CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne


Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign: Confronting the Mormon Question

by Craig L. Foster
A paper presented at The 2009 CESNUR Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 11-13, 2009

In American history, Catholics have gone from being maligned and persecuted to being accepted. It was not an easy road and political acceptance – especially concerning the office of President of the United States – was long in coming. The main concern, sometimes openly expressed but often covert, was whether a Catholic president could be trusted to make the interests of the United States his top priority or whether his first loyalty would be to the Vatican, making him vulnerable to influence from abroad. That question and concern were not adequately put to rest for a majority of Americans until 1960 when John F. Kennedy, Massachusetts Senator and Democratic candidate for U.S. president, faced the anti-Catholic prejudice head-on in a landmark speech given to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. He proclaimed:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute--where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.[1]

Near the end of his speech and to reinforce his promise not to put his religion above his public duty, Kennedy assured his listeners and all Americans that he was not “the Catholic candidate for President.” Instead, he was “the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic.”[2]

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) have not achieved the same status. Like Catholics, Mormons have been feared and distrusted by a large segment of the American population. Also like Catholics, Mormons were the victims of vicious literature attacking their beliefs and perpetuating sneers and stereotypes. They, too, were the victims of violent physical assault. Also like Catholics, Mormons were the targets of legislation and government actions that deprived them of such basic civil rights as voting.

The social and political history of Latter-day Saints is troubled and painful because of the intense and prolonged persecution they suffered, some of which they brought on themselves as a result of their beliefs and actions. Members of the LDS Church spent their first seventy years on the fringes of society and the subsequent century trying to move more into the mainstream. Their move to the center and respectability has met with varying degrees of success.

Mormons are respected, even admired, for many things including their dedication to hard work and orderly living, their emphasis on the family, and their worldwide humanitarian service. Members of the LDS Church have also made strides in science, business, literature, and even--perhaps ironical given the strict LDS code of dress and ethics--in pop culture. They have also achieved notable political success, including in their number governors, members of Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and U.S. Cabinet members.

The office of U.S. president, however, has eluded a Mormon. As already discussed, there have been other Mormons of varying activity and allegiance toward the church who have run for president. The latest and one of the most active and prominent  members of the church to run for president was W. Mitt Romney in the 2008 election. He got further than any other Mormon but was ultimately defeated  in the primaries. While there were a number of reasons for his defeat, one of the main reasons was his religion.

Both the press and Romney’s opposition focused on his religion. The rhetoric rapidly surpassed the usual political slurs and name-calling to ask invasive questions about his underwear and resurrect folk beliefs from the nineteenth century as examples of Mormon weirdness. Such attacks came from both the religious right and the liberal left and, at their most vicious, engaged in the kinds of tactics that would have tarred the speaker with opprobrium if “Mormon” had been replaced by “black” or “Jewish.”

While tactics and concerns regarding Mormonism varied depending upon from which direction the attacks were coming, the underlying concern, indeed fear, from both sides was the so-called Mormon question which is reminiscent of the Catholic question regarding trust. In a nutshell, can a Mormon be trusted to be president of the United States? As I have written a whole book on this subject titled, A Different God? Mitt Romney, the Religious Right, and the Mormon Question (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2008), the most I will be able to do in this short amount of time is highlight some major examples of anti-Mormon bigotry and then discuss where we, as Latter-day Saints, go from here.

Media Bias

            In 2007, Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times pulled no punches with his disgust: “’It’s been nearly half a century since our political journalism has witnessed anything quite as breathtakingly noxious and offensive as the current attempt to discredit’ the former Massachusetts governor for his faith.”[3]

            Among some of the more obnoxious examples of media bias was their infatuation with a number of issues they viewed as controversial, potentially embarrassing or bizarre. One example was LDS temple garments worn by faithful church members to remind them of sacred covenants they have made in temples. A number of reporters and columnists addressed this subject. Author/columnist Andrew Sullivan displayed photographs of temple garments and wrote an essay titled, “Mormon Sacred Underwear,” commenting, “So Mitt Romney will never have to answer the boxers or briefs question. But will he tell us whether he wears Mormon underwear at all times, including when asleep?”[4] Another writer described temple garments being worn by Mormons “to protect their nether regions from Satan’s clutches through special blessings applied directly to the cloth (‘They don’t say Hanes until Jesus says they say Hanes!’).” Many internet sites posted photographs of temple garments, one such display titled, “Mitt Romney’s Underwear.”[5]

