Mitt Romney's campaign and Mormon leaders are contesting a Focus on the Family executive's claim that Romney "acknowledged Mormonism is not a Christian faith."
The Republican presidential candidate's campaign said Romney follows Jesus Christ, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints insists it is Christian.
Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesman for the Romney campaign, said Romney had not made any indication that Mormonism was not a Christian faith. The Mormon church said in a statement Friday that "all of our dreams and future aspirations are centered in our belief in Jesus Christ."
Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy at Focus on the Family Action, made the claim about Romney in the organization's video voter's guide, which is posted on its website. Minnery was not available for comment Monday. A Focus spokesman did not address the remarks made in the video in a response to Christianity Today's inquiries, but said, "We've finished our analysis of the primaries and caucuses that have already occurred."
Minnery told the Associated Press that he based his statement on an interpretation of a section of Romney's December 6 speech in which he professed "that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind," but added, "My church's beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history."
Fehrnstrom said some people consider only evangelical churches to be Christian. "There are other people who feel that 'Christian' applies to all who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind," Fehrnstrom said. "Governor Romney's church teaches precisely that."
Minnery made the comments in videos titled "Focus Action ...1