With Romney in Lead, LDS Leaders Launch Mormon Marketing Campaign

Friday, January 06, 2012

According to a June Gallup poll, 18 percent of Republicans say that they would not vote for a Mormon. But for their part, Mormon GOP presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are often quiet about their faith. Both know they need the GOP evangelical base, many of whom are fearful of the Mormon Church and don't believe Mormons are true Christians. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints recently launched a $4.6 million ad campaign to combat that sentiment, showing members who come from all walks of life.

Norman Tolk, a professor physics at Vanderbilt University was featured in one such television spot, talks about his faith and the election. Wes Kosova from Bloomberg Businessweek helps break down the Mormon marketing numbers.

Guests:

Wes Kosova and Norman Tolk

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Comments [7]

ggordon from Miami, FL

I was disappointed that the interviewer in this story never bothered to explain the reasons for which 22% of Americans have reservations about voting for a Mormon for president. If you read the Book of Mormon, there are several beliefs that even mainstream Christians - much less rightward Evangelical Christians will find far-fetched. I found this report_lacking_balance, as the reporter gave nearly all the air time to the defense of Mormonism, and seemed to lean on the name "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" as proof that the Mormon church is indeed Christian.

Jan. 06 2012 12:13 PM
listener

So Mormons can be defamed in the media but they are not allowed to defend themselves in the media?

The President is making several obvious political campaign speeches at the tax payers expense which is not appropriate yet somehow journalists are not bothered by that.

Jan. 06 2012 10:34 AM
Charles

This segment would never have been presented in this fashion, if we substituted "Muslim" for "Mormon." If we were talking about the first Muslim, or the first woman candidate for President, or the first African-American, or the first Jew, or the first Buddhist (isn't Celeste a Buddhist?), or the first Asian, etc., then of course we'd be getting schooled and scolded by public radio about how it was important and historic and great and grand. Particularly, that is, if that "first" individual were a Democrat.

But if we are talking about Republicans, and Mormons; well, that's just not the right sort of minority, and a first that is vaguely dangerous (need to invoke campaign finance scrutiny) and not a cause for celebration.

Mona Charen pointed this difference out, in a recent column for the National Review Online. And with all due respect; instead of having a left-leaning advocate like Farai Chedayah reinforce the left-leaning views of just about everybody else associated with The Takeaway, it would have been good to invite Mona Charen, to discuss the odd and fascinating disparate treatment which the media gives to Mormons.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/286809/wrong-kind-minority-mona-charen

Charen writes:

"Funny how the first effect only works for some. If Mitt Romney is nominated and elected, he will be the first member of a highly persecuted American minority group to be so honored. Yet no one is celebrating the possibility of the first Mormon president. Anti-Mormon bias, which has proved remarkably persistent over decades, is scarcely ever condemned."

After all, how much time did The Takeaway devote to the program "American Muslim," with the implicit message that the program needed to be encouraged? We live in a media culture in which television shows and the critics of those shows are expected to debase Mormons (Big Love) and to hail Muslims (American Muslim). And The Takeaway reinforces all of that.

Mormons and Christians may have issues with each other, but the one thing that binds them together (and no, it's not even the Republican party; ask Harry Reid) is that they are both in a kind of a media free-fire zone, where they can be made fun of in a way that no "favored" religion can be. Just ask Bill Maher; you can make fun of Tim Tebow for being a Christian, but don't try it with another ballplayer who is a Muslim.

Jan. 06 2012 10:27 AM

Joseph Smith's experience was just as real as the ones experienced by Moses, Noah, Abraham, and Muhammed... as far as their followers are concerned. And if that's what people need to bolster their self-esteem and establish cities in the middle of nowhere with little water whether it be Palestine or Utah then so be it.

It's going to come down to Romney or Obama for me. The other Republicans sound no different from the anti-WTO anarchists. They all rant against the tenets of society while benefitting from those tenets. They all claim to represent the legendary, rugged American while avoiding the fact that behind every "rugged" American is a government subsidy that maintains that lifestyle.

Jan. 06 2012 10:17 AM
George McWhinnie from Boston

Professor Norman Tolk is a both a physicist believes that an "angel" named Maroni buried some plates engraved with secret messages in a hilltop in New York State.

Jan. 06 2012 09:16 AM

In our TV market, we're being blasted with the "I'm a Mormon" commercials. While I'm sure the people featured in the ads are all wonderful people, I still can't get out of my head that their religion is still a glorified cult.

Jan. 06 2012 08:52 AM
Mitt Flopney from U.S.

I wonder if Romney flip-flops on the fundamentals of his beliefs like he repeatedly does on core issues?

Example:

Backflip (Huntsman ad):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhyMplwY6HY

Jan. 06 2012 04:20 AM

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