Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association said Saturday that his main concern with former Gov. Mitt Romney wasn’t that he was Mormon, it was that he wasn’t Mormon enough.
“The Mormon Church has always been strong on the sanctity of marriage, and yet Governor Romney campaigned as a pro-abortion candidate in 2002 and he imposed same-sex marriage on America in 2004 by executive fiat,” Fischer told reporters after his speech at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday.
Fischer spoke before the Values Voter Summit just after Romney, who took a shot at Fischer who he said “crossed the line” of “decency and civility.”
Fischer said Romney’s shot at him was just “pandering to the New York Times, the Southern Poverty Law Center and People for the American Way” and said it was “tasteless and impolite.”
Fischer took the stage after Romney, and only moments after the GOP frontrunner’s remarks that “one of the people who will follow me today” has crossed the line into “poisonous language.” The backstage transition between the Romney camp and Fischer was just as awkward as you’d expect, said Fischer.
“His crew came in and occupied the green room and asked everyone to leave, so I didn’t have any opportunity to do that,” Fischer said.
I asked whether he thought Romney was referring to Fischer’s views on Islam or Mormonism. “I don’t know what he was referring to, you’d have to ask Mitt Romney what he was thinking about,” he said.
Fischer didn’t back down from his views on Mormons.
“Mormonism is outside the mainstream of Christian orthodoxy,” Fischer said. “That’s not pejorative, that’s not a slam, that’s just a statement of objective, historical fact.”
“I think as people become more and more familiar with the substance of Mormon teaching, then I think what it does for them is it begins to raise questions about the judgment of someone who wants to be our president and yet subscribes to some of these doctrines,” Fischer said. “And again, I just think this is a decision that Republican voters are going to have to make.”
Still, he said he had worked with Mormons and even had one of the board of a pro-family organization he ran in Idaho. Fischer said he had worked alongside Mormons to stop gay marriage and defend a 10 Commandments monument in a city park.
“We have common cause with anyone who shares our values on public policy and we’re happy to work with them,” Fischer said. “That’s why I say my problem with Governor Romney is that he’s not Mormon enough.”