Thursday, February 3, 2011

Former Bush Advisor Karl Rove Believes It's Absolutely Possible For A Mormon To Become U.S. President, Favors Mitt Romney Over Jon Huntsman Jr.

Despite the occasional hostility directed towards Mitt Romney during his 2008 Presidential campaign because of his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an increasing number of people believe being a Mormon is no longer an obstruction to the Presidency. And one of them is the former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, Karl Rove.

Rove gave a speech at the Davis Conference Center on Thursday February 3rd, 2011 as the celebrated guest of the Davis County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Although his speech was closed to the media, Rove spoke to reporters beforehand, presenting his views of the Republican "surge" in the 2010 elections and his prediction for the 2012 presidential contest. Rove said that the state of the economy and the federal health care reform quagmire will favor the GOP.

Rove also said that it's "absolutely" possible for a Mormon to be president of the United States some day. KSL news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

Karl Rove seems to favor Mitt Romney over Jon Huntsman Jr. Rove characterized Romney as "good". A January 20 ABC/Washington Post poll bears this out; it shows Romney in the top three, and an unscientific KSL poll shows Romney with overwhelming support in Utah. A more scientific Utah poll taken January 15th shows Romney leading Huntsman 48 percent to 28 percent. In contrast, Rove thinks Huntsman has too many limitations to overhaul Romney. First, despite Huntsman's charm among voters in Utah, he has acquired a reputation as a "quitter", having resigned as governor to become an ambassador, and now having resigned as U.S. ambassador to China. In addition, Rove thinks that the mere fact that Huntsman agreed to serve in the diplomatic position under a Democratic president also raises questions. But in Newsweek, McKay Coppins seems to think Huntsman could become a serious and electable candidate.

Neither Romney nor Huntsman have formally announced any plans to run for President, although Romney has done nearly everything except announce.

Three other prominent Utahns weighed in through a separate KSL story. Former Utah U.S. Senator Jake Garn thinks that it's much less of a problem than before. Former Utah Governor Norm Bangerter also agrees that public perception has become more favorable since 2008, but that the issue hasn't gone away entirely. And former Congressman Jim Hansen says that since Romney broke the ice in 2008, people are becoming more accustomed to the possibility of a Mormon president.

Video Courtesy of

A February 2nd Washington Post story also notes that Romney's unfavorables have been decreasing with the passage of time. So yes, I do agree with Karl Rove that a Mormon can get elected President of the United States, and as early as 2012.

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