Sen Jim DeMint: Romney’s Religion Non-Issue, Disappointed in Bachmann

The sticker on Senator Jim DeMint's lapel and the expression on his face reveals his support for Mitt Romney. (2008)

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), a man who could rightfully be dubbed The Tea Party Senator, issued solid words of wisdom yesterday…

Mitt Romney’s religion is ‘not an issue’:

The Hill

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) Mormon faith won’t be an issue for him in the Republican presidential primary, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) argued Wednesday.

DeMint, the conservative icon who endorsed Romney in 2008 but hasn’t decided whether to do so again in 2012, said that Romney’s religion might not be the hindrance it has been traditionally considered to be.

“The religion is not an issue,” DeMint said on MSNBC. “[…] I think what Americans are looking for right now is a person with principle, but courage.”
As for DeMint’s support, he’s still keeping his powder dry when it comes to Romney or any other candidate. The South Carolina conservative said Romney “could” still win his endorsement, but that he’s keeping a close eye on how the presidential candidates handle the upcoming fight over raising the debt limit.

“I’m keeping an open mind,” he said. “I’m not endorsing anyone right now because I want to see what they want to do on the debt limit.”

It’s good to hear Senator DeMint keep the door open after saying this a few months ago.

Romney will sign the ‘Cut, Cap, & Balance’ pledge to cut federal spending and balance the budget. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum also support the pledge. Jon Huntsman Jr. and Michele Bachmann both declined support.

Bachmann has balked. DeMint is disappointed:

“I am disappointed,” DeMint said Wednesday on CNN’s “American Morning.” “We have to stop spending more than we’re bringing in.”
The Minnesota congresswoman argues it doesn’t go far enough to bring down the deficit.

DeMint, a South Carolina kingmaker and early supporter of the tea party movement, has said a commitment to the pledge is necessary in order to win his support, which could prove valuable in the early voting state of South Carolina and within his larger conservative following.

(emphasis added)

DeMint was a fervent supporter of Governor Romney during the last presidential primaries. Read his letter profusely endorsing The Gov here.

► Jayde Wyatt

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8 Responses to Sen Jim DeMint: Romney’s Religion Non-Issue, Disappointed in Bachmann

  1. Actually, at least in the general election, Being a Mormon may be an advantage: it may bag him NV, but more important, it may get him independents and Democrats who think the GOP is owned by “evangelicals”/”Christian extremists!!!” “If the ‘Christian extremists!!!” won’t vote for Romney, then he’s safe to vote for!”

  2. ccr says:

    True on the Christian “extremists” who are biased to “hateful” against Mormons. There are Dems and Repubs who do not like the techniques and push by the “extremists” And THEY worry about Mormons forcing their beliefs while they are viewed as doing the same???

    That is incredible to me that the supposedly Constitution loving Christians violate Article 6!

  3. Crystal says:

    I find Bachmann’s explanation for not signing the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge ridiculous. Many times a good leader has to take one step at a time – get acceptance for the “first step” and start working to build on the foundation. This is important from a teambuilding standpoint as well as to ensure that your original premise actually works in practice. If this is how Bachmann would perform in her first executive position, it is pretty obvious that President is WAY over her head.

  4. K.G. says:

    Steve: I hope you’re right. Those of us who are LDS probably see Mormons as more rational and straight-thinking than “Christian extremists.” I don’t know if that’s the perception in the country at large given people’s ignorance of Mormonism. There are many, I fear, who will believe that Mormonism is religious extremism on steriods. Evangelicals will say we’re not Christian enough and independents will fear we’re too zealous. The LDS’s strongly organized support of Prop 8 here in CA will no doubt feed into that perception.

    If Romney were to be the candidate, look to the powerful gay activists to fight tooth and toe nail to demean and defeat him. Many evangelicals will do everything they can to defeat a Mormon in the primaries and the anti-religious crowd will do the same in the general.

    A Mormon in the White House is a definite long-shot and maybe it’s just as well. Given how we love to hate our presidents, a Mormon POTUS would just attract added hatred toward the Church. IMO Romney’s running and being the current front-runner has helped bring the Church out of obscurity and given us the opportunity to explain ourselves. Actually winning could bring us a heap of condemnation.

  5. Deg says:

    I am yet to hear of some political junkie joining the Church because of Mitt Romney. Can someone step forward and say this was the case?

  6. cj says:

    K.G. i don’t get what you’re saying? “mormons hate their presidents?”” a mormon president will attract hateread towar the mormon church?” “a mormon in the WH would bring them a heap of condemation?” those statements are really looney! first off if mitt wins the WH and he leads well and helps get this economy going again, people will see that the mormons aren’t kooks! and i have never heard a mormon say they hate their presidents….so don’t know what cha talking about there!

  7. K.G. says:

    cj: You stop being loony and get a grip on reality. In our very divided country, at least half the nation hates their president any given time. Look how they derided the now vaunted Reagan. Look how they demonized GWB. Look what they say about Obama. The POTUS becomes the repository of everyone’s frustration.

    Our government is in a mess and has been for a long, long time. If you believe Mitt can “lead well, get the economy going, causing people to believe Mormons are not kooks,” you are delusional. NO president is going to be able to do that. Do I believe Mitt would be better than anyone else on the list? Yes, I do. But it won’t be enough to fix things to the voters’ satisfaction.

    There will continue to be severe problems and severe frustrations and a lot of blow-back. And with a Mormon in the White House, the caca will inevitably blow back onto Mormons.

    The best scenario for the Church, IMO, is for Mitt’s run to create curiosity re: the Church, giving the Church the opportunity to tell its own story, as is happening now. A Mormon POTUS hurts not helps the Church.

    PS: People will always believe Mormons are kooks–at least until the Millennium.

  8. K.G. says:

    If Mitt were to get the nomination, can you imagine the anti-Mormon screed that would fill the media? It was horrible last time on the right wing blogs. In ’08 the Dems were loaded for bear when it looked like Mitt would be tapped for VP instead of Palin. They have been sitting on all this opposition research (and accumulating more) for several years now.

    We will be treated to a constant diet of magic underwear, God’s multiple wives on Kolob and Joseph Smith’s teenage wives in Nauvoo. The meme on Mormons is that anyone loony enough to believe such stuff is unfit for office.

    Not to mention attacks on Romney’s credibility and honesty. See today’s TownHall article of Romney’s gaffes, misstatements and outright “lies.” This plays into people’s perception that Mormons are liars who keep changing their doctrine for convenience and expediency.