Understanding Jon Huntsman's distinct brand of Mormonism
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman before formally announcing his presidential campaign in Jersey City, New Jersey on Tuesday.
June 21st, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Understanding Jon Huntsman's distinct brand of Mormonism

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

How key is Jon Huntsman’s Mormonism to understanding him and his rise as a politician?

His grandfather was an apostle in the Mormon church, his father is a lay leader in the church, and Huntsman himself was a Mormon missionary to Taiwan, which gave him the language skills that helped land his last job, as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China.

On the other hand, Huntsman - who officially launched his presidential campaign Tuesday - has publicly distanced himself from his Mormon faith.

“I can’t say I’m overly religious,” he told Fortune magazine last year, when he was still ambassador. “I get satisfaction from many different types of religions and philosophies.”

It’s not the only move that serious Mormons would consider slightly unorthodox. Salt Lake Tribune Washington correspondent Thomas Burr notes that one of Huntsman’s daughters was married in an Episcopal church.

And a Huntsman spokesman, Tim Miller, says the Huntsmans are raising their adopted Indian daughter “to learn about and appreciate her native culture and the faiths associated with it.”

“Jon Huntsman's Mormon roots run deep,” said Burr, who has covered Huntsman since his days as Utah’s governor in the mid-2000s. “Personally, Huntsman says he considers himself a Mormon, but he's also stressed that he gets inspiration from many faiths.”

It’s a contrast to the way  the other Mormon candidate in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has talked about his religious faith.

"Romney has not been shy about his love for his faith and gave a big speech in his 2008 campaign about it,” Burr said. “Those who know Huntsman and Romney would say that Romney is very active in his church, while Huntsman hasn't been as active."

A spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the official name of the Mormon church, would not comment on Huntsman's or Romney’s level of involvement in the church.

“We leave comment on the role of faith in an individual’s life to the individual,” said Michael Purdy, a church spokesman.

But the differences between Huntsman's and Romney’s orientations toward their religion may have as much to do with generational differences as with levels of religious observance.

Matthew Bowman, an editor at a Mormon studies journal called Dialogue, says  Romney appears to embody the Mormon retrenchment of the 1960s and 1970s, when the LDS church defined itself largely in opposition to the broader American culture, which was seeing cultural upheaval and the sexual revolution.

That attitude prevailed through the 1980s. “Leaders of the church were very pessimistic about the way they talked about American society, using apocalyptic rhetoric, framing America as the new Sodom and Gomorrah,” Bowman said. “There was this real attempt to tell Mormons that we need to distance ourselves from the country, to be different.”

Romney, 64, came of age during that era, which Bowman says explains why he appears defensive about his faith, seeming to see it as something that sets him apart.

There are some who “would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction or disavow one or another of its precepts,” Romney said in a 2007 speech in which he confronted the so-called Mormon question head-on. “That I will not do.”

It’s hard to imagine Huntsman, 51, making such a dramatic vow.

Bowman argues that that’s largely because Huntsman – who was born in 1960, 13 years after Romney – is part of a subsequent generation of Mormons who see themselves as quintessential Americans, not so different from their non-Mormon friends and neighbors.

That new attitude is evident in the LDS church’s current “I’m a Mormon” ad campaign, which emphasizes that there are Mormons of all ethnicities and from all walks of life.

“Huntsman is a Mormon who thinks of his faith not as something that separates him from American culture or as something he has to defend or explain away, which is what Romney did,” Bowman said.

That’s not to say Huntsman is unobservant. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the newly minted presidential candidate occasionally attended LDS services both as governor and as ambassador.

A survey released this month by the Pew Research Center found that a quarter of American adults admit to being less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate for president.

The survey found that resistance to Mormon candidates was even higher among two groups: liberal Democrats and evangelicals, who overwhelmingly vote Republican. One in three white evangelicals said they were less likely to support a Mormon candidate.

