Reid calls out Romney on their shared Mormon faith
September 25th, 2012
05:25 PM ET

Reid calls out Romney on their shared Mormon faith

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The nation's highest ranking Mormon in elected office said Monday that Republican presidential candidate  is “not the face of Mormonism.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made the remarks in a conference call Monday, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

“He’s coming to a state where there are a lot of members of the LDS Church,” Reid said about Romney coming to Nevada. “They understand that he is not the face of Mormonism.”

The 2012 election has seen Reid increasingly critical of the Republican hopeful. Reid has used his office to challenge Romney on issues ranging from taxes to foreign policy.

This, however, is the first time that Reid has attacked Romney based on their shared faith.

During the conference call, Reid reportedly mentioned an opinion piece run in the Huffington Post by Gregory A. Prince, co-author of “David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism.” In the piece, Prince argued that Romney has run away from his faith and does not represent the modern Mormon Church.

“Judge Mitt Romney as you will, and vote for or against him as you will; but do not judge Mormonism on the basis of the Mitt Romney that was unveiled to the public this week,” Prince wrote. “He is not the face of Mormonism.”

At last month's Republican National Convention, other Mormons who interacted with Romney while at church vouched for the Republican candidate. Ted and Pat Oparowski, a Mormon couple who knew Romney in Massachusetts told stories of him regularly visiting their son after he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and eulogized him after the child died.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Romney supporter and fellow Mormon, said Reid’s words were out of bounds, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

“Harry Reid seems to be making this way too personal and consequently throwing the religion under the bus for his own personal gain,” said Chaffetz. “That’s not where anyone should be going with this. He’s taking this two steps too far.”

Reid was raised agnostic in Searchlight, Nevada, and converted to Mormonism, along with his wife Landra, while attending Southern Utah University. In an interview with the New Yorker in 2005, he heralded the faith for its emphasis on family.

The LDS Church has largely tried to stay out of the politics surrounding the presidential campaign, even though they have received increased attention due to Romney’s candidacy.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (662 Responses)
  1. aebe

    Harry Reid is known to be a liar,and as he is also a progressive,he has used his skill at lying to attempt to harm Mittens.Why he is granted any credence at all is a wonderment.
    As Salt Lake City is full of creatures that are progressive and support Obis'dun,Reid probably has an audience of willing ears in that town.
    Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights.Carry.

    October 24, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  2. Brad

    Harry Reid's ONLY problem is that he's a Mormon too.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  3. Rob

    Salt Lake City Tribune endorses Obama – that should tell you a lot about how the Mormons feel about Mitt. If they don't like him, we should all think twice.


    October 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • bvicente

      You really ought to learn either more about the LDS church, or at least more about logic. The premise of your statement is that the Salt Lake Tribune is representative of LDS members. It is far from being representative. It is a known critic of the LDS church, and has been for well over 100 years. Now, if the Deseret News endorsed Barack Obama, that would be a different story.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • amazing55

      LIved in Utah – The Tribune is liberal, Deseret News is conservative. Plain and simple. No big surprise that the Tribune endorses Obama, but the day Utah ends up voting Blue/Obama, is the day I'll eat our $16 Trillion debt!!!

      October 24, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  4. Mike

    Harry Reid pretends to be a Mormon because of what it represents; honesty, hard work, helping others, etc, etc... but he is not and he does not do any of those things, and he says he does. At least Mitt Romney does it and doesn't tell anybody about it... now, that's more like Mormons.. Romney does represent in a sense what Mormonism is all about. I certainly would follow his example instead of Reid's, any time of the day...

    October 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Anchorite

      Romney generated his seed money for Bain from the same people funding Salvadoran death squads. How is that honest work? If you want the LDS judged as being affiliated with that kind of blood money, well OK, apparently you'll side with death squads killing farmers, poll workers, and judges rather than risk being referred to as a GASP socialist.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Christian voter and no longer a "Republican"!!

      Romney represents everything that is wrong in America. He got his money the evil way, by ripping off companies and their employee's hard-earned pensions! He's a disgrace and it's disgusting to see him nominated as the party ticket!

      October 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Brad

      Anyone who follows Romney's lead has got to be a complete and total jerk. The guy is the poster-child for GREED and ARROGANCE.

      October 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  5. bill constantine

    We should keep our comments to ourselfs. I do agree with the nurse. Read has been a good senator. He never mentions his religions. Now do we say Christian Mormon or Mormon Christian..Mormons do screw each other financelly.. I would like to see a buddist run for President. I am voing for Obama..Not ging to cange anythin in the middle of a lake Things are improving. Do you know that if you are not a mormon you are not alljowed in the temple. and only recently they accepted blacks into their church..How about us Greeks.?

    October 13, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Mike

      ...I'm sure they don't accept Greeks who write English poorly !! 😉 Vote Obama is you want 4 more years of the crap we've gotten in the last 4. Guess what? you can actually fact-check this one!!!

      October 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Brad


      Obama's not responsible for "the crap we've gotten in the last 4 years", the House Republicans led by the Teabaggers are. Wake up pal!!

      October 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • amazing55

      Brad....Brad....Brad. I voted for Obama in 2008, AND the house & senate were Dems from 2008-2010, Obama should've been able to pass just about anything he promised us while campaigning. What happened?? Nothing good.....he didn't get a budget passed and thus we now have a $16 Trillion deficit he promised us he would have down to $5 Trillion in 4 years. I am sick to death of his, and other's whining "...but, look what he inherited?!! Wahhhh!" Bull Crap! I didn't care for Bush, but when he inherited Clinton's debt at least he didn't "cry" about it. He promised us lower unemployment, lower deficit – 2 biggies!! He knew what he was walking into, he told Matt Lauer that in a Feb. 2009 interview...same interview – he also said if he couldn't keep his promises he "should only be a one term president". So here you go Pres. Obama – I'll do everything I can to help you keep at least one promise.....to be a one term president. (by the way, YOUTUBE that interview – pretty good stuff).

