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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. John Stefanyszyn

    One's way of life is one's true "religion".
    Mr. Romney, as a "christian", is anti abortion rights for other mormons.
    Mr. Romney , as a "president candidate", is pro abortion rights for non-mormons.

    It is clear what is his true way of life...self righteousness... for one cannot have two masters.

    President Obama is the same.

    ...to serve and magnify oneself...XES

    BUT it is Christ that will rule with the One Way of Life.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • 10 Minutes Before the Worm

      Or not. lol dork

      November 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm |

      by hinduism, absurdity of a hindu ignorant Christian.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

    Have peace, Islam on earth, DUMP hINDUISM, DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE.

    Faith in hindu Mormon ism is nothing but faith in hindu Moran ism, filthy self center ism, Romany have some guts to defend his hinduism, racism in front of people. Give hindu Magi' criminal trickster, deserving shoe in his mouth.
    Eliminate hindu Judaism, filthy secular ism to have peace, Islam among humanity. hindu's blinded leading hindu, blinded, game of hindu Magi's, criminal tricksters to stay in business of hinduism, denial of truth absolute, let it be hindu's, ignorant preachers, speaking not of truth absolute GOD, nor hindu atheist, ignorant self centered, secular s. rode with a hindu blinded driver, BET ON A WRACK, YOU WILL NEVER LOOSE.

    Expect nothing better but mayhem among humanity by following of hinduism, denial of truth absolute, Allah, and following of hindu pagan Mithra ism, savior ism, neither commanded, nor allowed in Islam as a religion, but Theen Allah, consti tution of truth absolute. Foundation of American consti tution.
    hindu Mithra ism, savior ism invented little over 100 years after Sydana Mohammad pbh by tribes of Kujar of north Africa and imposition as Fatmid Khalaphit by force by denial of Hidth and Quran, justified by hindu Judaism, pagan secularism to impose hinduism, racism by hindu, fabricated relationship with Family of Syadana Mohammad pbh to justify existence of hindu criminal Kings, a violation of fundamental commandment, human equality under the LA. truth absolute Allah. Cause of conflict among Muslim's and cause of down fall of Muslim's and Islam in Spain.

    Sunisim, invented by Turk's by corruption of Quran and hidth to justify existence of hindu King's as Khalipha, after death of Ruler Mohammad, but later renamed, Mehmmat, wisdom of spirit of truth by siblings from his Armenian wife, follower of hindu pagan Mithra ism, savior ism in 13th century.

    Christianity, invented by hinduism,. corruption of truth absolute by hindu Pharisees, pagan self centered, follower of hindu filthy pig ism by corrupted Torah, known as Greek Torah, translated and commented by Ben Asheer in 250 AD in Yiddish, secularist, self centered language, also known as Old Testament, part of book of Mithra ism labeled as Bible. A way to justify hindu criminal Kings and self proclaimed Prophets, fortune tellers as god's to rule over humanity.

    JUDAISM, Self center ism, pig ism, or Atheism, invented by hindu's pagan's of Egypt by corruption of truth absolute in Torah to Justify hindu pagan Pharaoh's and their hindu pagan Santans, goons as god's to rule over humanity with impunity.

    word hindu is based on Latin word hindered, negative, Hun, great, Han, to be in greatness, hin, to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity.
    Visit limitisthetruth.com to learn about hinduism, criminality of hindu's, criminals to impose hinduism, racism on humanity by hinduism, corruption of truth absolute by force.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Hindu Mithra Ism etc.

      word fondu is based on Latin word dippity doo, hot gooey, chips, great, chip dip, to be in greatness, pita chip, to be creamy to both of them, fondu, a noun in yummy, fonduism, way of yumminess.

      Visit dippingisfun.com to learn about fonduism, deliciousnessity of fondu's, deliciousness to impose fonduism, veggie dipping on humanity by fonduism, cheese skin of truth absolute by dipper. Be a dipper, not a fondu, lactose intolerant like a fondu, double dipper.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm |


      November 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  3. AgrippaMT

    It's good to know that America will never have a Mormon President, especially one who is a right wing Republican.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Shake

      It's good to know I will NEVER GET ANY PEACE until this stupid election is over. Plus I just found out I am lactose intolerent. I am a shake and I am lactose intolerent.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    It's probably easy enough to stop being Mormon. It's too late this time, but if he abandons his strange association with non-existent omnipotent beings and the Republican party, and if he embraces a more liberal socialist-leaning ideology, I might vote for him as my county's drainage commissioner. Assuming he runs unopposed.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  5. The Truth

    No one can say, at least with a straight face, that racism will not play a part in this election. So if we can accept that some of those voting will be motivated in their choice by their racism, will those not voting based on race be willing to give up their fellow "racist" votes? Or are those who think they are not racist still relying on their racist friends vote because the ends justify the means in their minds?

