Mitt Romney said today that Rick Perry needs to “repudiate” the remarks made by Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress about Mormonism Saturday in his introduction of Perry at the Value Voters Summit.
“Gov. Perry selected an individual who introduced him who then used religion as a basis for which he said he would endorse Gov. Perry, and a reason to not support me,” Romney said in his joint press conference this afternoon with Chris Christie. “Gov. Perry then said that introduction just hit out of the park.”
“I just don’t believe that kind of divisiveness based upon religion has a place in this country,” Romney added.
Perry did not originally choose Jeffress to give the introduction, although his campaign approved him as the introductory speaker.
Jeffress, who called Mormomism a “cult” in his remarks, has clarified since that he meant a “theological cult” and stressed he did mean to imply Mormonism was a cult in the same way the group involved in the Jonestown massacre, for instance, was.
“I would call upon Gov. Perry to repudiate the sentiment and the remarks made by that pastor,” Romney concluded, after speaking about how the Founding Fathers viewed religion.
The Perry campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.