Giuliani Blog Tracking the likely Presidential candidacy of Rudy Giuliani

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Mitt's Mormonism a Bigger Issue Than Rudy's Social Views?

I'd really hope that neither would be an issue, but this letter to Real Clear Politics from a Southern evangelical really gets you thinking. Even in the Deep South, Rudy is the preferred candidate:

I go to a very fundamentalist Southern Baptist Church. We have a membership of two thousand. We have had studies on the Mormon church. To put it very mildly, we consider it a devilish cult.

Now none of us are going to say that in public. And if Romney is running for President, he would get no votes in our church. The most powerful political medium in the Baptist church is the Men's Brotherhood Breakfast held one Sunday per month. We talk about the church mission projects, church politics, and secular politics. You can be assured Romney's Mormon faith will be discussed. Guess how many votes he'll get. Throughout the entire South all these Baptist churches have these breakfasts and politics is discussed. Romney's religion will be discussed.

Believe it or not, the most popular GOP candidate is Rudy Giuliani. McCain has little support because of campaign finance and he's too kootchy-kootchy with liberal Democrats.

That's the way it looks from the small-town Deep South.
The Quinnipiac thermometer poll found that Rudy was the most popular politician in America among Evangelicals, surprising even a diehard Rudy supporter like me. Could emails like this be one of the reasons why Romney '08 sounds better in theory than in practice?

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At 4:07 AM, Blogger Alteris said...

Totally agree with you.

9-11 has cemented Rudy's good image with most of the nation. Romney hasn't had anything closely comparable. Thus, he is due to be scrutinized harder by conservatives on his touchier personal aspects, even if his political agendas as governor have been fairly in accordance with their ideals. Guys like Gingrich get a pass as they can be relied on to toe the social conservative line.

Living most of my life as a Mormon in Georgia, my religious beliefs were much less of an issue to people then you'd expect, because many strive to be good, decent, honest people who respect the same, regardless of ethnic or religious background. But there are some who I wish would open their eyes and think long and hard about what "devilish" really is.

But back into focus, I think Rudy is a great candidate for president for his strong record as leader and a pragmatic administrator in cutting irresponsible government and targeting crime. For many of the same reasons, I like Romney and Gingrich as well (trimming the government, increased accountability). Government exists at all as a voluntary ceding of natural human liberty for a small degree of necessary common security and stability - defense, law enforcement, arguably a bit of social welfare and stabilizing oversight in education, with a dose of federalism in social matters. Whenever government becomes anything more, there is a problem. These guys generally recognize this. That being said, I trust Rudy most of all to carry those hopes to victory, and especially Rudy to stand as a responsible leader of common American security in the foreign sphere. It's sad that someone as qualified as Romney would lose his chance simply because of his background, but there is little that can actually be done about it in the short run. The Mormon vote doesn't command the sheer strength of numbers that JFK's Catholic vote did.

Anyone that seriously respects Romney's record should have few problems backing Rudy in his place. And Mormons that stick by their man aren't exactly going to defect to the Democrats if they don't get him.

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