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Brent's blog: Romney caught on camera defending Mormonism

A four year old video of a passionate Mitt Romney discussiing Mormon beliefs on abortion and the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ has now gone viral on YouTube.
A four year old video of Mitt Romney is just now going viral.

The video is on YouTube (see it by clicking here.) It has now been viewed nearly 2-million times.

Here's the scene

It's 2007. Romney is making his first run for the Republican nomination.


He has just wrapped up an interview with host Jan Mickelson of WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa.


The live interview is over, but the studio's video camera is still rolling.


Mickelson had apparently asked a lot of questions on-air about Mormonism that Romney didn't like. So now that they're off air, Romney begins an impassioned defense of his faith.


"You don't understand my faith like I do," Romney said. "Having been a leader of my church -- a bishop and stake president -- I understand my church."


Romney when on to explain his views on abortion as well as the LDS Church's view.  The host has said that a Mormon can be excommunicated for advocating abortion.


"My faith has very strong beliefs that if I commit abortion, encourage an abortion... I was beaten up in Boston because I pointed out that time and time again I encouraged girls not to have an abortion, that I told them to have adoptions.


"I have never done anything that in any way violates the principles of my church in that regard. But the church does not say that a member of our church has to be opposed to allowing choice in society. It does not say that."


He went on to explain that's why there are democrats who support choice and are also faithful Mormons.


The other topic: The 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. Mickelson was apparently under the impression that Mormons believe Christ would return to Missouri (AKA New Jerusalem), not Jerusalem.


"Cleon Skousen has a book called The Thousand Years that he talks about (when) Christ appears. It's throughout the bible, Christ appears in Jerusalem, splits the Mount of Olives to stop the war that's coming to kill all the Jews. Our church believes that."


Now, Brent's take

At the end of the recording, Romney stands up and is not seen on camera. Some interpreted this as, "Romney is angry and is walking out."


Listen closely, there are a couple references during the conversation to "getting back on air." The host was in a break (probably a top-of-the-hour newsbreak which usually runs 5 minutes -- the approximately the same length as the YouTube video) and had to resume his program.


I believe Romney was merely getting out of studio before the microphones were back on and the host was again "live." It is apparent that he had no intention on carrying on the discussion for the radio audience.


Romney has called this a "hidden camera" interview implying that it was underhanded or dishonoest. You'll have to be the judge of that.


Studio webcams are quite popular at radio stations now. They offer internet users a behind-the-scenes look at the program.


That said, it is very understandable that Romney did not expect to be taped while he was setting the record straight on his faith. After all, his portion of the program had just concluded and the microphone were off -- at least as far as the radio audience was concerned and this was, after all, a radio interview.


I believe this 2007 clip is being brought up now, on the eve of the election, to suppress the evangelical Christian vote.


Evangelicals will not appreciate Romney's impassioned defense of a religion that many of them still consider a cult.


What's more, they are a vital part of the Republican core that Romney must have to win a close race.

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