‘Most Ridiculous Sideshow in Recent Politics’

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has finally addressed the Rev. Robert Jeffress’ declaration that Mormonism “has always been considered a cult,” telling a New London, N.H., town hall crowd today that it is “the most ridiculous sideshow in recent politics.”

“Discussion of Mormonism doesn’t create additional jobs … doesn’t expand our economic base,” Huntsman said, according to CBS News. “It doesn’t secure our position in the world. I have no idea why people are wasting so much political-capital bandwidth on this issue. It’s nonsense. … There are a lot of folks who believe different things, and that’s the tradition that we respect in this country.”

While Huntsman’s children were taught both Mormon and Episcopalian ideals, he says he still identifies with his LDS roots, telling ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos  in May, “I believe in God. I’m a good Christian. I’m very proud of my Mormon heritage.”

“I am Mormon. Today, there are 13 million Mormons,” he continued. “It’s a very diverse and heterogeneous cross section of people. “And you’re going to find a lot of different attitudes and a lot of different opinions in that 13 million.”