The Left

            Kenneth Woodward, the astute religion editor of Newsweek, wrote a thoughtful article, “The Presidency’s Mormon Moment,” which directly identified Mormonism as Romney’s critical problem: “It isn’t just evangelical Christians in the Republican base who find Mr. Romney’s religion a stumbling block. Among those who identify themselves as liberal, almost half say they would not support a Mormon for president.”[6]

One of the underlying themes of articles from left-leaning media is a sense of incredulity and contempt for Romney’s beliefs and, by extension, those of other Latter-day Saints. Weiberg and Hitchens expressed their lack of respect for the Mormon’s founding prophet by dismissing him as a “con-man” and “convicted fraud.” Timothy Garton Ash followed the same approach: “My residual problem with Romney being a Mormon is . . . that it seems such a wacky collection of man-made Moronical  codswallop. And I do find myself wondering--even if he is a natural conservative, even if Mormonism is, as he puts it, ‘the faith of my fathers,’ including the most recent father whom he hero-worshipped--how on earth a well-educated man who aspires to lead the most powerful and modern nation in the world can seriously believe this stuff.”[7]

            One of the most over-the-top attacks against Mitt Romney and his church by liberal members of the media was the diatribe Lawrence O’Donnell launched on the MSNBC show, “The McLaughlin Group.” he attacked Romney and the LDS Church: “This man stood there and said to you, ‘This is the faith of my fathers.’ And . . . none of these commentators who liked this speech realized that the faith of his fathers is a racist faith. As of 1978, it was an officially racist faith. And for political convenience, in 1978 it switched and it said, ‘Okay, black people can be in this Church.’”[8]

            Pat Buchanan, one of the other guests, asked O’Donnell, if Romney’s Mormonism disqualified him from being president. O’Donnell disregarded the question and continued his tirade: “I’m saying he’s got to answer--when he was 30 years old . . . and he firmly believed in the faith of his father that black people are inferior, when did he change his mind? Did the religion have to tell him to change his mind? And when he talks about the faith of his father, how about the faith of his great-grandfather, who had five wives?” O’Donnell didn’t stop there. Displaying his ignorance of American and Mormon history, he denounced Joseph Smith as “a lying, fraudulent criminal . . . who was a racist, who was pro-slavery. His religion was completely pro-slavery.”[9]

            Actor-director Robert Redford, who has maintained a residence in Utah for at least three decades and was once married to a Mormon woman, diverged from an interview at the advance screening of his film, Lions for Lambs: “[Mormons] are very adept at not being fazed and speaking fluently and gracefully. Why? Because every single male who’s a Mormon goes on a mission for two years when they’re 19 or 20. They learn how to defect blows and stay on message. No wonder Utah is the place that all these Republican senators go. It’s perfect. So when you see Mitt Romney, he’s already been practicing how to deflect blows and stay on message. But it’s plastic.”[10] Chris Hicks of the Deseret Morning News found Redford’s ignorance embarrassing: “Every single male Mormon goes on a mission? Uh, no. Many do (as do young women), and all are encouraged to go . . . but not all of them go. That’s just a simplistic exaggeration for effect.” Hicks went on to explain, given Redford’s “plastic” comment, “Mormons aren’t robots. . . . Mormons are just ordinary people trying to do the best they can. Some succeed incredibly, some fail miserably and most fall somewhere in the middle.”[11]

The Right

            Early in the 2008 presidential election cycle, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission suggested that most of the anti-Mormon bias would come from the left. Although liberal disdain for Romney was considerable, the strongest negative reaction came from the right. There were a number of examples of blatant bias and outspoken anti-Mormon bigotry from religious and other leaders on the right side of the political spectrum.

