Conant told BuzzFeed that Rubio never requested to have his name removed from the LDS Church’s records, which means officially, the church is likely still counting him as a member. [...] An overworked bartender at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino, Mario had little use for a religion that promoted a strict code of moral conduct that seemed at odds with the way he made a living, said Michelle. “He liked to smoke and drink,” she laughed. …. – Exclusive: Marco Rubio’s Mormon Roots, via BuzzFeed
Few could have imagined seeing Marco Rubio and Mormon trending on Twitter today, but that’s what’s happened after Ben Smith’s BuzzFeed broke a blockbuster story on Marco Rubio being baptized as a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. It’s been confirmed by family members and has send Rubio’s people into a tailspin.
I can’t quite picture Marco Rubio mimicking The Osmonds, but that’s just one nugget in the story being devoured across the political spectrum today.
Now everyone’s pondering whether Marco Rubio’s childhood Mormonism is a vice presidential deal breaker. It’s the sub-heading on the BuzzFeed story. But Rubio already said he didn’t want to be vice president, right?
My husband Mark is a recovering Mormon, as many of you already know. He went through the effort to have his name removed from the LDS Church’s records, which is no quick task. That Mr. Rubio has chosen not to do this, while adopting Catholicism as his religion today, means his status as a Catholic isn’t quite clear where the LDS church is concerned. But at least he won’t have to endure being baptized after he dies. End. Snark.
Rubio spokesman Alex Conant confirmed the story to BuzzFeed, and said Rubio returned to the Catholic church a few years later with his family, receiving his first communion on Christmas day in 1984 at the age of 13.
The revelation adds a new dimension to Rubio’s already-nuanced religious history—and could complicate his political future at a time when many Republicans see him as the odds-on favorite for the 2012 vice presidential nod. Vice presidential candidates are traditionally chosen to provide ethnic and religious balance to a ticket. Mitt Romney’s Mormonism and Rubio’s Catholic faith would already mean the first two members of minority traditions on a Republican ticket in American history. Rubio’s Mormon roots could further complicate that calculation.
A sign that Rubio’s aides see the story as potentially damaging: BuzzFeed’s inquiries appear to have sent them into frantic damage-control mode, and after email inquiries from BuzzFeed — but minutes before Conant responded with a phone call this morning — a brief item appeared on the blog of the Miami Herald mentioning the Senator’s religous past.
I’ve read a lot about Marco Rubio since he was jettisoned into the national spotlight. The fact about his Mormon childhood is just the latest in a convoluted biography that has been a marketing creation from the moment he decided to break into politics. Rubio’s eye locked on the presidency and becoming the first Hispanic occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which in a country where Latino votes matter is a serious ambition for anyone of his obvious talents.