Former Missouri Senator and ordained Episcopal priest John Danforth: “People who believe in the Constitution should not be raising questions about the religious beliefs of Mitt Romney.”
Another endorsement from the great Show Me State – with a religious caveat…
Mitt Romney has announced the endorsement of former Missouri Senator and Ambassador John Danforth. Senator Danforth joins Senator Roy Blunt and former Senator Jim Talent in endorsing Mitt Romney.
“It is an honor to have Senator Danforth’s support,” said Mitt Romney. “For his entire life, Senator Danforth has served Missouri and his country with distinction. His values and commitment to American ideals are what all public servants should aspire to replicate.”
Announcing his support, Senator Danforth said, “This election is one of, if not the, most important of my lifetime. Our country faces the possibility of losing our place in the world if our economy fails to restart. Mitt Romney has taken on significant challenges at every moment in his life. Whether it was turning around struggling companies, rescuing the Olympics, or restoring fiscal health in his state as governor, he has proven that he has both the skill and leadership ability to ensure that the United States remains the strongest and most respected nation in the world. I am honored to join Senators Roy Blunt and Jim Talent in endorsing Mitt Romney. With their help and the hard work of the many Missourians supporting Mitt Romney, we will defeat President Obama in November and set a new course for the country.”
Background On Senator John Danforth:
Senator Danforth served in the United States Senate from 1976 to 1995. After his Senate career, Danforth served the United States in various roles, including as Special Envoy to Sudan and United Nations Ambassador under President George W. Bush. Danforth has also served as Missouri Attorney General.
While offering his endorsement yesterday, Danforth, an ordained Episcopal priest, spoke out against religious bigotry:
Danforth offers Romney aid in dealing with anti-Mormon element
WASHINGTON • Former Sen. John C. Danforth, who has long operated at the intersection of politics and religion, says that people who believe in the Constitution should not be raising questions about the religious beliefs of Mitt Romney.
On the day he endorsed Romney’s bid for the Republicans’ presidential nomination, Danforth, an ordained Episcopal priest, said he has offered to help Romney contend with those who are wary or perhaps downright hostile to a candidate of the Mormon faith.
“I said, you know this is an issue where I have been engaged, namely what’s the relationship between religion and politics? If I can help speak out about this subject of Mormonism, I’m happy to do it. Because I really feel strongly about it,” Danforth said this afternoon.
… [P]olls show that his Mormon faith could be an impediment among some voter blocs, particularly white evangelical Protestants.
If Romney is seeking help in dealing with those concerns, he might find no one better credentialed than Danforth. In addition to being a clergyman, the former three-Missouri senator and past Ambassador to the United Nations has often taken issue with the tactics of Christian conservatives. He is the author of the 2006 book Faith and Politics: How the “Moral Values” Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together.
Danforth said his offer to the Romney campaign was received warmly but without commitment.
“I think it shouldn’t be just up to him (Romney) to deal with it; it’s up to all of us to deal with it because it’s playing on the face of the U.S. Constitution,” Danforth said.
“So people who claim they are constitutionalists should be the first to say ‘no, you can’t say somebody’s a Mormon, or somebody’s a Jew, or Catholic or anything else and aren’t qualified to be president’.”
“I think we should start saying, we the people should start saying no. In this country, if you believe in the Constitution and you believe in fair play, there can be no preligious test for holding public office. Period,” he said.
(emphasis added) Read entire article here.
UPDATE – Meanwhile, Rick Perry aims new ad right at Mitt Romney
by Hillary Chabot (BostonHerald.com)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is busting out the religion card as his campaign struggles to gain ground in the 2012 Republican primary by releasing a 30-second ad in Iowa, where rival Mitt Romney struggled as voters grappled with his Mormonism.
► Jayde Wyatt