Harry Reid happens to be the highest ranked Mormon in politics at Senate Majority Leader. He and Mitt Romney also share a religion. However, in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, he said that he agreed with a recent opinion piece in the Huffington Post that states that “Romney is not the face of Mormonism.”
Here’s an excerpt from the Huffington Post piece:
When the news of Mitt Romney’s Florida video broke on Monday evening, I was incensed — but not for its political implications. His arrogant and out-of-hand dismissal of half the population of this country struck me at a visceral level, for it sullied the religion that he and I share — the religion for which five generations of my ancestry have lived and sacrificed, the religion whose official mantra is “to take care of the poor and needy throughout the world.” My first impulse was to rent an airplane towing a banner: “Mitt Romney is Not the Face of Mormonism!”
I was a supporter of Romney 1.0. That was in late 2007, when we had far more in common. We are both Mormons and we both served foreign missions for our church at the same time, he in France and I in Brazil. Some of my best friends had been some of his best friends for decades. Although I am a registered Democrat, his accomplishments as Governor of Massachusetts appealed to me. I contributed the maximum amount to his early presidential primary bid.
Early in 2008, to my dismay, Romney 1.0 became Romney 2.0 by moving far enough to the right to lose my support. He has kept moving ever farther to the right. He has made this move in a successful attempt to gain the nomination, and in an ongoing attempt to persuade no more than 53 percent of the country that he should be the next President.
Judge Mitt Romney as you will, and vote for or against him as you will; but do not judge Mormonism on the basis of the Mitt Romney that was unveiled to the public this week. He is not the face of Mormonism.
This piece of writing shows the deep frustration that many throughout the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints may feel. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Reid said he agrees with him, but that:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who is also Mormon, said Reid knows well that the LDS Church preaches for members of all political stripes to be engaged in the public square but that he shouldn’t be trying to use Romney’s faith against him.
“Shame on them,” Chaffetz said, referring to Reid and Prince. “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.”
However, it seems rather that Reid is criticizing him for showing a poor public face for the Mormon church–and is hardly attacking him for his religion when he himself is of the same religion. Harry Reid and Gregory A. Prince (the writer of the HuffPo article) are both saying the same thing: Mitt Romney is a bad man, and please don’t assume that because we are Mormon we are the same.
The Tribune goes on to report:
Thomas Wright, chairman of the Utah Republican Party whose father, the late William Robert Wright, co-wrote the McKay book with Prince, said it’s likely his dad would be disappointed in what Prince and Reid are saying.
“It’s unfortunate when the dialogue turns to someone’s religion when they’re running for president,” Wright said. “I’ve not run across one Mormon who thinks that Mitt Romney is not a good face for Mormons and for two liberal Democrats to use that ploy to try to convince Mormons and Democrats to vote against Romney is disappointing and sad.”
I guess Obama doesn’t have to worry about being a Muslim this year! It should also be pointed out that Wright, in the excerpt above, states that he hasn’t run across one Mormon that doesn’t think good things about Romney–which means he’s discounting the words of Harry Reid and Gregory Prince, both Mormons. It would seem, then, that in his eyes, in order to be a Mormon, you must think well of Romney. Seems difficult to disprove his theory; it’s self-fulfilling.
Romney responded to Reid’s comments; video below, courtesy of Huffington Post:
He simply used the opportunity to take a cheap shot at President Barack Obama; things that like shouldn’t surprise us by now, I guess. He did say something true–this race isn’t about Harry Reid. Yet, neither is it about his and Obama’s policy differences. It’s about us, as Americans, as the 100%.