(Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)
Evangelical minster Franklin Graham said voters should look past a candidate’s personal religion when considering whom they should support for office. Graham offered his advice in a recent interview with The Christian Broadcasting Network when asked if Christians could vote for someone who is a Mormon.
“Yes, the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon doesn’t bother me at all,” Graham told CBN.
Two candidates seeking the GOP nomination for president who are Mormons are Romney and Jon Huntsman. They are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Graham said voters should select a candidate who is most qualified, beyond anything else.
“You can have the nicest guy and he can be a Christian and just wonderful but have absolutely no clue as to how to run a country, you don’t want that … Mitt Romney is a very capable fellow, I know him. I know Newt Gingrich, another capable person; Michele Bachmann, a very capable lady; Rick Santorum, I like a lot, very gifted guy, a very sharp person and so there are some good candidates out there.”
Graham’s primary concern about the 2012 election is that he feels the country is heading in the wrong direction, saying the next election is “the most critical election of my lifetime.”
The evangelist sees the direction of the country as the number one priority for the next president.
“Our country is heading on the wrong course,” said Graham. “There are millions and millions of people out there that are out of work and there are people out there now that have been out of work so long they are not even looking for work because they are so discouraged.”
Praying for our leaders and our country is what Graham suggested of Christians, saying that irrespective of political party, the country needs elected officials “who will put God’s standards above everything else and who will take us back to the God of our fathers.”
“[O]ur country is going in the wrong direction and we need to make a change.”
Romney, who has picked up the endorsement of several mainstream Republicans – most notably former Kansas Senator Bob Dole and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley – has also secured the endorsement of Iowa’s leading newspaper, The Des Moines Register, over the weekend.
Although some polls have shown Gingrich behind both Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the most recent Gallup poll released on Monday shows that Romney and Gingrich are neck and neck going into the final weeks before the Iowa caucuses, with Romney at 26 percent and Gingrich at 24 percent.