At a coffee shop stop at the Smokey Row in Pleasantville, Iowa, a woman Barack Obama sat down to chat with asked about his religious upbringing. Herewith the transcript from our Obama embed producer, Bonney Kapp:
Woman: I have a question I would really like to ask you. With a Muslim background, how would that effect how you would lead the United States of America?
Obama: "This is something that keeps on being misreported, so I’m glad you asked me. My father was from Kenya and a lot of people in his village were Muslim. He didn’t practice Islam. Truth is he wasn’t very religious. He met my mother. My mother was a Christian from Kansas and they married, and then divorced. I was raised by my mother. So, I’ve always been a Christian. I’ve never practiced Islam. For awhile, I lived in Indonesia because my mother was teaching there. And that’s a Muslim country. And I went to school. But I didn’t practice. But what I do think it does is it gives me insight into how these folks think. And Part of how I think we can create a better relationship with the middle east and that would help make us safer is if we can understand how they think about issues. But I'm a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ and have been for fifteen years.
The woman then asked Obama if "you believe in Jesus Christ?"
Obama: "I believe he was our Lord and savior."
Woman: "Well you're right and I don't think enough of people go to church."
Considering that Clinton endorsee and former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey brought up Obama's ties to Islam on Sunday and then sent a letter of apology to Obama on Wednesday, it appears the question of Obama's religious roots still needs answering and may lurk in the minds of Iowa Democrats in ways as yet undected by the Obama campaign. Of course, these concerns/anxieties may be impossible to detect, thus complicating Obama's last-minute push for turnout in advance of the caucuses.
Mike Emanuel currently serves as chief congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1997 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.