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I'm Proud That Obama's Campaign Never Attacked Romney's Faith

by: Inoljt

Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 00:48:08 AM EST

By: inoljt,

The 2012 presidential election is over, and Barack Obama has been re-elected president. There's a lot of analysis being done on the election, and I don't have any real insightful things to add to that.

With that said, there is one thing that I'm very proud that the Obama campaign did - or rather, that it didn't do. Obama's campaign never attacked Mitt Romney's faith.

Inoljt :: I'm Proud That Obama's Campaign Never Attacked Romney's Faith
Mitt Romney, as almost everybody in America knows by now, belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is a very firm believer in the Lord, much more so than most politicians. Of course, all American presidential candidates insist on their Christian faith, but much of that is mere rhetoric. Mitt Romney actually walked the talk, probably more than any presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter.

And he suffered for this. Because in America there is still an element of bigotry against the LDS Church, which insists that members of the church are not "real" Christians. In the Republican primaries, for instance, evangelical southerners consistently rejected Romney.

Barack Obama could have used this in his campaign. He could have used coded religious appeals, of the type that Herbert Hoover used against Catholic Al Smith in the 1928 presidential campaign.

He didn't. I never once heard Barack Obama say the word "Mormon." Nor did I ever hear anybody in Obama's campaign refer to Mormonism, no matter how obliquely. That's something for which Obama and the Democratic Party ought to be very proud of.

Now, of course there are caveats to this. There was indeed a current of anti-Mormonism running through many Obama supporters. Here a liberal journalist, unaffiliated with Obama's campaign, would sneak in a reference to Mormonism. There, Obama supporters would whisper (or sometimes shout) about how the LDS Church is racist. But Obama's campaign itself shied away from such bigotry.

In addition, for most of the campaign Obama led in the polls. At no point was he ever losing the electoral college. It's easy for a winning campaign to behave civil. What if Obama had been losing by five points in the popular vote and behind in all the swing states? The temptation to resort to attacks on Romney's religion would have been much greater.

What form would such attacks have taken? A normal candidate probably would have made his own church and his own Christian faith a big and continuous theme in each of his speeches and during the presidential debates. This would have been an implicit contrast to Romney's "non-Christian" Mormonism. Given Obama's troubles with his own church, that path was probably not available to him. But there are other possibilities. A super-PAC formally unaffiliated with Obama's campaign could have released an ad attacking Romney on abortion. This ad could have accused Romney, while head of an LDS branch in Massachusetts, of forcing women not to have abortions. A super-PAC ad could have been released accusing Romney of draft-dodging, bringing up Romney's missionary work in France. There are a number of such ads which could have been run, all subtly bringing up the LDS church. Obama's campaign would then deny any to connection the super-PAC running the ads.

Fortunately, Obama's campaign never did that. He and his campaign stayed on the high road. They did what was right. For that they deserve an enormous amount of credit.

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The Obama Campaign...
...didn't see a need to when others were already putting it out there. Gov. Schweitzer's snarky comment on Romney's women/Latino outreach would fare with his family coming from a Mexican polygamist commune embodies the tactic that the Left used in relation to Romney's Mormonism.

The Obama campaign could not run both a Vulture Capitalist, rich-guy smear campaign and a crazy religious nutjob smear campaign. The one least likely to backfire and resonate with the liberal base (while not attacking the Senate Majority Leader) was the course of action the campaign took.

When the full results and analysis come out we will see if Romney's mormonism in and of itself suppressed the evangelical vote (not so much the conservative evangelicals but more so the moderate ones).

I will research that topic when more data is available, but while Catholics and Evangelicals alike stand on solid doctrinal ground by opposing the Mormon religion as not Christian, many of those same people went out and voted for Mitt Romney on the basis that someone who represents their values is more important than one who claims to be of their religion and fights against them.

21-Cubano, R, CA-38
Community College Trustee, AD57 GOP Central Committee Vice-Chair, College Republican Club President

Agreed 100%
Not trying to get into religion, but it's not bigotry that people disregard them as Christian's. For Christian's, especially evangelicals, mixing Christ and Satan together as brothers is a huge no no, and that's one of the main reasons a lot of us do not see them as true Christian's. It's not bigotry by any stretch. They can choose to believe as they wish, but I'd rather they not tie it to Christianity.

With that said, I'd vote for a Mormon any day of the week. Because, even if their religious views aren't like mine, their views on life and how the world works in general are pretty much my views, and so I'd gladly vote for Mitt Romney again.  

23, Conservative, NC-02 (SC-04 college) Hello Senator Tillis! -    

[ Parent ]
Obama's father was a bigamist
I laughed at that one. They went after Romney on bigamy when it was his great grandparents who practiced polygamy and yet found it socially acceptable that Barack's dad married again and again.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Barack Sr. was a mess
But he was never a factor in Obama's life.

[ Parent ]
Like a minor thing like reality
would ever play a factor in todays' political discourse and journalism.

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
He was saying Romney is different
Romney's great-grandfather who died before he was born wasn't much of a factor. Of course Governor Schweitzer wasn't saying that. He was saying that since Romney's father was born on a polygamy commune that Mitt Romney was tainted with the stench of polygamy and women were going to be hesitant to vote for him as a result.

Yet clearly Barack Obama whose father wasn't born on a polygamist compound but was actually a polygamist was a better alternative for women.

Obama's campaign could never attack Romney's faith. Even though liberals and some evangelicals have real problems with it, swing voters would see it as an attack on someone's beliefs.

So the Obama campaign sent out people like Governor Schweitzer to attack Mormonism at the edges, just to remind them that LDS=polygamy.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]

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