Mark DeMoss is president of the DeMoss Group (an Atlanta-based public relations firm that works primarily with evangelical organizations) and the author of The Little Red Book of Wisdom. He also has endorsed Gov. Romney for President of the United States.
Last fall near Boston, a dozen evangelical leaders joined me for a three-hour conversation in the living room of then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who, as the world knows, is a Mormon. Over soup and sandwiches, the Republican presidential hopeful took questions about Iraq, Iran, North Korea, immigration, government spending, taxes, the Supreme Court, abortion, stem cell research and the federal marriage amendment. Two of his lunch guests quizzed him about faith — about Jesus and salvation.
The meeting broke ground, if only for bucking conventional wisdom that evangelicals would reject out of hand a Mormon running for president. I would not presume to think that the governor converted all of his lunch guests to his campaign. But, having spent my entire life in evangelical circles, I will say that I do believe many evangelicals will conclude they can — and indeed will — support this Mormon in 2008.
A month before this luncheon, I’d spent an hour in Romney’s office, wanting to hear firsthand his vision for the country. After studying his life and career for a number of months, I told the governor that not only could I support him (a number of evangelicals have said as much), but also that I would support him. (I further told him I was not for hire. I was looking for a good candidate, not a client for my PR firm.)
I have often been asked whether evangelical voters could find their vision for president in a man of another faith, and specifically a Mormon. Then it struck me: This is the wrong question. To evaluate a candidate solely on religion is unfair to both the candidate and the religion. The better question is: Could I vote for this Mormon? That Catholic? This Baptist?
For example, there are Mormons who would not get Mitt Romney’s vote (and, he tells me, Mormons who would probably not vote for him). Similarly, there are Southern Baptists I would not vote for. So, could I vote for a Mormon? It depends on who the Mormon is.
Read the whole Politico article here.