Reid raises religion issue against Romney

In a conference call with reporters last week, Harry Reid invoked a Mormon anti-Romney blogger and then agreed with the blogger’s description of Romney.

“He’s coming to a state where there are a lot of members of the LDS church,” Reid said, referring to Romney’s Sept. 28 visit to Nevada. “They understand that he is not the face of Mormonism.”

Romney and Reid are both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Reid described blog comments by Gregory Prince, coauthor of David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism.

“He said that Romney has sullied the religion that he—Prince and Romney—share,” Reid said. “And he’s so disappointed that, in his [Prince’s] words, ‘It’s a good religion, and he’s hiding from it.’ ”

Reid said, “I agree with him.”

“Shame on them,” said U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, to the Salt Lake Tribune, referring to both Prince and Reid. “Harry Reid seems to be making this way too personal and consequently throwing the religion under the bus for his own personal gain. That’s not where anyone should be going with this. He’s taking this two steps too far.”

In the Washington Post, writer Jennifer Rubin was harshly critical of journalists for not giving Reid’s comments more attention.

“This is disgraceful, and yet the media is mute,” she wrote. “The story is nowhere to be found in the mainstream media. … Imagine if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that the president had ‘sullied’ the face of Christianity and is ‘not the face of Christianity’? He would be denounced in every newspaper, and his resignation would be demanded.”

In fact, the Reid remarks were carried on numerous mainstream news outlets, including CNN, Politico, Raw Story and USA Today, but it did not get the prominence that some other gaffe stories have received.

Syndicated religion columnist Cal Thomas recalled Reid’s previous unsubstantiated claim that Romney had not paid taxes for 10 years:

“In recent weeks, Senator Reid has violated at least one of the Ten Commandments—the one prohibiting the bearing of false witness. … I’ll leave it to the Mormon hierarchy and their flock to judge among themselves and not in public discourse who is the better face of Mormonism.”