The EFM Feature

You know, the media knows so little about religion that they can’t even identify a rude comment about faith. Gov. Huckabee, for the record, has not slammed Gov. Romney’s Mormonism, contrary to what Chris Matthews insisted last night.
After the debate, Chuck Todd’s headline read, “Huckabee Caught in a Lie.”

Huckabee is not telling the truth. He did INDEED attack Romney about what he said about his faith. This just shows you that these guys realize this is their FIRST impression and they are desperate to look like, well, COMPASSIONATE conservatives.

But here is the full transcript of the interview in question:

[1]10:23:37 GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (ABC NEWS)
(OC) Governor Romney, his religion, he’s a Mormon, has become a – is going to become a big part of this campaign clearly. You’re a southern Baptist, former southern Baptist preacher.
[1]10:23:45 MIKE HUCKABEE (2008 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE)
Uh-huh.
[1]10:23:46 GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (ABC NEWS)
(OC) And that denomination teaches I believe that Mormonism is a cult. How big a hurdle is that going to be for Governor Romney in this campaign?
[1]10:23:56 MIKE HUCKABEE (2008 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE)
Well, you know, I’m not sure and I don’t know that anyone knows. What I can tell you is about my faith and what it means and I think people ought to look at every person who runs for office and they ought to ask them questions about who they are and what they are about and what drives their decisions. I’m not as troubled by a person who has a different faith. I’m troubled by a person who tells me their favorite faith doesn’t influence their decisions. Because if a person says to me, here’s my faith but it doesn’t influence me at all, what it says to me is my faith isn’t very significant.
[1]10:24:21 GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (ABC NEWS)
(OC) How does it influence yours?
[1]10:24:22 MIKE HUCKABEE (2008 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE)
It totally drives it. It makes everything click for me and that will explain to you why I have a passion for life but it means my pro-life position doesn’t end at the birth canal. That I believe that a life is more than the gestation period. I believe life begins at conception. I just don’t think it ends at birth. And that’s why as a governor I fought hard to see children have medical insurance and decent schools and safe neighborhoods and drinking water and affordable housing because that’s consistent with me being pro-life. I don’t want to see some single mom, you know, worry and struggle that she’s not going to be able to have food for her kids. I don’t want some wife to have the daylights beaten out of her by some abusive husband and have nowhere to turn. Those are things that are driven because of my faith. That’s not a political position. It’s a faith position.

In other words, Gov. Huckabee kindly refused to the offer to call Gov. Romney’s religion a cult, he took the high road, and he talked generally about how faith informs his own politics. He said, “I’m troubled by a person who tells me their favorite faith doesn’t influence their decisions.” Well, as we all know, Gov. Romney has never said his faith doesn’t influence his life and leadership. Gov. Huckabee was making the correct point — faith matters — without passing judgment on his fellow candidate.
And for this, he’s accused of backing away of his previous “criticism.” This incident further shows that the media wants to drive a wedge amongst conservatives on this issue — and that we’re smart enough not to let them. Good job, Gov. Huckabee.


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