Mitt Romney tells Fox News that he sometimes “walked away” from his Mormon values

Sen. Mitt Romney says there were times in his life when he “walked away” from his faith and the values ​​his devout Latter-day Saint parents instilled in him, even for political expediency.

In a pre-recorded interview with the Washington, D.C.-based temple that aired Sunday on Fox News Sunday, the Utah Republican said he wasn’t always “100 percent accurate or 100 percent honest.”

“When I have done things for political advantage, and now I look back on those things with great regret, and that is why I say at this stage of my life, I no longer do it. I will be sincere and honest as far as I humanly can and not I will worry about what the consequences might be for me politically or otherwise,” he said.

The first-term senator made similar comments about some of the decisions he has made in his career two years ago during a lecture at Harvard University. He didn’t specify what those decisions were, but said that “the fact that there were some things that were not consistent with my core beliefs I really like.”

President Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, rededicated the Washington DC temple on Sunday. It has been closed for renovation for the last 41⁄2 years.

Romney and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, joined other elected leaders on a tour of the renovated temple during an open house in April.

Fox News anchor Brett Baier noted that Romney has spoken numerous times throughout his political career about what his faith means to him, including in a major speech on religion in 2007 during his first run for the presidency

“I learned from my parents and from my faith the values ​​that, if you will, have guided my life. I have not always been completely faithful to them. Sometimes I have strayed and come back, but I have devoted myself to the principles taught by my faith and my family. That doesn’t necessarily guide your politics, but it does guide how you interact with other people,” Romney said.

Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, said that when he ran for office, he pointed out that voters do not choose presidents or elected officials based on their religion.

“However, we look at their religious background to understand if they will share our values, believing in honesty, integrity, family and those things that I believe are fundamental to my faith and to other religions,” he said. to say.

“I love the fact that America is a religious nation and that people have the conviction that there is something more important than just themselves and their own selfishness.”

Romney was a bishop, a lay leader who oversees a congregation, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Boston area in the 1980s.

During the Fox interview, Baier showed a clip of an exchange Romney had with Chris Wallace just before he voted to remove former President Donald Trump from office in Trump’s first impeachment trial. Romney, the only Republican to vote to impeach a president from his own party, quoted the words of a church hymn: “Do what is right; let the consequence follow.”

Romney said that phrase has been meaningful to him throughout his life.

“Don’t worry so much about what it means for your reelection or your promotion or how much money you’re going to get. Do what you think is right, and that’s a reminder, I think, that’s important for all of us,” he said.

Romney said he follows Twitter “very carefully” for news and to help him do his job, but he doesn’t read comments about himself.

“I wonder how people who read comments do it on a day-to-day basis. I don’t know if I’ve ever read comments on Twitter,” he said. that many of these are just bots from the Chinese and Russians, some (come) from disaffected people. Others, if you will, of a person who lives in the basement of his parents’ house. I really don’t have to worry about these people.”

Baier asked Romney where he sees threats to the nation’s social fabric and families, which he says are important to his faith.

Romney said his church’s founders and leaders have long said the Constitution was inspired and that religious freedom is central to that.

“And so, I think, at the same time, we believe that making people recognize that we are not only citizens, fellow citizens, but also children of God, that we are part of the same human family, helps to lower the temperature,” He went to say.

Noting that Romney and his family have been through many political careers, Baier concluded the interview by asking, “Are you still interested in this politics thing?”

“I’d rather spend time here (at the temple) than in the Capitol building, but politics is exciting and there’s a lot of work to be done,” Romney said. “The country faces enormous challenges, but good people of all faiths can come together and hopefully address these challenges to keep America the hope of the land.”

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