Evangelicals form huge part of the GOP electorate in early primary states like Iowa and South Carolina.

If some GOP voters are more likely to vote for Huntsman because he seems less overtly Mormon, others may be less apt to because of his reputation as a moderate.

For instance, Huntsman signed a law that introduced civil unions for gay couples when he was governor of Utah, putting him at odds with his church, which strenuously opposes gay unions.

“I don’t know Huntsman at all, but his reputation is one of a moderate,” said Michael Farris, an influential evangelical activist. “If that’s justified, there’s no chance I’ll support him.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (1,219 Responses)
  1. Josh

    "Mormons" do in fact pray to and worship Jesus Christ, hence the real name of the church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The word "Mormon" is simply a nickname that was applied to members of the church a long time ago.

    Jesus Christ is central to our faith. "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ ...that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." (passage from the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 25:26).

    Also, to clear up another false believe, we love the Holy Bible, we study the Holy Bible and we revere it as Holy Scripture.

    I hope this will now help you understand the truth about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints so you can now help others who blindly and incorrectly make statements about the faith of others. Please check out mormon.org to see more of what we truly believe.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Matthew

      Sorry Josh, It is a fact that the founder of your cult had slaves & multiple wives. It is also a fact that men of color could not join the priesthood until 235 years after this great Country of ours wrote the declaration of Independence.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Jared

      Matthew- it is NOT a fact. Joseph was the first president to run on an anti-slavery ticket and Mormons were kicked out of Missouri by Governor Boggs because we were so strongly anti-slavery. What Church do you belong to? because last I checked nearly all churches did not have black members of their clergy until the late 60's and 70's. So, check your own history before you start spouting what your minister told you about the LDS church.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  2. Terry - Indiana

    Sorry, this is nothing more than two Republican Candidates who were born from a cult mentality, both wanting everyone in their respective states to be required to have healthcare insurance, and both now attacking President Obama and the Democrats for proposing the same healthcare plan. I am sorry, but I do not trust anyone inside the Mormon Church, and to present Huntsman as a possible "jack mormon" who is more like average Americans, is the Mormon Cult spinning the story for the press.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Josh

      Terry, I'm sure you really didn't mean to be so ignorant when you called the "mormon church" (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) a "cult". Do you know what a cult is? I don't know how you ever got that perception.

      Have you ever attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (i.e. "the mormon church")? Have you ever met a member of our church? Have you ever spoken with one of our missionaries in your area? Have you ever read the Book of Mormon or the Bible? If you have said "yes" to any of these questions, then I'm sure you can clearly recognize your reference to a "cult" was not correct and I'm sure that you would feel pretty bad for saying that if you truly understood what we believe and how much good in the world The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does. In fact, you or your friends or family members have probably been given help by our church at some point in time. The only reason why you don't recognize how much good our church does is because we practice the scripture that teaches that when giving alms, don't let the right hand knoweth what what the left hand doeth (i.e. don't brag and do PR about doing good; do it private).

      I invite you to visit http://www.mormon.org and find out what we truly believe.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • SCMorrell

      And please remember that the Ancient Jews regarded Paul the Apostle as a member of Just Another Sect before you jump to conclusions.

      June 21, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Raymond Takashi Swenson

      How is the LDS church a "cult"? The members are not isolated from the rest of the world. They are not hungry and sleep deprived or drugged. They have their own homes and jobs out in the world. They go to real universities. They are of all ages. They are leaders in many professions. Their relationship to their church is basically like that of any other denomination. They are free to leave it at any time, and some do, with no reprisals or penalties.

      What is more, the kind of "cults" we usually see in news stories involve a pastor who is becoming rich off the donations of the members of their group. But Mormons don't pay their ministers anything. They all work for free!

      Unlike some "cults", Mormons don't make money from their group by selling things to people outside the group. Mormons have regular jobs, and make voluntary donations, as they see fit, to the church.


