Entries in Mormon (5)


Mitt Romney to Accept GOP Nomination, Open Up About Mormon Faith

ABC News Radio (TAMPA, Fla.) -- Thursday night, against the backdrop of 100,000 falling balloons and shouts of support from every state in the union, Mitt Romney will claim the prize he has chased for eight years and accept the Republican Party's nomination.

It what many anticipate will be Romney's most personal speech ever, the former Massachusetts governor will outline his vision to voters, emphasizing reducing the deficit and creating more jobs.

Romney has been reticent to delve too much into his personal biography on the stump, and routinely avoids discussions of his Mormon faith.

But one adviser told ABC News "faith" would be a core theme of Thursday night's program. The adviser would not confirm that Romney himself would use the word "Mormon."

"I can't believe it won't be uttered in the faith section," the adviser said.

Over the past two days at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., his wife Ann used the word "Mormon," and Romney's running mate Paul Ryan and Mike Huckabee, an evangelical preacher and former Arkansas governor, both made references to Romney's faith but avoided the word "Mormon."

But Mormons will play a more prominent role in the convention's final night.

Giving the evening's invocational prayer will be retired police chief Kenneth Hutchins, a Mormon Romney has known since the 1980s when the two men volunteered for church charities around Boston. Another friend and fellow Mormon, Grant Bennett, is also expected to address the convention.

Friends have urged Romney to open up, even about his religion, in an effort to let voters get to know him better.

Showing a softer side "connects emotionally" with voters, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who watched his father and brother accept the GOP nomination, said Thursday on Good Morning America.

"That gives a chance to allow people in … and you can make your case," he said.

Romney on Thursday afternoon walked onto the convention center stage to familiarize himself with the setup. The stage was extended further into the audience and a new lectern was added for Romney Thursday. He requested some adjustments to the teleprompter.

Before Romney speaks, rising conservative star Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and a yet-unnamed mystery guest will take the stage in primetime.

ABC News confirmed that guest will be actor and former mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., Clint Eastwood. The theme to Eastwood's film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was heard playing in the Tampa Bay Times Forum during a soundcheck.

Romney advisers said his speech was "locked" and did not expect many last-minute changes.

On Wednesday, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan delivered an address that attacked President Obama for failing to create jobs at the expense of pushing through health care legislation. Ryan promised Republicans would create 12 million new jobs in four years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Brad Pitt's Mom Pens Anti-Obama Op-Ed

Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) -- While President Obama enjoys support from many Hollywood stars, the same apparently can’t be said for the parent of one A-lister.

Jane Pitt, mom of Brad Pitt, penned an op-ed in Missouri’s Springfield News-Leader that cautions Christians for refusing to vote for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney because he’s a Mormon.

Mrs. Pitt, who identifies herself as a Christian, writes, “Any Christian should spend much time in prayer before refusing to vote for a family man with high morals, business experience, who is against abortion, and shares Christian conviction concerning homosexuality just because he is a Mormon.”

Mrs. Pitt continues, “Any Christian who does not vote or writes in a name is casting a vote for Romney’s opponent, Barack Hussein Obama — a man who sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for years, did not hold a public ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.”

Though Brad Pitt has told The Hollywood Reporter in the past, “I’m an Obama supporter, no question,” he also has seemed amused at his mom’s ability to attract gossip headlines. “She’s very, very loving — very open, genuine, and it’s hilarious because she always gets painted in the tabloids as a she-devil. There’s not an ounce of malice in her. She wants everyone to be happy,” he once said of his mom.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Marco Rubio Talks About His Mormon Childhood

ABC News(MIAMI) -- In his new autobiography An American Son, which goes on sale Tuesday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, writes about his Christian faith and a fact that is not widely known -- as a child he and his cousins were baptized in the Mormon church.

“We were in the Mormon church I guess by the time I turned 8,” he told ABC News’ David Muir.

Rubio, 41, was living with his family in Las Vegas at the time and took a liking to the musical group The Osmonds.

“The Osmonds were pretty popular back then, especially among Mormons, but I think among a lot of Americans.  But we had a group called the Sunshine Cousins,” Rubio said.  “It was me, my sister and my cousin and we, we would lip sync basically.”

Rubio’s father was “skeptical about the church’s teachings,” and by the time the family relocated back to Miami, they also rejoined the Catholic church.  Rubio said he was 12 or 13 when his family moved back to the East Coast.

