Three years after Mitt Romney tried and failed, Marco Rubio could become our first Mormon president — at least, if you want to get really technical about it.
No, Rubio doesn't consider himself Mormon anymore, but he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when his family lived in Las Vegas and he was 8 years old. The church considers people to be members if they have been baptized, regardless of how active they are, unless they formally ask for their name to be removed from church records. Church spokesman Eric Hawkins told the Fix they "are deferring to Sen. Rubio to respond to questions about his faith." The Rubio campaign did not respond to a question from The Fix about whether Rubio has done this, but as of a 2012 BuzzFeed story about Rubio's time as a Mormon, he had not.
The Post's Manuel Roig Franzia also wrote about this in his 2012 book about Rubio, "The Rise of Marco Rubio":
And the Mormon faith may have retained a kind of technical hold on them regardless of their conversion: Rubio and his family members never asked for their names to be removed from LDS rolls, meaning they may still be counted as Mormons by the church.
Rubio wrote in his 2013 book, "An American Son," that he studied church literature and "immersed" himself in LDS theology when he was young. During a 2012 interview with ABC News, he said that he and his sister and cousins had their own version of the Osmonds, called "the Sunshine Cousins."
His family began attending the Catholic Church when he was in sixth grade, and he today considers himself Catholic. So if Rubio wins, he would not only be the first Mormon president (with that important asterisk), but the second Catholic president (after JFK) and first Republican Catholic president.
Then-Michigan Gov. George Romney (R) was the first Mormon to run for president for a major party in 1968, and in 2012 his son, Mitt, became the first to win a major party nomination. Other Mormons who have run for president include then-Rep. Mo Udall (D-Ariz.) in 1974, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in 2000, and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. (R-Utah) in 2012.