Rick Perry does not believe Mormonism is a cult. But he’s not going to condemn his brand-new endorser who does.
That’s the word from Team Perry after Southern Baptist Convention chief and Texas pastor Robert Jeffress endorsed Perry at the Voters Values Summit Friday and immediately set about claiming Mitt Romney is a member of a cult and is not a Christian.
“He does not believe it is a cult,” tweeted ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, attributing it to Miner.
The response developed in the moments after Jeffress’ speech, ABC reports:
The campaign’s official comment on Jeffress evolved quickly on Friday afternoon. When initially asked by ABC News whether Gov. Perry agreed that Mormonism is a cult, Perry spokesman Mark Miner said: “The governor doesn’t judge what is in the heart and soul of others. He leaves that to God.”
Miner would also not immediately say whether the governor believed it was wrong to call Mormonism a cult. “It’s not his decision to judge that,” the spokesman said. He added that conference organizers decided who should introduce Perry at the summit, not the campaign.
But minutes later, Miner called ABC News with a new statement: “He does not believe it is a cult.”