Romney Or Rudy. Not McCain

Were the Presidential Preference Primary held today, I’d be voting for MItt Romney. I’m not very enthusiastic about Mitt Romney, but I won’t be voting for Mr. Instability a/k/a John McCain. My preference is Rudy, but his positions on social matters prevent me from voting for him. I hope he’ll have a come to Jesus moment.

Now that I’ve said I intend to vote for Romney, all things being equal, I want to also admit that I am one of those southern evangelicals who has deep qualms with Mitt Romney being a Mormon. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. And while everyone is talking about whether it will matter or not, I think I should chime in and say that yes it will, but no it shouldn’t (by the way, this is *not* the appropriate venue to debate Mormonism).

I was talking with a writer in D.C. some months back who viewed Mormonism as just another Christian denomination. I expressed to him that to me, voting for a Mormon would be, to me, no different that voting for a Muslim — it is not a Christian denomination in my book. Nonetheless, Romney has my vote.

Growing up in the South, I remember opening my grandmother’s closet one day to find several dozen Books of Mormom. “Nanny,” I exclaimed (yes, my Southern grandmother was “Nanny”), “what are these doing here?” “Well,” she responded with a look of grave concern, “as long as they’re giving them to me, they aren’t giving them to anybody else.” That upbringing is tempered with the fact that my best friend growing up was Mormon. But I say this all to say that while it shouldn’t — rationally and otherwise it should not — Mr. Romney’s religion weighs on me. I’m just glad it does not weigh on the constitution, which prohibits required fidelity to a religion in order to serve our country.

So if the Presidential Preference Primary in Georgia were tomorrow, I’d vote for Mitt. Sure, he has waffled on social issues — but I think that highlights his pragmatic approach to politics. He was never going to get elected as a pro-life candidate in Massachusetts and he knew it. I won’t fault him. I think, if he gets elected based on conservative support, he won’t betray that support in office.

At the same time, Mitt Romney does not excite me like he does some. He’s very polished and very smooth. His RedState Radio interview was great. But, again, I think it is my upbringing; I prefer candidates with a little less polish. Mitt still has work to do. I’m not in his camp permanently. I’m there now, but watching for someone I think is a better candidate. So far that person has not emerged. Well, okay, Brownback has my heart, but I don’t see him really going anywhere right now. If he can convince me otherwise, I just may have to jump ship.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, highlights my frustration with the Republican lineup for 2008. My candidate, Jeb, is not running. I’m left, at the moment, with several choices. The one I’d prefer (Rudy) won’t get me with his presently held views on social issues. The one I’d love to go with (Brownback) just isn’t viable right now. That leaves Mitt Romney and Insane McCain — and that, as it is, is a no brainer for me.

Posted originally at the day job.

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Erick Erickson

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9 Comments

  • I was raised catholic but am largely agnostic and could really use some help on this one. If you think Romney is a good leader and there’s no litmus issue that he conflicts with you what does his personal religion matter?

    Sincerely what qualms do you have about Mormons?

  • Oh, I don’t know. Just the usual that I was raised with the belief that Mormonism is an odd cult that only recognized black people as actually being humans in the 1970’s — thanks in large part to Mitt’s dad, btw.

    I guess my concerns with Mitt are still that he seems opportunistic. I can live with him being pro-choice to get elected in Mass., but does running the Olympics really qualify one to be President? And, if he decided not to run for re-election because he knew he would lose, does that really help him out now?

  • Wow, didn’t know the Mormon racial angle. But if Mitt’s dad help rectify that horrible injustice the issue seems, and forgive the pun, mitigated.

    Bush had arguably far worse leadership credentials when he was elected. Mitt was at least successful in turning a “business” around and he only has two years less time as Governor.

    I’m not in any camp yet and was curious why his Mormonism would factor into the decision. One of my religion teachers told us that the LDS were a cult and to be avoided at all costs however meeting and knowing a couple in college they seem like very okay people.