            One of the most over-the-top attacks against Romney for his religion were the public excoriations of the Reverend Bill Keller, who had earlier served nearly three years in a federal prison for an insider-trading scam but who now managed the website LivePrayer.com. Known as the “Dr. Phil of prayer” and “the next big thing in mass media religion,” “he claims to operate the largest interactive Christian website, to send his emails to 2.4 million people, to receive 40,000 emails per day, and to receive over $2 million last year in donations.” On May 11, Keller issued a warning through his Daily Devotionals that a vote for Romney would be ‘a vote for Satan.’ Keller called Mormonism a cult and its founder Joseph Smith a ‘murdering polygamist pedophile. Romney getting elected president will ultimately lead millions of souls to the eternal flames of hell!!!’” He then added that “having Romney as President is no different than having a Muslim or Scientologist as President.”[12]

            A month later, hosting his television show “Live Prayer TV,” he titled the program, “Mr Romney, show me your underwear!” and wore LDS temple garments over his clothing. During the show he condemned Mormonism as “a satanic cult,” announced that “Mormons are people who have been inspired by Satan--literally,” warned repeatedly that Mormons are liars and if challenged on their beliefs, “they will flat out lie to you.” As for Romney, “Mr. Romney, like all members of his satanic cult, is a liar. A liar!”[13]

            Other evangelicals used political dirty tricks and publicly waged a campaign to discourage their fellow religionists from supporting Romney, including one who broadcast a proposed Romney campaign slogan, “Send him to the White House before he goes to hell.” A day before the Iowa straw poll, a flyer was passed out stating, “we strongly believe that Jesus Christ, if he were alive in the flesh in this time and voted, would NEVER vote for Mitt Romney under any circumstances.” A week before the presidential primary debate in South Carolina a tract titled, “Mormons in Contemporary American Society: A Politically Dangerous Religion?” was mailed to Republican voters. In the tract, Joseph Smith was called the “Mohammed of the West.”[14]

            Mike Huckabee became the first presidential candidate to drop “the Mormon Bomb on Mitt.” According to commentators, he used religion “as [a] hammer to attack Mitt Romney,” and the Republican presidential race became “a proxy religious war” or “holy war” between Huckabee and the evangelicals and Romney’s Mormonism.[15]  Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist minister and governor of Arkansas who attributed his surprising rise in the 2007 polls to “Divine providence,” campaigned as a “Christian leader.” In an obvious swipe at Romney’s faith and the evangelical perception that the LDS Church is not Christian, Huckabee played a TV advertisement in Iowa in which he said, “Faith doesn’t just influence me. It really defines me.” He ended the commercial by telling the viewing audience, “Let us never sacrifice our principles for anybody’s politics. Not now, not ever.”[16]

            Mike Huckabee’s approach in the presidential race was to cultivate his public image of “Mr. Nice” while underscoring the concern of evangelicals and other conservative voters about Mitt Romney’s faith, hoping they would shift their votes his way.[17]

            One of Huckabee’s aides even admitted that this was their approach. Romney’s Mormonism “is definitely a factor in the race.… To a lot of people, [Mormonism] is a strange religion that they don’t understand.” As Howard Kurtz wrote, “This is a twofer: The aide gets to demean not just Romney but also an entire religion.” That approach did no go unnoticed by political observers. Charles Krauthammer complained: “Huckabee has exploited Romney’s Mormonism with an egregious subtlety” and “highly paraded [his] evangelical Christianity.” George F. Will wrote, “Although Huckabee is considered affable, two subliminal but clear enough premises of his Iowa attack on Mitt Romney are unpleasant: That almost 6 million American Mormons who consider themselves Christian are mistaken about that. And--55 million non-Christian Americans should take note--America must have a Christian president.”[18]

            There were a number of other things Huckabee and his campaign did to subtly and not so subtly attack Romney through his religion. Radio talk show host Doug Wright believed that Mike Huckabee was encouraging “in an underhanded way” the anti-Mormon rhetoric present before the Iowa caucuses. By allowing “hate speech” to remain on the campaign website, Huckabee was encouraging bigotry. “It’s the insidious attacks, the winks and nods” that bothered Wright, who broadcast from Iowa for several days before the caucuses.[19]

            Ultimately, through a combination of anti-Mormon sentiment and attacks, as well as Romney’s own mistakes, missteps, and flip-flopping, Mitt Romney’s quest for president fell short and he dropped out of the race. Almost immediately, a debate erupted over the question of whether or not a Mormon could ever be elected president. The intensity of anti-Mormonism caught many Latter-day Saints by surprise. As the Romney campaign demonstrated, “anti-Mormonism in American society is anything but dead.”[20] “I don’t think that any of us had any idea how much anti-Mormon stuff was out there . . . the equivalent of anti-Semitism,” Mormon sociologist Armand Mauss commented. Salt Lake Tribune editorial writer Rebecca Walsh agreed, even with the comparison: “Romney’s defeat has peeled back the layers of a lingering religious bigotry as virulent as anti-semitism and closeted racism.”[21]

            So, what did Romney’s failed presidential campaign tell us and what does the future portend? First of all, while there were a number of reasons for Romney’s failed campaign, including problems he brought on himself, one of the main reasons was obvious anti-Mormon bigotry. Nevertheless, in spite of an uncomfortable and unfortunate campaign experience – for both Romney and his fellow Latter-day Saints – one positive outcome was a heightened awareness and hopefully a better understanding of the LDS Church.