    November 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  6. Mohammad A Dar

    Romney's last supper tonight!

    November 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  7. Truthbetold

    I work with a hypocritical mormon woman, who has a husband (2nd) that is a bishop, has never had a job and she totally financially supports him, always has and her two kids (not mormon). He couldn't get along with her kids, because they thought he was a deadbeat and had no say so over their lives. When he approached her about them, she chose him over her sons and they left to go live with their father. Sure, she wears the "magic undies" and claims to be such a devout mormon, yet she lies and thinks anyone who does not think like her (not a believer in the cult) is beneath her. Not to mention she was caught smoking marijuana on the job twice. How mormonly or her! Those people are nuts!!!!

    November 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Shake

      She sounds like a great lady but she needs to learn about the sharing thing.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • dee

      I am a Mormon, was not born into the church but chose it after study and attending other religions services. Been 42 yrs and I'd do it all over again. ALL religions have bad members, ALL. I salute you Romney for standing your ground. We are no more cult than Catholics, but I heard that some of the main stream religions call them cults also. I believe that it's the woman's choice to whether or not to have a abortion. Lay off my religion. I'm beginning to re-think that the baggers are the nastiest posters, because you extreme left are just as bad if not worse than the baggers. This moderate IND voted already for Obama, only because Rosanne was running on the other ticket.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  8. 10 Minutes Before the Worm

    Soon will come to pass the "big reveal"...

    American pimples, this has been a test of the absurd. Who among you can say you did not actually believe that our fictional "Mitt Romney" was not a real canditate?

    He changed his mind daily with a straight face, even to go as far as adopting much of the President's policies.

    He believes in magic underwear and Kolob?? Right.

    This was only a test. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

    November 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  9. Jcamp

    Imagine a Morman in the White House? Cant be as bad as a Muslim in there.

    November 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      And just imagine if that comment had just an ounce of originality?

      November 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  10. wiseone

    If you are interested in what mormonism is all about then go to the library and research it's origin's. You will find that it is fundamentally a cult following. Similiar to any other white supremacist organization, without the violence, but loaded with polegamy and a instructional book they call a bible, written by Brigham Young born in the late 1800's.

    November 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • AgentDuke

      Wow. You suggest going and learning about its origins, but seem reluctant to do so yourself. From what I know, you're off in several areas. Brigham Young didn't write what they call the book of mormon – that was Joseph Smith. BY was the dude they made a university named after.

      I'm curious how you can pretend to be in the know and still keep a straight face. =/

      November 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Julie

      You obviously haven't researched in the right place! Try mormon.org instead for the real beliefs and history!!!

      November 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  11. Rummy Pirate Times-Dispatch

    "In Greed We Trust"

    In 1994, Bain invested $27 million as part of a deal with other firms to acquire Dade International, a medical-diagnostics-equipment firm, from its parent company, Baxter International. Bain ultimately made nearly 10 times its money, getting back $230 million. But Dade wound up laying off more than 1,600 people and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, amid crushing debt and rising interest rates. The company, with Bain in charge, had borrowed heavily to do acquisitions, accumulating $1.6 billion in debt by 2000. The company cut benefits for some workers at the acquired firms and laid off others. When it merged with Behring Diagnostics, a German company, Dade shut down three U.S. plants. At the same time, Dade paid out $421 million to Bain Capital’s investors and investing partners.

    For 15 years, Romney had been in the business of creative destruction and wealth creation. But what about his claims of job creation? The layoffs and closures at other firms would lead Romney’s political opponents to say that he had amassed a fortune in part by putting people out of work. The lucrative deals that made Romney wealthy could exact a cost. Maximizing financial return to investors could mean slashing jobs, closing plants, moving production overseas and loading up already struggling companies with debt.

    Marc Wolpow, a former Bain partner who worked with Romney on many deals, said the discussion at buyout companies typically does not focus on whether jobs will be created. “It’s the opposite—what jobs we can cut,” Wolpow said. “Because you had to document how you were going to create value. Eliminating redundancy, or the elimination of people, is a very valid way."

    Example: Bain closed GST Steel plant in 2001 laying off 750 workers.

    Example: Controlling share owner Bain Capital closes BRP plant (Southern Illinois) so the 340 jobs there could be outsourced to Mexico.


    November 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  12. Our first Mormon bishop president followed by first black president.

    It's fine to feel strongly about your faith, but it's not very presidential to be testy or defensive when the topic of your faith comes up. How are you going to effectively communicate with world leaders if you behave in such a manner?

    If you're okay with having a Mormon bishop for president, there's nothing wrong with that. I will, however, place my vote for Mr.Obama: a family man, leader and progressive Christian (which apparently is not as valid as being a conservative Christian.)

