At the Value Voters Summit in Washington D.C. today, Rick Perry was introduced by Robert Jeffress, the senior pastor of a Baptist megachurch in Dallas, Tex. In his introduction, Jeffress endorsed Perry — and appeared to take a shot at Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, although he did not mention Romney by name.
“Do we want a candidate who is a conservative out of convenience or one who is a conservative out of deep conviction? Do we want a candidate who is a good, moral person — or one who is a born-again follower of the lord Jesus Christ?” Jeffress asked, according to ABC News. Perry, Jeffress said, was a “genuine follower of Jesus Christ.”
Talking to reporters afterwards, Jeffress said Mormonism was a “cult,” according to CBS News.
“That is a mainstream view, that Mormonism is a cult. Every true, born again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian,” Jeffress remarked.
Perry spokesman Mark Miner told CBS, “The governor does not believe Mormonism is a cult.”
Jeffress was chosen by event organizers, not the Perry campaign, to introduce Perry.
UPDATE: Jeffress was chosen by the event organizers, but the Perry campaign did approve the decision to choose him as the speaker to introduce Perry, reports Politico.