            In the days and months following Romney’s departure from the presidential campaign he worked hard for GOP candidate John McCain. After McCain’s defeat, Romney has continued to keep a “high profile on the Republican circuit.”[22] In the process, he has shown himself to be a team player within the Republican Party and is a recognized Republican leader for the 2012 presidential race.[23]

            There was, until his selection on 16th May as the next ambassador to China,  another possible Mormon contender for the presidency in 2012. Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., a moderate Republican with extensive business and diplomatic experience, he has even deeper pockets than multi-millionaire Mitt Romney. Huntsman used his success as governor to attempt a move to the national stage. He had begun to travel the Republican speaking circuit and was making noises of interest in a presidential run.[24] 

            Questions had already arisen regarding whether or not two Mormons running for president would help or hurt. Some people said it would show that Mormons do not all think and act alike as Romney and Huntsman differ on a number of political issues. Others feared two Mormons running for what is arguably the most powerful office in the world would increase the fears and concerns of critics of the church.[25]

            My own take on this is that Jon Huntsman, Jr. had very little chance of attaining the Republican presidential nomination and leapt at the opportunity to be on the national and international stage by appointment rather than election. The difficulty of being the presidential nominee was for several reasons and almost all have to do with his Mormonism. First of all, he is a moderate that has come out in favor of same-sex unions which is anathema to the conservative religious right whose grass-roots efforts make them a powerful voting bloc in the Republican Party. Next, Huntsman, like Mitt Romney, is a descendant of early Mormon apostle Parley P. Pratt. With that comes the baggage of plural marriage. To top it off, Huntsman is the son of a member of the Fifth Quorum of Seventy and his grandfather, the late David B. Haight, was a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, one of the leading councils of the church. All of these were strikes against him and he no doubt realized that. He is ambitious and wanted to be more of a player. The ambassadorship was a way of achieving that without going through the same crucible as Mitt Romney.

            And yet, in spite of what happened to Mitt Romney in 2007 and 2008, and what is already shaping up for the 2012 campaign, the future is bright. I believe America will see its first Mormon president before this century is half over.

[1] John F. Kennedy, “ I Believe in an America Where Separation of Church and State is Absolute,” beliefnet.com, http://www.beliefnet.com/story/40/story_4080_3.html (accessed June 4, 2008).

[2] Ibid.

[3] David M. Bresnahan, “A Mormon President?”, American Chronicle, May 4, 2006, http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=9009 (accessed May 21, 2007); Tim Rutten, “Fallout from Era of Falwell,” Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2007, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-rutten19may19,1,3427825,print.column? (accessed May 21, 2007). According to Ivy J. Seller, “Could Romney’s Christianity Really Keep Him from Presidency?” Human Events Online, May 8, 2006, http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?print=yes&id=14656 (accessed May 9, 2006), “The first thing to remember is that some reporters have nothing original to report, so they regurgitate the same story many others have already written. It’s easy to pick on the Mormons, so why not jump on the band wagon?”

[4] Andrew Sullivan, “Mormon Sacred Underwear,” The Atlantic, November 24, 2006, http://opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110010089 (accessed December 7, 2006).

[5] Michael Graham, “In a Twist over Knickers: Morality Makes Mitt a Hit with Evangelicals,” Boston Herald, December 6, 2006, http://www.news.bostonherald.com/view.bg?articleid=170717&format=text and http://mittromneysunderwear.com/underwear (accessed December 3, 2007).

[6] Kenneth Woodward, “The Presidency’s Mormon Moment,” New York Times, April 9, 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/09/opinion/09woodward.html (accessed July 30, 2007).