      October 24, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  6. Goodies

    God Reid is such a psycho, worse than frank OR pelosi

    October 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Anchorite

      Maybe you should look up the definition of psychopath. It fits GOP candidates and news pundits particularly well.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Brad

      Harry Reid has more character and morals than all of the Repuglican party combined!

      October 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  7. Brett

    For anyone reading this article that has real questions about the Mormon Church and is not just out to hate on us, please visit http://www.mormon.org.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • greg

      I did visit that site and asked two questions to which I was assured a response from a "missionary". That was two weeks ago–still waiting. I guess the 6th chapter of John poses some uncomfortable issues for the Mormon faith, that are more easily ignored than answered.

      October 12, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Brad

      "Hate on us"?? Lol! Now why would anyone want to look down upon an organization that says all other Christians are wrong, that it's okay to have as many child-brides as one wants, that started out trying to go to war with the United States, and, craziest of all, worships Satan by saying he's "The Son of God"???

      Take your Mormon brainwashing website and shove it, heathen!

      October 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • jonathanshie

      I am a Christian, and I disagree with Mormons on very fundamental doctrines. Still, I have had many deep conversations with Mormon missionaries that ended amicably. I find them to be valuable and upstanding members of American society, and, through their dedication to service both to the God they believe in and the communities in which they live, they often put the those who follow the orthodox Christianity that I know to be true to shame. Let me make this clear to Christians who express hate and anger against Mormonism and those who follow it:

      Stop spending time criticizing the religions and views of others, and live out the views that you are called to live. You could demonstrate with resounding clarity that the rest of the world is wrong, but that still would not show the world that what you believe is true. Live as Christ did. Shining your light means more than just pointing out the world's darkness. It means actually fighting the world's darkness through the power of Christ, through the endless love, grace, and truth that is ours because we know Christ.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:21 am |
  8. romneyisausedcarsalesman

    all i have to say is look up lying for the lord it makes obama's 2016 look like childs play . obamas 2016 is all lies made by an ultra right wing nut but look up lying for the lord and you will see the many scary truths about mormonism like if you get a divorce you are kicked out of the religion, happend to my cousin after his mormon wife cheated on him and she got to stay. also non mormons are not allowed in their temples, if you go the wash down the entire temple and clean the carpets, they brain wash their children. belief in god is supposed to be about peace but read the bible, koran and book of david and you will see it is not about that. Romney doesnt believe we have the right to health care, i would ask romeny to spend a day in a ICU unit at a major city hosipital, listen to people and families scream for their own or loved ones life and he will think differently, i should know i have been a ICU nurse for 7 years. Take away Romneys bank account and tell him he ows 200,000$ to save his sons life and i promise you he owuld change his tune

    October 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  9. arnold davis

    Harry Reid is a lunatic that belongs in a nut ward. How long must congress and the American people put up with his rants?

    October 6, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • JimmyAlex777

      Probably about as long as we have to put up with yours.

      October 7, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • Mark Taylor

      You know what makes me sad? YOU DO! And everyone else that posts their smack on CNN without backing it up with actual substantiated facts. How bout we take you over to mamby-pamby and land and force you to do something that actually requires a little wisdom rather than party-think. Look at the man's track record. Make a list of his accomplishments in the Senate over the past 6 years and then place your judgement next to each item (good) or (bad). Post it back here with your newly informed opinion.

      October 7, 2012 at 6:17 am |
    • greg

      Mark Taylor: Please help us find ANY "substantiated facts" in Dingy Harry's diatribe. "Romney's not the face of Mormonism." ??? How so? Based on what? Who is the face of Mormonism? Is Harry the face of Mormonism (aside from looking the role)? I've always thought it rather bizarre that Harry could fit into what appears to be a very socially conservative organization. Perhaps the requirement for facts only applies to one side of the political spectrum.

      October 12, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  10. Ryan

    Okay, at first I was in shock over what Reid said. Now I know he is on crack.

    "Politically, Mormons are more conservative compared with the general public, the survey finds. Seventy-four percent of Mormons surveyed say they lean toward the Republican party, and 66 percent describe themselves as conservatives, much higher than the national average of 37 percent. That political ideology is reflected in their views of politicians – 86 percent view Romney favorably and 50 percent hold a positive view of another Mormon candidate, Jon Huntsman. But considerably less, only 22 percent, are supportive of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is also a Mormon"

    Source: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/01/pew-survey-most-mormons-feel-they-are-misunderstood-not-viewed-as-mainstream/

    Harry Reid needs a serious reality check.

    October 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Brad

      Mormons aren't "misunderstood"! Lol!! THAT'S why they're not viewed as "mainstream"!!

      You're the one who's "on crack"!!!!

      October 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  11. Ryan

    What the hell? Almost every Mormon I know despises Harry Reid! I'm surprised he hasn't been excommunicated by now!

    October 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Brad

      Mormons despising other Mormons? What a surprise!!!!!!!
      Why would you have him "excommunicated"? 'Cos he stands up for what's right and against what's wrong??
      You're a self-defeating idiot! Go smoke some more crack!

      October 23, 2012 at 6:58 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.