      June 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  3. Sonicmonty1

    Great- another hipocrite with a complex telling me I should marry and have babies , babies, babies...WHAT EVER!! keep you hands and input off my body! You wont win, and I wont vote for you!

    June 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Take it easy!

      Take er easy....everything is alright.....this is a post about presidential candidate John Huntsman....not your last boyfriend.....

      June 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Jan

      Wow. Overreact much? If you spent a little less time on your off-topic, explosive overreactions and a little more time on your terrible spelling, you might become a little more peaceful soul. Or just find a hobby.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  4. Blake

    How can a man with such wishy-washy beliefs expect to compete for the votes of the American people based on firm decisions and ideals that one would expect a promising candidate to propose? He doesn't have a firm foothold in his faith (which should be one of the strongest beliefs one holds if they are religious) and he hasn't instilled any certain religious values in his children, which would be expected since he professes to be a Mormon. Also, he stands for gay marriage, which conservative republicans strongly rebuff. This man sounds like someone who would be willing to sell-out for the best pay-out!! NEXT!!!

    June 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Joe

      If anything has defied certain knowledge over the eons, it's religion. I have more trust in those who know what they don't know.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  5. OP

    Seems like every week we get a new "hot" republican candidate plastered across the headlines for us to gawk at. First it was Palin, then baucman, then gingrich, then romney, now it's huntsman?

    Next up is the perry guy from texas. He'll announce in a week or two.

    And guess what, it will be plastered all over the headlines as if it's a top story.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  6. Blah

    They are "raising their adopted Indian daughter in her native Hindu faith." Where does that even begin to make the least bit of sense? And yet, nobody blinks an eye.


    June 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Jan

      Blah (perfect username for you): Is it that difficult for you to look beyond your narrow little scope of reality and see that even in this country there are literally hundreds of different kinds of faith and culture. WE are not doomed - YOU are.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  7. Jason in Mormon AZ

    I don't care what he says. Look at that picture: those guys with their tucked-in shirts and slacks, those girls in their dresses. You can't tell me that religion doesn't play a large part in his family life. I will never vote for someone either overtly or minutely religious. And as far as the mormons, I can't help but think they work overtime at making gays and others second-class citizens.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Tom


      Tucked in shirts and dresses are how we are going to disqualify people?

      June 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Rotown

      shows how much you know about mormons..... those dresses aren't even kind of appropriate for a mormon woman. I don't think the attire is at all 'mormon'.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Mormon AZ

      yet you choose to live in a town called Mormon AZ?

      June 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • A Stone's Throw

      That's because to Jason, Gays are only that- they are gay. That is all they have to offer, you take that away and there is nothing left. On the other hand, mormons view them as people, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors. Mormons can disagree with one act without throwing the whole person away. You can love them while not encouraging a behavior. Jason can't. In his mind, If you disagree with all that he sees them as, then there is nothing left to love. Mormons disagree with you Jason. There is still lots to love.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Jason in Mormon AZ

      @ Stones Throw: First of all, you're not going to convert me, so stop saying "love the person, not the sin." That's not going to make me write a check to your church and smile. I know what I know, and I've seen what I've seen. I have my life experiences (just like you) and every one of them tells me that you can take the boy out of Mormonland, but you can't take the Mormon out of the boy. So I don't care what you guys say about "loving the person," I still don't believe you and distrust you. I just think your religion is something you should keep to yourself and not flaunt around in everyone's face.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Jason in Mormon AZ

      @ Mormon AZ: Umm get a map. There is no Mormon (,) AZ.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  8. Pizza Man

    I am going to start my own religion centered around pizza-pies. Some would have veggies, others would be all meat. I would accept everybody but I would blatantly discriminate agaist people who liked anchovies. I would avoid predicting the end of times, unless I really thought it was going to happen.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  9. Matthew

    Fact !!!!!!!!!!!! Joe Smith fouded this cult & had many wives & many slaves Fact!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Jan

      Matt: You need to use more exclamation poinst; otherwise, your point won't be taken seriously enough.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Jared

      Not even close to a fact. Joseph Smith was the first presidential candidate to run on an anti-slavery ticket. The mormons were kicked out of Missouri by Governor Boggs because they were strongly anti-slavery. Get to know your facts please.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • SCMorrell

      It's one of the "facts that just ain't so" Will Rogers was talking about.