[7] Timothy Garton Ash, “Could You Vote for a Man Who Abides by Moronish  Wisdom?” Guardian, December 27, 2007, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2232363,00.html (accessed December 28, 2007). Ash is an author and columnist, as well as a Fellow at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. In spite of his scholarly background, Ash’s comments are disturbingly personal and insulting. Unfortunately, his essay occurs practically at the same level of personal attack as the Matt Taibi piece titled “Mitt Romney: The Huckster,” Rolling Stone, October 19, 2007, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/1983679/mitt_romney_the_huckster (accessed December 3, 2007). For example, this article descends to the following level: “The most common thing you hear from voters after a Romney event is how impressed they are with his demeanor and delivery, his obvious vitality, by the fact that he looks like he could do this twenty-four hours a day and twice on Sunday, taking off only twenty-six minutes once a week to make monogamous, missionary-position love to his baby-factory wife.”

[8] “Lawrence O’Donnell Loses His Ever-Loving Mind on McLaughlin,” Huffington Post , December 9, 2007, http://huffingtonpost.com/2007/12/09/lawrence-odonnell-loses-_n_75987.html (accessed December 11, 2007).

[9]  Ibid.

[10] “Redford Wants ‘Lion’ to Provoke Debate,” Washington Times November 8, 2007, http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071108/ENTERTAINMENT/111080103/1001 (accessed November 9, 2007).

[11] Chris Hicks, “Redford Shows Little Class with LDS Comment,” Deseret Morning News, November 30, 2007, http://www.deseretnews.com/article/content/mobile/0,5223,695231780,00.html (accessed November 30, 2007). Unidentified writer, “Robert Redford, Aging Pretty Boy, Assesses Mormons,” National Review Online, November 13, 2007, http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com (accessed November 14, 2007), took issue with Redford’s statement that “Utah is where all these Republican senators go.” National Review Online responded with “Yes, all two of them.” The article then went on to say, “As usual, it’s acceptable to make derisive remarks about Mormonism that would never be tolerated about other faiths.”

[12] LivePrayer.com homepage, http://www.liveprayer.com/index.cfm (accessed December 31, 2007); “Message from the President,” FAIR Journal, July 2007, http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Journal/FJ200707.html (accessed January 31, 2007); “Televangelist Bill Keller Calls Mormonism and Islam ‘False Religions,’” Jews on First!, June 23, 2007, http://www.jewsonfirst.org/07c/keller.html (accessed December 31, 2007). For Keller’s prison record, see Alexandra Alter, “TV Preacher Aims at the Multitudes,” Miami Herald, May 28, 2006, http://www.liveprayer.com/press/mh.htm (accessed March 12, 2008). The Americans United for Separation of Church and State, according to “Group Sics IRS on Mormon Critic,” WorldNetDaily, April 17, 2008, http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=41892 (accessed April 17, 2008), made a formal written request that Keller’s ministry be reviewed for possible violations of federal tax law. Keller responded, “Let them come after me for making a spiritual statement about Mitt Romney.”

[13] “Televangelist Bill Keller Calls Mormonism and Islam ‘False Religions,’” Jews on First! “Message from the President,” FAIR Journal. Keller later claimed victimhood for the negative fallout. In “The Fallout from Taking On Romney, the Mormons and Other Evangelical Leaders,” Live Prayer, November 27, 2007, http://www.liveprayer.com/ddarchive3.cfm?id=3136 (accessed February 21, 2008, he wrote, “Even though I expected it, what made me saddest of all were the brutal attacks by those who identified themselves as Christians.”

[14] “The Corner,” National Review Online, July 19, 2007, http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWY1ODc4Yjc1MWE4ZjFiNjBiNDZlYWZlOGNmYjJiZDE= (accessed September 5, 2007); Lisa Wangeness, “At Straw Poll, Group Attacks Romney on Mormonism,” Boston Globe, August 11, 2007, http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2007/08/group_attacks_r.html (accessed August 15, 2007; Jason Spencer, “Critics Target Romney’s Mormonism,” GoUpstate, May 11, 2007, http://www.goupstate.com/article/20070511/NEWS/705110310/-1/LIFE, (accessed May 11, 2007). Evangelicals also put pressure on pastors and other evangelical leaders who publicly supported Romney. Pastor Don Wilton, former president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, retracted his endorsement of Romney, saying it was a personal error, after coming under public attack by other evangelicals. “Baptist Pastor Retracts Endorsement of Romney,” Fox News, October 23, 2007, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,304576,00.html (accessed October 24, 2007).

