Willard M. Romney is trying to steer the conversation of his Mormon religion back to politics. Over the weekend, he reminded conservatives “that decency and civility are values, too” and “poisonous language” hurts their cause.
The Republican presidential candidate didn’t mention the M-word while speaking at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, but the topic flared up in a major way at the conservative gathering in Washington.
While introducing Texas Governor Rick Perry at the event, evangelical pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress reignited the topic of Romney’s faith by referring to Mormonism as a “cult” and suggesting that Romney was not a Christian.
Rick Perry seemed less than thrilled to speak on the issue, responding with a curt, “no” when asked by reporters whether he agreed with Jeffress stance.
Other Republican candidates, including Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann, refused to discuss Romney’s religion.
Jon Huntsman, a Mormon Republican presidential candidate, today offered a more blunt response, calling the pastor a “moron.”
This digression into his religious beliefs has proven to be a pain for Romney, who was much more willing to focus on the economy, criticizing the president for making the recession “worse” and imposing “job-killing regulations.”