Mitt Romney has been reluctant to discuss his Mormon faith on the campaign trail — and his defenders routinely cry foul when when Democrats and journalists bring it up. When he's pressed to respond details about his church's theology and history, Romney often dismisses them, arguing that he's "not running for pastor-in-chief."
But in a 2002 interview with the Mormon newspaper Church News, Romney was much more forthright about the extent to which he is influenced by his faith. The glowing profile of "Brother Romney," as he's referred to throughout the story, was published shortly before the Winter Games kicked off, and just as his national star was rising.
The story paints a portrait of a man who has been shaped my Mormonism — and to whom his church still matters deeply.
One telling anecdote:
In October 2000, just a few days before the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympic Games, Brother Romney flew from Sydney, Australia, to Boston, Mass., to attend the dedication of the [Boston, MA Mormon] temple.
While he needed to be in Australia for the closing ceremonies, he felt it more important to attend the dedication. With no time to rest following a 24-hour flight, he was among the throng waiting in line early that morning for the dedication.
"My commitment to my Church and faith is all encompassing," he said. "The opportunity to attend a temple dedication in the presence of a prophet in my hometown, where I served as stake president and bishop, is an opportunity that I would never miss."
McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.