[15] Rich Galen, “Religion Politics,” Townhall.com, November 28, 2007, www.townhall.com/news/business/2007/11/28/bankers_plead_guilty_in_enron_case (accessed November 30, 2007); “’Champions for Christ’ Crusade Puts Huckabee on Top in Iowa,” Nation, November 30, 2007, http://www.thenation.com/blogs/campaignmatters?bid=45&pid=255641 (accessed December 6, 2007); Patrick J. Buchanan, “The Mitt-Mike Religious War,” Townhall.com, December 11, 2007, http://www.townhall.com (accessed December 11, 2007); Carl Campanile, “Huck Plays Coy on Romney’s Mormon Faith,” New York Post, December 5, 2007, http://www.nypost.com/seven/12052007/news/nationalnews/add_in_cult_to_gop_injury_293634.htm (accessed December 6, 2007).

[16] Mark Karlin, “Mike Huckabee Says God Is Pushing His Poll Numbers Up,” BuzzFlash.com, December 1, 2007, http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/node/3825 (accessed January 15, 2008); “Evangelicals for Huckabee,” State, December 16, 2007, http://www.thestate.com/local/v-print/story/259149.html (accessed December 19, 2007); Liz Sidoti, “Romney Fights Back in Iowa, N.H.,” Washington Post, December 1, 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/01/AR2007120100588 (accessed December 3, 2007. A video of Huckabee shows him at an evangelical gathering, describing the source of his rapid rise in poll numbers to the same source that fed 5,000 with two fishes and five loaves of bread. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSQNSlUUoOc also http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2007/12/huckabee_on_why.html.

[17] “Huckabee Alienates GOP in Arkansas,” Washington Times, January 24, 2008, http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080124/NATION/8463148/1001 (accessed January 25, 2008); Gabriel Sherman, “Bad Huck,” New Republic, December 31, 2007, 11-12.

[18] Howard Kurtz, “The Hit-Job Mentality,” Washington Post, December 17, 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/17/AR2007121700389_pf.html (accessed December 18, 2007); Charles Krauthammer, “Huck’s Unholy Dance,” National Review, December 7, 2007, http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=Nzk4MmY2N2I5NGEzOTk4ZWNkYzU2ZWY0Njk5NWRkNjI (accessed December 10, 2007); George F. Will, “The Affable But Subliminally Unpleasant Mike Huckabee,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 30, 2007, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/341631_willonline02.html (accessed December 4, 2007).

[19] “Doug Wright Show,” January 3, 2008.

[20] Rachel Zoll, “Romney Bid Was a Crucible for Mormons,” Mercury News, February 9, 2008, http://origin.mercurynews.com/religion/ci_8217970 (accessed February 20, 2008); Jan Shipps, “Romney Campaign Was a Mixed Blessing for Mormons,” Salt Lake Tribune, February 10, 2008, http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_8217523 (accessed February 10, 2008).

[21]      Suzanne Sataline, “Tabernacle on Trial: Mormons Dismayed by Harsh Spotlight,” Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2008, http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB12024332372185411.htm (accessed February 8, 2008; Rebecca Walsh, “Republican Party Leaves Mitt in Cold,” Salt Lake Tribune, February 10, 2008, http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_8221212 (accessed February 10, 2008); Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb, “Romney’s Run Imparts Valuable Lessons,” Deseret Morning News, February 10, 2008, http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695251497,00.html (accessed February 10, 2008.

[22] Thomas Burr, “Romney keeps high profile on Republican circuit,” Salt Lake Tribune, 1 April 2009, http://www.sltrib.com/News/ci_12049932 (accessed 2 April 2009).

[23] Glen Johnson, “Romney’s work puts him in 2012 political spotlight,” USA Today, 31 March 2009, http://www.usatoday.com/news/topstories/2009-03-30-2354800962_x.htm (accessed 12 May 2009).

[24] Matt Lewis, “Jon Huntsman for President?” Townhall.com, 6 April 2009 http://townhall.com/blog/g/8589783d-45b5-4bad-a448-4685b8417c1e (Accessed 7 April 2009), and Thomas Burr, “Room for two?” Salt Lake Tribune (11 April 2009), A4.

[25] Burr, “Room for two?”