In an interview with the Washington Times, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain said that fellow contender Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith will impede his ability to win the support of a critical portion of the Republican base.
“It doesn’t bother me, but I do know that it’s an issue with a lot of Southerners,” in such states as South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, Cain told the Times, without whom Romney can’t win the presidency.
That, combined with what Cain called the “ankle bracelet called RomneyCare,” the health care legislation Romney signed while governor of Massachusetts, will prevent Romney from winning their party’s nomination, Cain said.
“I know the South and you have to win the South. Mitt Romney didn’t win the South when John McCain won the South and Mike Huckabee won the South. And I think that the reason he will have a difficult time winning the South is when he ran the first time he did not do a good job of communicating his religion,” Cain said, adding that he likes Romney and supported him during his White House bid in 2008.
“I don’t think that he is going to be any stronger this time around against Barack Obama even though Barack Obama has a terrible record—terrible,” Cain said.
Cain began the week under fire over comments he made about another religion. On this week’s broadcast of Fox News Sunday, he said that Islam is not like other religions and that he supports Americans’ right to ban mosques in their communities. Still, he may have a point about Romney. In a Pew survey released earlier this month, a quarter of Americans say they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who is Mormon. But Republican voters are even less comfortable. The survey found that among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 31 percent of white evangelicals, a key part of the GOP base, said they would be less likely to vote for a Mormon.
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