“We did our first communion in Las Vegas before moving back to Miami,” Rubio said.  “I know people find it interesting, it was a period in our lives and our family in Las Vegas, we have a large extended family of cousins, second cousins and others who are still part of the LDS church.”

The Miami-born senator is the son of Cuban immigrants, a point of pride for Rubio, who has used his family’s story as a selling point on the stump.  However, his family narrative came under scrutiny after the Washington Post revealed that Rubio’s parents did not flee Fidel Castro’s Cuba as Rubio had said, but instead left Cuba before Castro took power.  Rubio insists that while the date may be different, it doesn’t change the lessons that can be learned from their struggle.

“I regret not having the date right because I could have avoided that distraction, but it was a blessing because it forced me to go back and say ‘OK, let me get all the facts and put it in order.’  And what I found is that my parents are even more interesting than I suspected,” Rubio told Muir.  “My parents were born, lived and loved their country that they are no longer able to be a part of or go back to and that they were permanently separated from and because of that they were grateful to the United States, they valued freedom and liberty and they instilled that in us at a very young age.”

Those are values that Rubio said he and his wife, Jeanette, are now trying to pass on to their four children.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Marco Rubio, a Catholic, Remembers Little of His Time in the Mormon Church

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Florida governor Marco Rubio, whose name is being floated as a potential top pick running mate for Republican Mitt Romney, said recently that he doesn’t remember much about his family’s time in the Mormon church.

“Well, I was very young,” Rubio said in a recent interview. “I don’t remember a lot other than the fact that my parents, especially my mom, really wanted to put us in a very wholesome environment.”

Rubio is expected to discuss his connection to the Mormon Church in his upcoming autobiography An American Son, to be released June 19.

Rubio now identifies himself as Catholic, despite reportedly attending evangelical churches at times.

“On the question of my religion, I’m a Roman Catholic,” he said. “I’ve been a Roman Catholic, baptized and confirmed, and we go to church on Sundays. And I enjoy my Catholic faith.”

Rubio said he respects those who have adopted the Mormon faith and believes they are Christians.

“Yeah, look, I don’t get into that whole debate, I’m not a theologian,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for the Mormon Church; I have a lot of respect for members of the Mormon faith. They believe in Jesus Christ, and they consider themselves Christians and I consider them Christians.”

Rubio’s ties to Mormonism first surfaced in February when a report by Buzzfeed indicated he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a child. According to family members, the conversion occurred while his family lived in the same Nevada neighborhood as his aunt’s family, who had converted to Mormonism years before. Michelle Denis, a cousin of Rubio, recounted the young Rubio encouraging his family to be active participants in their new church.

“He was totally into it,” Denis told Buzzfeed. “He’s always been into religion. Football and religion. Those were his things.”

Family members told Buzzfeed that the Rubios left the church when they relocated to Miami. Alex Conant, a spokesman for Rubio, said the family left the church before they moved from Nevada.

But Denis said he was the instrumental force in moving the family back to Catholicism, receiving his first communion at age 13.

“He really convinced the whole family to switch religions,” she told Buzzfeed. “He’s very vocal so he convinced them all to become Catholic.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Marco Rubio, Mormon-Turned-Catholic

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Marco Rubio has something in common with Mitt Romney: religion.

The young Tea Party senator, who some have speculated could be on Mitt Romney’s short list of potential running mates, was baptized into the Mormon church when he was 8 and “remained active in the faith for a number of years,” attending LDS youth groups and walking to church most Sundays because his mother didn’t drive, BuzzFeed reports.

Rubio left Mormonism to become a Catholic “a few years later,” and had his first Communion when he was 13, in 1984, the Florida senator’s spokesman told the website.

Romney’s faith has occasionally been a topic of discussion in the Republican primary. Many Americans are unfamiliar with Mormonism, a Christian religion that has been called a cult by a pastor who endorsed Rick Perry and even by Romney’s chief rival, Rick Santorum.

The revelation muddies the prospects of Rubio’s getting the vice presidential nod from Romney. Though many conservatives love Rubio — he overwhelmingly won a straw poll for vice presidential nominee at an annual gathering of conservatives in Washington this month — the bottom of the ticket is often used for balancing a variety of attributes.

BuzzFeed says that its questions to Rubio’s aides about his religion “appear to have sent them into frantic damage-control mode.” The Miami Herald published a blog mentioning Rubio’s Mormon roots just before Rubio’s spokesman called the website to confirm the story. The spokesman said Rubio plans to write about his Mormon faith in a book.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio