Global Independent Analytics

Trump goes after Romney in Utah: ‘Are you sure he’s a Mormon?’

Donald Trump mocked Mitt Romney at a rally in Utah, questioned his membership in the faith, said he loves Mormons but Romney not so much

The Washington Post’s Jose A. DelReal reports: Donald Trump made an aggressive overture to the Mormon community here in Utah Friday evening, praising members of the church while also off-handedly mocking the authenticity of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s faith.

DelReal cites Trump: “I have many friends that live in Salt Lake. I have a lot of friends, I have a lot of friends. By the way, Mitt Romney is not one of them,” Trump told a crowd of supporters at the Infinity Events Center. “Did he choke? Did this guy choke? He’s a choke artist, I can’t believe. Are you sure he’s a Mormon? Are we sure?” The exchange capped a day of back-and-forth between Trump and Romney.

In fact, Romney’s faith is well-documented: he comes from a prominent Mormon family and constantly speaks about his religious beliefs. Moreover, he remains quite popular in Utah, where Mormon population has the lion’s share.

“I have a couple of friends, I have actually one who’s Jewish and he loves ... the Mormons, he loves the Mormons,” Trump said. “... And I have so many friends, I’ve had many Mormons work for me and they give to the church and they constantly give. Sometimes I make the payment directly to the church. They say they don't want to be tempted by keeping the money.”

“They’re amazing people and it’s an honor to be with you tonight, those of you that are Mormons,” Trump added later."An honor. I love you."

Though Trump endorsed Romney in 2012, the two men are far from friendly now: two weeks ago Romney labeled Trump a fraud; in his turn Trump, who recently was offended by the Pope who questioned businessman’s Christianity, decided to attack Romney on the same issue.

Trump’s speech was denounced by protesters who have been condemning him of racist and anti-human-rights rhetoric over recent weeks. Trump, however, did not pay much attention to growing tension.

“By the way, outside looks absolutely fine. They said we have 2,500 of you and they have some of the agitators slash protesters. Some are protesters, about 2 percent. And then some are agitators. We’re not causing any problems, and if you look at some of the other places we’ve been it’s been very, very safe and you’ll have a protester or agitator but stand up and start screaming then the crowd screams them down. And in fact I wouldn’t mind going over that original noise,” Trump said.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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