Barnes, the executive editor of The Weekly Standard, had this to say on Special Report with Brit Hume:
You know, I think [his religion] is less of a problem than people think. You know, he spent a lot of time talking to people like Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention and others who…had said this, we’re not electing a theologian-in-chief, we’re electing a commander-in-chief. An while an earlier generation of Christians might have said, “Look, I’m not going to vote for a Mormon,” I think now most of them will just set aside–are willing to set aside his faith.
They better, because the one group, the biggest unclaimed group, among the Republican primary voters, is social conservatives and they vote. They’re the people who care about abortion; they care about gay marriage, and so on. We know their agenda. And the Mormon thing may bother some of them. He’s got to get over that hurdle because he can claim them. McCain’s not going to get them, Giuliani’s certainly not going to get them.