Washington: Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump yesterday criticized GOP 2012’s nominee Mitt Romney on his home turf before the state’s majority Mormon population questioned whether the latter truly represented their faith. Trump’s rally in Salt Lake City comes a week after clashes between the supporters and protesters forced the New York billionaire to cancel a Chicago event.
“Do I love the Mormons? I have many friends that live in Salt Lake City — and by the way, Mitt Romney is not one of them,” Trump said to applause. “Are you sure he’s a Mormon? Are we sure?,” CNN quoted him as saying. Romney had earlier on Friday said that he would vote for presidential hopeful Ted Cruz in Utah, who is expected to perform well in the state’s GOP caucuses coming Tuesday.
Taking potshots at Romney, Trump said that the former was out campaigning with Ohio Governor John Kasich and then was endorsing Cruz.
Romney is one of those high- profile Republicans to have his religion questioned by Trump. Trump had earlier questioned Cruz, who is Southern Baptist, and former 2016 candidate Ben Carson, who is Seventh-Day Adventist, about their faiths.
The question on Romney is, however, harsher following his reluctance to share his Mormon faith in public life. According to some Christians, Mormonism is not seen as a true Christian church. While Trump was speaking, tensions between his supporters and protesters escalated outside the venue.