I had an epiphany this week over the so-called “Mormon Factor” as it applies to the candidacy of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Over the past few months, I’ve received the wrath of Romney supporters – and Mormons – over my willingness to publicly discuss whether or not the peculiar doctrines of Mormonism would impact Gov. Romney’s chances to make it to the White House.
I pride myself on hosting a daily radio show that often reflects the way people are thinking, whether it’s considered “polite” or not. And like it or not, anytime I’ve given a speech or made an appearance where I had a chance to talk with people off-air, a number of concerns have been raised by people who struggle with whether or not they’d be able to vote for a Mormon.
The other day, I was interviewing Rudy Giuliani about his personal beliefs regarding abortion and how it would impact pro-life voters. On the abortion issue, Mayor Giuliani was quite clear: “The next president will appoint approximately 200 federal judges”, he said. “The difference between Hillary Clinton and me is that she’ll appoint 200 liberal judges and I’ll appoint 200 conservatives, men and women who are strict constructionists from the bench.”
And I believe him.
One thing I’ve learned about Rudy Giuliani is that when he makes a commitment to something, you can take it to the bank. As someone who lived and worked in New York City during his tenure as mayor, I discovered that this is not a man who makes empty, idle promises. He’s the ultimate tough-talker who says what he means and means what he says.
So why can’t the same be said for Mitt Romney?
Ultimately, I think it can. And should.
People who watched Mitt Romney’s track record: a successful business career, architect of the Olympics in Utah, and effective and accomplished governor of Massachusetts, say the same thing about him, that this is a principled man who doesn’t make empty promises.
If Gov. Romney assures the American people that there is nothing about his ideological and doctrinal Mormon beliefs that would negatively impact his ability to be the commander-in-chief – and he has -- then why shouldn’t I believe him?
The reason for my epiphany came from a lady who called my show the other day and said simply, “We’re voting for a president, not the new church pastor.”
She’s right. If I believe that a pro-choice presidential candidate like Rudy Giuliani wouldn’t let his personal beliefs stop Roe v. Wade from being overturned if that’s what the nation’s high court decides, I should have no reason to feel that just because there are some odd tenets of the Mormon religion, Mitt Romney wouldn’t make a terrific president.
For now, the front runners on the GOP side seem to be Mayor Giuliani and Gov. Romney. That’s a pretty impressive pair to choose from.
And it might have taken me awhile, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the “Mormon Factor” isn’t really a factor at all.