Ethos in Presidential Campaign Politics: Does Credibility Really Matter? Part 2 of 3

Criticism of Obama in this regard is also interesting given Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. In an interview with David Gregory that aired on Meet the Press on September 9th, Romney describes his faith as “Judeo Christian” (Meet the Press, 2012).

Figure 2: David Gregory’s interview with the Romneys on Meet the Press.

In the same interview Gregory describes Romney as “private” about his faith, and there almost seems to be an unspoken rule in the campaign not to talk about the fact that he is a part of the Mormon Church despite ample references to his church and its community. From the Obama perspective Romney’s faith is likely a non-issue. President Obama, for example, is certainly in favor of freedom of religion. Interestingly, though, some non-Mormon Christian conservatives, which one could argue there are certainly many of, have expressed concern over Romney’s faith. Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress famously called the Mormon Church a cult, though he now endorses Romney (The Huffington Post, 2012). (You can see Jeffress’ comments here: However, according to one poll, “only 57 percent of Americans even know that Romney is a Mormon” (Boston Globe, 2012). But given Romney’s regular references to “church” and “God” it is curious that Fox News criticizes Obama for a lack of such language given significant differences many see between the God of many conservative Christians and the God of the Mormon faith. In short, one could argue that President Obama’s rhetorical approach aligns better with the conservative Christian base than Mitt Romney’s. Yet, Obama is criticized by Fox News for not appealing to Christian voters. For me such duplicity damages Fox News’ ethos.


Boston Globe. Anti-Mormon bias facing Mitt Romney is as strong as what his father faced in 1967, poll shows. June 21, 2012. Retrieved from:

Meet the Press. Sepbember 9: Mitt Rmney, Ann Romney, Julian Castro, Peggy Noonan, E.J. Dionne, Bill Bennett, Chuck Todd. September 9, 2012. Retrieved from:

The Huffington Post. Robert Jeffress, southern Baptist pastor who called Mormonism a ‘Cult,’ endorses Mitt Romney. April 17, 2012. Retrieved from:


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