      June 22, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  10. To be or not to be a Mormon

    I have grown up mormon, still call myself a mormon, all my closet friends are mormons, served a mission, served in many capacities in the church including Bishop. I have tried to study the church history from an objective point of view and my "belief" in the foundational belief in the "church" vanished in a matter of weeks. All that said, I still want to be a part of the membership because there is not a better group of people on the earth than devout mormons! If all religion is just a bunch of hocus pocus and all we have is to live this life.....living the life of a mormon is a great way to live....some of you haters should go out and make some mormon friends. Mormons are good people trying to do good! What better way to reshape the world than to do some good in it.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Jimbo

      I agree with you even though I am nor a mormon.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Jason in Mormon AZ

      Really? You're jaded, buddy. How is it the "church" pours millions of dollars in to organizations to help derail any sort of program to help gays? How is it they basically launder money to get it filtered into such laws as Prop 8 in Cali to prevent marriage equality for gays (and I say "launder" because they sent the money to hell and back so the IRS couldn't trace it)? That's NOT good people. That's either hateful, and I dare say stupid people. I know for a fact that when Prop 8 was looking like it would fail, Mormons from Arizona sent MILLIONS of dollars via companies and even personally to Cali to pass that bill. That's not good people...that's a belief embedded with disgust and hate over something that doesn't even matter to them and is none of their business.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • ck1721

      That is absolutely true. They are very good people. Although there are some significant inconsistencies with the LDS and the rest of Christianity, the basic tenets of their faith are the same. Love for your neighbor, strong family values, and forgiveness. History tells us a lot about the crusades, persecution of non-Christians, etc, but all of the haters out there fail to understand or acknowledge that Christians, at the core, are loving, forgiving, and downright good people. I don't care about the exceptions to the rule, because they will always be there. Look at them as a whole, and Christians (Including Mormons) are good people.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Jared

      who's Jaded?... I couldn't tell through all the hate you are spouting.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Not to be a Mormon

      Not in Utah they aren't! The Mormons I know outside of Utah generally fit this description, but the arrogance, hypocrasy, and judgement from those living in "the shadow of the Temple" is montrous.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • ck1721

      Jason is jaded toward the LDS church because they don't support one of his views (Probably more). What he doesn't understand is that there is a difference between intolerance of a person/group of people and intolerance of a behavior. God hates sin, not people.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Jason in Mormon AZ

      Oooo I'm sorry...did I strike a chord or what, people? Man when you're throwing stones, the dog that's hit squeals the loudest.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • A Stone's Throw

      Keep squealing Jason.. and keep throwing stones as well. You like both sides of the fence don't you?

      June 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Jason in Mormon AZ

      @ ck1721: To me, there is no such thing as sin, and there is no god, so please stop flaunting your beliefs in everyone's face. Religion should be kept private. Furthermore, your church is harmful: Alec Henrikson, google that name. A child who killed himself due to struggles within himself and the church. We'll agree to disagree, bc there's nothing you'll ever say to convince me your church is good, and likewise you'll never see my point, and I know that. Best to you.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • SCMorrell

      I can assure you that it was never Mr. Packer's intent to bully anyone. He advocated the same pattern that is followed in the rest of the LDS doctrines: Study the ideas presented. Prayerfully ask God if the ideas as you understand them are right. Follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Once you understand an idea and get confirmation, act on it and make it part of your life. Even if you know something is true, getting divine confirmation of it can serve as a shelter of truth when the fiery darts of either the adversary or the bad animation industry get thrown at you.

