Mike Huckabee, Putting Up With Mormons Since 2012

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 29 2012 9:51 PM

Mike Huckabee, Putting Up With Mormons Since 2012

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks during the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Aug. 29, 2012 in Tampa, Fla.

Photograph by Win McNamee/Getty Images

TAMPA — McKay Coppins wrote a sharp piece this morning about the Romney campaign's long, slow, careful campaign to "deal with" the possible political vulnerabilities presented by his Mormonism. It started in December 2007, when the Romney family—watching Mike Huckabee spike in the Iowa polls—understood the full measure of the problem. Huckabee asked the New York Times, cheekily, whether Mormons believed that "Jesus and the devil are brothers." No backlash for him. He obliterated Romney in Iowa. Four years later, when he narrowly lost the Iowa caucuses to Rick Santorum, Romney got almost exactly the same number of votes that he got the first time.

So, it was awful nice of Huckabee to validate Romney tonight.

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"Let me clear the air about whether guys like me would only support an evangelical," he said. "Of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama, and he supports changing the definition of marriage, believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the womb or even beyond the womb, and tells people of faith that they must bow their knees to the god of government and violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls health care." Faint praise, maybe, but he followed up: "I care far less as to where Mitt Romney takes his family to church than I do about where he takes this country." Even fainter praise! Keep in mind, all of this was vetted by the RNC, submitted three days in advance, and practiced twice. It sounded like what Huckabee, and the Romney-skeptics who see LDS as a cult, actually think.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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