And so begins a touchy issue for Democrats this general election season: Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. The first example comes from Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who told The Daily Beast this on Thursday:
He didn’t think that Montana would be a swing state, but the Democrat did say that Mitt Romney could have issues nationally because his father was “born on a polygamy commune in Mexico.”
Later, he attempted to clarify:
“I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist and approves of [the] polygamy lifestyle, but his father was born into [a] polygamy commune in Mexico.”
The Obama campaign has already denounced these statements. From 2008, they are no strangers to religious attacks. Spokeswoman Lis Smith told The Daily Beast that “attacking a candidate’s religion is out of bounds, and our campaign will not engage in it, and we don’t think others should either.”
Obama’s campaign has pushed back on two high-profile personal attacks on Romney thus far — this and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s comments on Ann Romney’s stay-at-home mother status.
And Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has already said that it is “utter nonsense” that Democrats would put Romney’s faith into play. She has a good point.
“Let’s remember that President Obama has had so many things hurled at him — birth certificate questions, whether he is or is not a Christian.”
That doesn’t mean all Democrats and even surrogates will follow. Already, there was a much-publicized, quickly deleted tweet from senior strategist David Axelrod.
Even some Republicans joined in during the primary season. One prominent pastor who was a supporter of Rick Perry declared Mormonism a “theological cult.” Now, he has actually endorsed Mitt Romney as he has wrapped up the nomination. It wasn’t exactly ringing.
“Given the choice between a Christian like Barack Obama who embraces very unbiblical principles like abortion and a Mormon like Mitt Romney who supports biblical values like the sanctity of life and marriage, I think there’s a good biblical case for voting for Mitt Romney,” Jefress said.
All the way back in November, evangelical leaders predicted that Romney’s faith would become a bigger issue in the general election. This could be the start.
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