Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is ripping Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, insisting that the GOP hopeful is not the “face of Mormonism” and has “sullied” the religion that they both share.
During a conference call on Monday ahead of Romney’s visit to Nevada, Reid said he agreed with a blog post by Mormon historian Gregory Prince, who had blasted the candidate for insulting 47 percent of the country for refusing to take “personal responsibility” because they were “dependant” on the government.
“He’s coming to a state where there are a lot of members of the LDS Church,” the Majority Leader said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “They understand that he is not the face of Mormonism.”
“[Prince] said that Romney has sullied the religion that he, Prince, and Romney share,” Reid noted. “And he’s so disappointed that, in his words, ‘it’s a good religion and he’s hiding from it.’”
In a scathing speech on the Senate floor last week, Reid had said that leaked tapes of the former Massachusetts governor dismissing 47 percent of country who paid no income taxes gave the world a “rare look at the real Mitt Romney.”
“For all we know Mitt Romney could be one of those who have paid no federal income tax,” the Nevada Democrat said. “Thousands of families making more than a million dollars per year pay nothing in federal income tax. Is Mitt Romney among those? We’ll never know because he refuses to release his tax returns.”
Reid pointed out that most of “those people” who Romney talked about “are not avoiding their tax bills using Cayman Islands tax shelters or Swiss Bank accounts like Mitt Romney. Millions of the 47 percent are seniors on Social Security, who don’t have Bain Capital retirement funds or inherited stock to fall back on.”
But Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Mormon from Utah, told the Tribune that Reid and Prince were wrong to attack Romney’s faith.
“Shame on them,” Chaffetz said. “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.”