not only did creepy conservatrolls LOSE last night, but the mormon church lost the money it donated to stop gay marriage in Maryland and Maine. LOL! ON top of that, how many members are going to be questioning their religion now? After all that fasting and prayer, surely God would have seen the light and created a win for Romney, the chosen of the mormons and God himself. LOL! NOT!
    So, no more of these boards. And NO more of cnn. In 4 years mormonism will be a skeleton of what it was. All of the things that have come out about it's REAL temple beliefs and godhood, etc, will hit Americans and they will put it up there with the likes of David Koresh. Younger generations are already leaving the church (I've been able to help 7 out of 13 of my nieces and nephews see the light of freedom) and as technology takes over, even more will leave behind the dinosaur led by a bunch of smelly, old, pathetic men, that is the mormon church. BYE Conservatroll and mormon LOSERS!!!!!

    November 7, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • arielwollinger

      I completely agree with you. Members of my familiy are Jehova´s witnesses and they are jsuta as backwards. But I think mormonism is so freaking weird , with all those stories. OMG, thanks god ´m an atheist now. My mind is free.

      November 8, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  2. callywag

    How can anti-abortion send people to war? Hypocrites!!!!

    November 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  3. Abraham

    What's wrong with Romney's testes?

    November 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  4. palintwit

    We arrive in rusty 1964 motorhomes.
    We bring our bibles and loaded assault weapons.
    We wear ridiculous clothing and have teabags dangling from our earlobes.
    We carry misspelled racist signs as we stomp all over the White House lawn.
    We are Sarah Palin's "real Americans".
    We love the baby jesus but we love to boink our cousins even more.
    We believe that the Flintstones is an accurate depiction of early man.
    We believe that nascar is a real sport and that Dale Earnhardt was a great American athlete.
    We are the birthers. We are the teabaggers.
    We are morons and we are proud.

    November 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  5. Schu Montgomery

    This is totally favorable to Romney....It reaffirms our conviction that Mitt will lead as a pro-life president! God bless him! This isnt at all negative Thank you anti-Romney person for putting it on You Tube.....Made millions of Americans day!

    November 6, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Sane Person

      Actually it makes him look like a nut job who gets defensive when asked about his nut job beliefs due to how stupid they are.

      November 6, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • nojinx

      Pro-birth, at least. Once out of the womb, Romney only cares if you vote for him.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Mittology

      It's a pity that these anti-abortion people do nothing about protecting and preserving life after birth.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  6. Sane Person

    He gets pretty defensive when asked about his faith, probably because its such a ridiculous religion that even the followers are embarrassed to talk about it.

    November 6, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Wearing uncomfortable pajamas 24/7 protects you from Satan's arrows.
      Since romney has yet to show evidence of being pierced by magic missiles, his religion must be true!

      November 6, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  7. Bev

    Did Romney ever comment on the Mormon practice of baptizing dead people of other faiths, like the Holocaust survivors? Did he disagree, or agree with that?

    November 6, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Mittology

      Dead survivors?

      November 6, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  8. Ronald Regonzo

    In a year or two Mitt will have firmly established his kingdom with him and the 1% of our noble brothers lording it over the American serfs and peasants while the 47 % are long since perished in starvation and disease. Chinese and Indians will cease their sweat shop labors five times a day to reflect on the benevolence father Mitt has bestowed on them. Romney / Ryan 2012 (begins tonight.)

    November 6, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • Flyn

      Sounds like you got a few screws lose Ronald

      November 6, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      " Romney / Ryan 2012 (begins tonight.)"

      LOL actually if they do win, it wont begin until January.

      November 6, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 6, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • No...

      I am a child, and since I have turned to Atheism, I have had higher test scores, less missed days, and many other good things.
      Apparently, in my case, religion makes me dumber...

      November 6, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  10. Criswell Predicts!

    And in a year of two, you will be saying "Mitt who? Wasn't he a contestant on The New Price Is Right or something?"

    November 6, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • Chuck Barris

      Mitt Romney is a contestant on the Gong show, and today is is getting gonged.

      November 6, 2012 at 2:07 am |
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About this blog

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.