Update: 11:48 a.m.: When shown the emails, Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner told the Daily Beast that the correspondence “appears to be a private conversation that has nothing to do with our campaign.” Further investigation revealed that Lane is not employed by the campaign.
New emails obtained by the Daily Beast have cast doubt on the Perry campaign’s attempts to disassociate itself from attacks on Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.
The documents show David Lane — a Christian fundraiser who reportedly played a large role in convincing Perry to run — writing to evangelical talk radio chief Dick Bott.
“What would anyone think if a candidate were a Scientologist?” Bott wrote. “Shouldn’t they want to know what the implications were that may flow therefrom? [sic]”
A day later, Lane included the following in his reply:
“Juxtaposing traditional Christianity to the false god of Mormonism is very important in the larger scheme of things.”
Mitt Romney’s faith became a political issue earlier this month when conservative evangelical Robert Jeffress, who introduced Perry at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, said Romney is not a “genuine” follower of Jesus Christ. Jeffress later doubled down by saying the former Massachusetts governor “is not a Christian.”
Perry has publicly distanced himself from the pastor since then, insisting that he does not believe Mormonism to be a cult. But the new emails between Lane and Bott suggest not everyone in his camp believes this is a bad development, the Daily Beast reports. Here’s more:
“We owe Dr. Jeffress a big thank you,” [Lane] wrote to Bott, adding that the media criticism that has called attention to the pastor’s comments was “a stroke of luck.”