Another Rick Perry supporter has reportedly attacked the Mormon faith of rival Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Perry spokesman Mark Miner insists the comments by David Lane have “nothing to do with the campaign,” and denied a report in The Daily Beast that they suggest a systematic effort to undermine Romney with evangelical voters.
Asked if Perry believes Romney’s religion should be an issue in the campaign, Miner answered with an unequivocal “no.” He also denied that Perry’s campaign is seeking to make it one.
Lane, the chief fundraiser for a well-publicized Christian prayer rally that Perry headlined in August one week before launching his presidential campaign, told Christian talk radio host Dick Bott in an e-mail that “juxtaposing traditional Christianity to the false God of Mormonism is very important,” according to e-mails obtained by The Daily Beast.
The two were discussing via e-mails an upcoming interview Bott was planning with Robert Jeffress, the Baptist minister who earlier this month told reporters at a gathering of religious activists that Mormonism is “a cult,” “not Christian,” and an obstacle to Romney winning the presidency.
In an e-mail, The Daily Beast reported, Bott told Lane that Jeffress wasn’t necessarily wrong for his controversial statements that he made during the Value Voters Summit in Washington. The website quoted Lane as thanking the radio host and suggesting that Perry’s supporters owe Jeffress “a big thank you” for surfacing the issue of Romney’s religion.