Hillary Clinton Makes Her Most Direct Appeal Yet To Utah’s Mormon Voters

August 10, 2016 1:09 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is making a play for Utah’s Mormon voters in a new op-ed out Wednesday that highlights her fierce defense of religious freedom and criticizes Trump’s attacks against religious minorities in the U.S.

In her exclusive op-ed in the Deseret News, a publication owned by the LDS church, Clinton contrasts Trump’s posture toward religion with her own.

“As secretary of state, I made it a cornerstone of our foreign policy to protect the rights of religious minorities around the world,” Clinton wrote. “Every day, Trump continues to prove he lacks the morals to be our commander-in-chief.”

While Utah is a deeply socially conservative state with a history of electing Republicans, polls are showing that Trump does not have the appeal there among Republicans that he has in other states. A recent state poll showed that Trump was still leading in Utah, but Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson was surging there. Trump’s struggles in the state stem not only from his caustic rhetoric, but also from the doubt Mormon political leaders like Mitt Romney and Sen. Mike Lee have cast on whether he respects the Constitution.

In her op-ed, Clinton relied on those Mormon voices to build her own case against Trump.

“Trump’s Muslim ban would undo centuries of American tradition and
values. To this day, I wonder if he even understands the implications of
his proposal. This policy would literally undo what made America great
in the first place. But you don’t have to take it from me. Listen to Mitt Romney, who said Trump ‘fired before aiming’ when he decided a blanket religious ban was a solution to the threat of terrorism.

“Listen to former Sen. Larry Pressler,” Clinton wrote. “Trump’s plan reminded him of when Missouri Gov. Lilburn Boggs singled out Mormons in his infamous extermination order of 1838.”

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