    I don’t know much about Mitt yet but growing up in the NYC area I’ve had a pretty good preview of Rudy’s skeletons and don’t expect him to get the nomination.

  • http://www.blacklds.org/

    This should help squash the myth that the Mormons are any more racist than southern Baptists, southern Presbyterians and southern Methodists to name just a few southern denominations of Christianity. Christians in the south claim to be morally superior to Mormons but we have more private schools right here in Macon, Georgia than in Louisville, KY where the population is ten times as great. I am so tired of the hypocrites of the Christian churches. The truth is controversial, but statistics tell the true story.

  • And btw, I am a born again Christian baptized in a Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. I could not believe it when I moved to Macon, GA in 1981, and had a public school teacher or a next door neighbor tell me to be sure and get my two year old son on the waiting list for kindergarten at FPD. We had been told by the realtor that the public schools in northeast Macon were the best money could buy when purchasing our home. Even though the Shirley Hills neighborhood was about 75% white at that time, the public shools were devoid of whites because everyone car pooled 18 miles to the Bass Road area to go to Stratford or FPD. This is the truth and it needs to be recognized. This is why the public schools suffer because there is not support from the whites.

  • The point of my debate is to get off the holier than thou statements that southern Baptists hold the virtuous award for being the best at racial integration. Let us debate the real issues: where does Romney stand on illegal immigration; where does he stand on the creation of a North American Union; where does he stand on America first; and where does he stand on reducing spending in the federal government and cutting taxes?

  • Erick,

    I have been watching the President Ford service in Michigan, as I listened to most eloquent speeches from Rumsfield and Carter. I did not want to leave my comment as being harsh on you, and I want only to open eyes to the basic tenament that we are all together if we hold what John says that Jesus is the way and the light. Can you imagine our United States, if all Christians came together and prayed for a President to lead us in 2008 not worrying whether or not he wear a red or a blue hat? Jesus united a Baptist President and an Episcopalian President to be good friends since 1981 across party lines, and we should all pray for that kind of unity among Christians if we are ever to save our United States.

    No party and no religious group holds the exclusive blessings from our Lord. We are all the same in Jesus’ eyes, and are all of us his children.
    If we stoop down to analyzing the racism of church groups, we are only making Satan grin with delight. Let the atheists be the ones that grit their teeth, and do not fall for their tricks to keep us divided.

  • I am an Independant, and have never voted “straight ticket”! I do not vote for the best Democrat or Republican – buit, however, the “best” American that can lead us as a nation and a people through whatever good and bad times we may be experiencing.

    I am quite displeased with the past few administrations – though there are some good points – and mistakes that have been made with our current state of foreign affairs lately.

    During these past few months, I have studied in depth those whom I feel will be the “real” top contenders for 2008 – Clinton, Obama, Kerry, Gore, Edwards…Gulliani, McCain, Romney, and Gengrich. I have concluded that the BEST person in the entire group that can get us out of the messes that we are in is ROMNEY!

    Mitt Romney is against abortion! He is against same-sex marriage! He is for tougher laws on illegal immigration! He is the most fiscally conservative candidate in either party! He is pro-education! I could keep going….

    Look and study his record! “See” what he has done! He has a track record of defending marriage between a man and a woman!

    And then people bring up his religion – shame on them! But, if that’s the worst thing that people can bring up against Romney – then that still proves that he’s the best, most qualified person to support!

    Did you know that Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada is Mormon? Gladys Knight? NBA star Thurl Bailey? Former 49ers Steve Young? British singer Alex Boye?

    Why is it that we’re so worried about a “Mormon” president, when the highest ranking Democrat in the Senate (again, Harry Reid) is Mormon? What about the several senators and representatives that are Mormon? Why is nothing ever said about their religion? Maybe it’s because, truly, NO ONE CARES! And we shouldn’t!

    So, get over the religious bickering and let’s elect an honest, hard-working “American”! Visit http://www.mittromney.com – study the man, his views, and the videos….you’ll quickly agree that Mitt is the best!