The topic of Mitt Romney's Mormon faith has finally made its way into the 2012 Republican race for president, as a pastor who is a big supporter of Rick Perry called Mormonism a "cult."
Dallas Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress introduced Perry at the Value Voter Summit last Friday, and then later told reporters that the Mormon religion is a "cult."
Jeffress is not backing down amid a firestorm of criticism, telling Fox News on Sunday that Mormons have "never been considered a part of mainstream Christianity." He did, however, point out a difference between a "sociological" and "theological" cult.
"Mormonism was invented 1800 years after Jesus Christ and the founding of Christianity, and it has its own founder, Joseph Smith, its own set of doctrines and its own book, the Book of Mormon. And that, by definition, is a theological cult, that's all I'm saying."
Romney bashed Jeffress during his appearance at the summit on Saturday.
"Poisonous language doesn’t advance our cause. It’s never softened a single heart or changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate. We should remember that decency and civility are values too," Romney said.
Jeffress did add that he doesn't dislike Romney enough that he would support President Obama over Romney if he wins the GOP nod.