Romney hits rivals for Mormon criticism

The Boston Globe

SALT LAKE CITY — Mitt Romney said yesterday that criticism of his Mormon religion by rival GOP presidential campaigns is happening too frequently.

“Clearly, any derogatory comments about anyone’s faith — those comments are troubling. The fact they keep on coming up is even more troubling,” Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, said during a fund-raising trip in the home state of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Mormon church is one of the fastest-growing religions and claims about 12.5 million members worldwide. But many evangelical Christians in crucial primary states such as Iowa and South Carolina consider the faith a cult.

Romney’s remarks follow an apology from GOP rival John McCain’s campaign for comments about the Mormon church allegedly made this year by a volunteer.

Also recently, Republican presidential hopeful Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas issued a similar apology for a campaign worker’s e-mail to Iowa Republican leaders that was an apparent attempt to draw unfavorable scrutiny of Romney’s religion. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani apologized after the New York Sun reported that a campaign aide had forwarded to a blogger a story about unofficial Mormon lore. (AP)

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