      I can also assure you that anxiety and depression with suicidal ideations is not limited to the LBGT community, but occurs in every class or genre of people I have met.

      June 22, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  11. Inside track to god's ear

    I am told he should pick sarah Palin as his veep. My sources say god would like that.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Rogger

      Casper I'm so sorry to hear about that experience and I'm sorry to hear that that's the way you were ttreaed. It definitely is not how it should be or how it normally is. I know that when we lived on Capitol Hill (a very urban area of DC) half of the congregation wore pants/jeans to church so we wouldn't have anyone there if they were turned away! Heidi so sweet of you to comment and you're right, it is a big part of our lives yet we (speaking generally of course) don't want to be preachy or overbearing. It's a fine line to walk sometimes. I try to just live the best I can and set a good example so that if people are watching, they come away with a good impression of the Church. Jessika thanks, that's very nice of you to say. And good for you for trying to figure out how to one day teach your children about your beliefs. I tell you there's nothing like having kids to make you question your beliefs and what you want to pass on to them. It also makes you question how much you're living your beliefs too because we all know that kids pick up on everything!

      September 9, 2012 at 3:33 am |
  12. Merc

    The LDS corporation is turing a blind eye towards Huntsman's beliefs because he's a politician with a chance at the presidency. If he was an average Joe Schmo, LDSCorp would either force him to conform to their ideals or kick him out.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Anonymous

      What garbage. The LDS Church doesn't track the individual lives of people like that. There are only a handful of egregious acts that would warrant someone being "kicked out" of the Church. Being moderate or distant from the church isn't one of them. Learn your facts. In my home congregation, we have Mormons of all types attending with varying degrees of commitment and personal struggles. They are all welcome.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • inforodeo

      ...spoken with the expertise of someone who has never set foot in an LDS church.

      You are incorrect, sir. The LDS church isn't concerned with celebrity power as a missionary tool. I think you're confusing them with Scientologists.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Brian

      You're an idiot.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • JR

      Total BS. As an openly non-believing, fairly frequently attending Mormon that pushed back against all the prop 8 non-sense, I can tell you that no one has asked me to leave or hassled me at all. Rather than ask me to leave, they try harder to make me feel welcome. This has been the experience of several friends and family members in the same situation.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  13. Guido876

    Come on, after all the crap Romney is getting about being Mormon,.if I were Huntsman, I would play very quiet about how much I practice my faith.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • inforodeo

      i think that's why Huntsman is "distancing himself" from his religion. He lacks the self-confidence that Romney has, and would rather cower and accommodate than be straight-forward about his beliefs.
      I'd much rather vote for a politician who comes right out and says, "this is who i am, take it or leave it" than one who says one thing to one crowd and another to the other. We've got a president like that in office right now, and it hasn't done the United States one bit of good.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  14. sarah

    Very weird to hear people say they wouldn't vote for a moderate as it is a moderate who is most likely to win.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  15. jerry

    As a Utah native and a NON MORMON (not ever) I think Huntsman is the best chance the Grand Old People have. Hes definitely the most level headed one in the field and isnt pandering to the maniacs. So the list of Repub canidates goes Huntsman and Ryan and then the rest are all pandering nut jobs

    June 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  16. Common Citizen

    read your history concerning Mormonism – there were good reason they were run out of the country and treked out to present day Utah in the 1840s- and no – they are most certainly not Christians – people will become more informed about their beliefs-and they'll probably wonder how any body could remain a Mormon once they became a rational adult.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • ex-mormon

      I left the LDS faith for a number of reasons, but for those same reasons, I find all faiths to be harmful to their followers as well as patently untrue. I find secular humanism to be a much more coherent and moral world view than Mormonism, Christianity, or any other religion.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Ernest

