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October 11, 2011

Romney Demands Perry "Repudiate" Jeffress' Mormonism Remarks


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.

This is sort of interesting. Jeffress intended his remarks to help Perry, and also, I suppose, to further the notion that Mormonism is a cult.

But what's going to end up happening is that Perry will either say Mormonism is not a cult, which in thus hurts Jeffress' second goal, or will not say either way, which will hurt Perry, at least with voters who are against the idea of a religious test and different classes of citizenship based on religious allegiance.

Perhaps that's a good thing. It's interesting, though, that bringing stuff like this into the open so often backfires. There's some kind of lesson in that.

Bryan Preston isn't having any of this, though.

Romney even hit Perry for saying that Jeffress’ remarks “hit it out of the park.” Romney decried a “religious test” and called on Perry to disassociate himself from Jeffress’ remarks.

The problem with Romney’s version of what happened is that it’s almost entirely untrue.

The Perry campaign did not select Rev. Jeffress; the Summit selected him and got a perfunctory sign-off from the campaign. Rev. Jeffress’ remark that Mormonism is a cult was not made in his introduction to Gov. Perry, but in remarks made to reporters later. As soon as he was aware of Jeffress’ remark, Perry did in fact disassociate himself with them entirely.

Romney seems to be demanding much more than a simple "disassociation," though. He basically wants Perry to repudiate and scold his base.

Which obviously would be bad for Perry.

Jeffress' anti-Mormon stuff might have worked if it had been stealthier, but he went obvious with it and now the guy he'd hoped to help is in even more political trouble.

Christie also rapped Perry hard on that at today's endorsement. He then went on to defend RomneyCare...

Speaking about Romney’s Massachusetts health-care program, Christie said it was “completely intellectually dishonest” to compare it to Obamacare.

...and it turns out that today is a particularly bad day to claim the systems cannot "honestly" be compared.

The records, gleaned from White House visitor logs reviewed by NBC News, show that senior White House officials had a dozen meetings in 2009 with three health-care advisers and experts who helped shape the health care reform law signed by Romney in 2006, when the Republican presidential candidate was governor of Massachusetts. One of those meetings, on July 20, 2009, was in the Oval Office and presided over by President Barack Obama, the records show.

“The White House wanted to lean a lot on what we’d done in Massachusetts,” said Jon Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Romney administration on health care and who attended five meetings at the Obama White House in 2009, including the meeting with the president. “They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model.”

Politico casts tonight as "Now or Never" for Perry, and, despite his solid fundraising, I think that might be right.

And will the knives come out for Cain?

Santorum's in a huff that no one's taking him seriously yet.

One candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, has signaled that he may be taking aim at Cain. Before Cain’s recent surge, many speculated that Santorum could be the next to rise.

In a new radio ad running in Iowa, Santorum accuses Cain of “strongly” supporting “the Wall Street bailouts.” (RELATED: Country singer Lee Greenwood endorses Cain)

And Santorum, whose campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment for this story, also has made it clear he doesn’t agree with Cain’s tax plan: “I know there’s a plan out there, the 9-9-9. I’ve got a better one; it’s the zero-zero-zero plan,” he said at a conservative gathering last week.

Zero Zero Zero plan? Awesome. Bullshit bullshit bullshit.

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posted by Ace at 04:21 PM

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