Huntsman Avoids "Faith" Questions at Evangelical Event

June 07, 2011

Ethics Daily ran my latest article today, which is entitled "Huntsman Avoids 'Faith' Questions at Evangelical Event." It is my second story covering the second annual conference of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, which was founded by former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed (the photo is one I took of Huntsman at the event). The piece notes that the issue of Huntsman's Mormonism--as well as that of Mitt Romney's (see earlier post here)--continues to pose a hurdle to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As I noted in my new book (Presidential Campaign Rhetoric in an Age of Confessional Politics), the bias against Mormons is one problem of our age of confessional politics. At this stage, however, Huntsman appears unconcerned. In a Time magazine interivew last month, Huntsman described himself as "spiritual" when asked about his Mormon faith and said he did not think it would be a campaign issue. As a result of comments like his "spiritual" one and his visits to other churches, some have questioned if he is distancing himself from the Mormon faith. Although Huntsman is following some of Romney's attempts to downplay the issue, an NPR piece last month noted that Huntsman and Romney represent very different generations of Mormons. It will be important to watch how reactions to the faith of Romney and Huntsman impact the Republican presidential race.

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