      @Common Citizen – You wrote: "they are most certainly not Christians – people will become more informed about their beliefs-and they'll probably wonder how any body could remain a Mormon once they became a rational adult."
      I'll disagree with you concerning your comment that Mormons are not Christians, and agree with you about your next comment...
      First of all, Mormon's are indeed Christians...
      I was raised Mormon, and remained very active in the church, until I was in my late teens... I never questioned the teachings in my mind, until I became an adult...
      There were many ideas that I began to question, mainly that while I was active in the church, blacks and women were NOT allowed in the priesthood... So seriously, God told Joseph Smith that black people were not good enough to hold positions in the priesthood? And then later (I believe they changed it in the 90's), once that became Non-Politically correct, God suddenly changed his mind?
      This was not the only thing that swayed me away from the teachings of the church, but it was one issue of many that made me question the church teachings....

      June 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Chris

      Dude, are you for real. First off, Mormons are Christians, as they believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God. And two, study some history buddy – Christianity has a long line of abuses – Inquisitions, Indulgences. The list goes on and on.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • JR

      yeah, unlike Christians with their belief in virgin birth, resurrection, young earth, and a boat with 2 of every animal in the world on it, which are all based in rational fact. Or Hindus, or Jews with their purely scientific belief systems.

      June 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • SCMorrell

      History is written by the victors. The history of the LDS Church differs so radically beween what is taught here in Utah and off in Arkansas where I used to live that rational people would not be able to link the two to the same people. One or both of our histories is corrupted. I'm going to have to side with the history of those who were in the church as being the most accurate statement of what the church was about. The limited study I have made of the issue suggest to me a couple of thoughts if we are to find common ground. First, many Mormon Pioneers in the Eastern states seem to me to be a little overdramatic and sense persecution where none was intended. Others felt that the real persecution they suffered was no great matter. Second, the enemies of the church seem to lie about everything in the hopes that some of their lies turn out to be true and back them up with untraceable 19th century evidence. It would be nice if we had an unbiased history someday, but I'm not sure this can ever happen in the separate camps we are now in.

      June 22, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • Raymond Takashi Swenson

      You sound like the kind of person who thinks there was a "rational reason" why Hitler murdered 6 million Jews. Your kind are always ready to do violence to people you disagree with. You think human beings are disposable commodities. Have you renewed your KKK membership this year?

      June 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  17. jo an

    He is STILL a Mormon...and would bring those values to Washington. I think he is a good human being but I will not vote for a Mormon or a J W...

    June 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Lulu

      Good thing that JW's (Jehovah Witnesses) don't involve themselves in politics and government then...you won't ever have to worry about NOT voting for a JW

      June 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  18. itsjustme

    At least he managed to make it to downtown Jersey City. That area is heavily blue collar and Democratic.

    The furthest to downtown Jersey City that Palin got was the fancy five star hotel that's on the Jersey City waterfront.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  19. Tom Raymond

    I lived in Utah for 20 years. Jon Huntsman has easily been my favorite governor. He was very effective. I especially appreciate that he has a mind of his own, and a sharp one it is. Huntsman is a rare Republican who actually considers all of the facts of a given situation to make sound decisions, and not idealogical ones. He's not blindly obedient to the far right of his party, and although he has good values, he makes his own decisions and does not take marching orders from the LDS Church. Governor Huntsman governed w/ great respect for all the people in this state.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  20. American

    Its still an American born, fringe religion group that is a cult. No way can it be considered Christian. Just look at the additional books they think are more important than the Bible.

    June 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • humanbean

      Pot, meet kettle

      June 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • ex-mormon

      Human Bean is so right on. "American," your comment betrays a Christian pride ironically in-congruent with Jesus's teachings of humility. Further, America was partly founded by Religious dissidents who came to America to practice their own brand of religion, making them the first "American born, fringe religio(us) group(s) that is a cult."

      June 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Chris

      Sorry to sound defensive, but don't make ridiculous statements without facts. I'm in no way a religious zealot, but I know enough about what the Mormon religion teaches to say they are Christians and teach in accordance with the Bible.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
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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.