The Corner

We’ve Seen ‘Just Asking Questions’ About an Opponent’s Religion Before

Appearing on the Sunday shows, Donald Trump insisted he didn’t mean to attack or insult Ben Carson’s faith when he said in Florida, “I’m Presbyterian. That’s down the middle of the road, folks. I mean, Seventh Day Adventist, I don’t know about, I just don’t know about.”

Trump said on Face the Nation, “I don’t know what that is, I’m not that familiar with it.”

We’ve seen this sort of exchange before. In 2007, Mike Huckabee was speaking to New York Times reporter Zev Chafets:

I asked Huckabee, who describes himself as the only Republican candidate with a degree in theology, if he considered Mormonism a cult or a religion. “I think it’s a religion,” he said. “I really don’t know much about it.”

I was about to jot down this piece of boilerplate when Huckabee surprised me with a question of his own: “Don’t Mormons,” he asked in an innocent voice, “believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”

(When I scoffed that it was unlikely that Huckabee, with a theology degree, could plausibly claim such ignorance of Mormonism, Huckabee’s campaign insisted he didn’t have a theology degree . . . which seemed to contradict Huckabee’s statements like, “I’m the only guy on that stage with a theology degree.”)

Huckabee later apologized to Romney, and Romney accepted the apology.

But we never see Trump directly apologize, and there’s little reason to think he will apologize in this case. Even when asked about his comment about Carly Fiorina’s face in the debate, Trump never said he was sorry or regretted making the comments; he just said, “I think she’s got a beautiful face.”

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