    November 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Julie

      You are RIGHT! He was defensive. And for a good reason. He was totally justified even if he could be president to do so. This video helped me to see that he is a REAL and good man. So thankful for the chance to vote for him. If this is the worst thing you can think of to post about Romney on the day before the election, I would say that he's a pretty amazing guy and I would be honored to have him as my president!!!

      November 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Ann

      Give me a break people. Mr. Obama says he is Christian but hasn't been to church that I know of. And so what if Romney is Morman, there are people out there tht think Christianity is a cult, antheist is a cult, etc. etc. Romney is a family man and at least he talks about God on TV, something obama doesn't do because he doesn't believe.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm |

    Why waste life, dump hinduism, denial of truth absolute, and have peace, Islam among humanity.

    Word hindu is based on Latin word hindered, negative, Hun, great, Han, to be in greatness, hin, to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity, Visit limitisthetruth.com to learn hinduism, criminality of hindu Jew's, filthy self centered , denier of truth absolute God to hind, fool humanity into gentile ism, slavery.

    November 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Dump the Islamic dog.

      November 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  14. Atheism is good for everyone. Pets too!
    November 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    November 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      November 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • And Tomorrow is the "Does Prayer Work" test!

      Roment has gotten far more prayer than Obama, so prayer will work and he will be elected!

      The Senate will go Republican due to all that working prayer!

      Do you have your excuses prepared when that doesn't happen? We'll be here tomorrow ot laugh at you!

      November 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Huebert

      I would love to help you test this claim. I promise to be completely fair. You can pick the test criteria. Come on, if you are right you have nothing to loose.

      November 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Prayer didn't work for this nun, or that parish's clergy and laity

      HOLLEY, N.Y. — Authorities say a nun with a gambling addiction is accused of stealing $128,000 from two rural parishes where she worked.

      Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone says Sister Mary Anne Rapp is scheduled to appear Monday evening in Kendall Town Court on grand larceny charges.

      Her lawyer, James Harrington, says she'll plead not guilty.

      Rapp is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, based in Lewiston, north of Buffalo.

      Sister Edith Wyss (whiss), the order's provincial minister, says Rapp was placed on leave from her parishes in February 2011 and agreed to seek treatment for a gambling problem. Wyss says Rapp is now in recovery.

      The thefts occurred at the parishes of St. Mary in Holley and St. Mark in Kendall. They were discovered during a church audit.

      November 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things

      November 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • J

      Some days I wish my I.Q. was just a little lower, so that I could finally experience being right all the time.

      November 5, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayerbot..

      November 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      When a child's parents don't shove whatever "unique" vision of the world that they hold, down their children's throats, that child is allowed to form their own world view. And that happens to be very healthy for children.

      Your parents Ainhfcaolt obviously force-fed you with a sufficient dose of religion, and also taught you that insulting others' beliefs was the right thing to do. Well, you turned out to be a very obedient parrot.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  16. Reality

    Dear Messrs. Romney and Obama,

    What you need to say:

    And now to the real issue surrounding abortion:

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
    – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
    – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
    Followed by:
    One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
    Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
    The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
    Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
    IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

    Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

    November 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • ME II

      Dear Mr. Reality

      "What you need to say:"
      ... nothing

      November 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      what is your prefered form of contraception?

      November 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Reality

      The real "Obamacare" i.e. getting re-elected on the backs of 39 million aborted womb babies by using the votes of the 78 million voters involved in said abortions,

      There are roughly 55 million registered Republicans. There are roughly 72 million Democrats. And there are roughly 42 million registered independents

      Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_registered_republican_voters_are_there_in_America#ixzz1n7ShWVn4

      From the Guttmacher Inst-itute- August 2011

      "In 2008, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. However, between 2005 and 2008, the long-term decline in abortions stalled. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.[2]"

      i.e. making the number of Immoral Majority members more like 100 million in 2012.

      More from Guttmacher:

      "• Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use.["

      And if half of these aborting "mothers and fathers" have had two abortions, the Immoral Majority would still be a huge voting bloc i.e. ~75 million, enough votes to give any presidential candidate the differential votes needed considering many voters vote straight Democratic or Republican tickets no matter what the issues are.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  17. Romney for almost-but-not-quite-president!!!

    Here is Mitt Romney's campaign staff hard at work:


    November 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Flip Flops

      are bad for the feet but good for Romney. So he wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college, turn around is fair play. (Don't try dangling your chad, they are clamping down on that sort of thing this time.)

      November 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  18. BulliesAreFoul

    Bullies are foul.

    November 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Fowls are bullies


      November 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  19. Jenny Porter

    I think everyone should go from experience, not mormon.org


    November 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  20. Jesus Christ

    It's important to take other peoples experiences into mind...


    November 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • AgentDuke


      The Mormon religion is too strict. I prefer to be a liberal instead.
      At least, that's what I got out of it.

      November 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
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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.