Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is joking that he won't bring up faith in a debate with fellow Mormon and rival for the Republican presidential nomination Mitt Romney.

Their Mormon faith became a flashpoint during the contest after a supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry likened it to a "cult." Romney has called on Perry "to repudiate the sentiment and the remarks made by that pastor;" Perry has refused.

Huntsman opened his question during Monday night's debate on the economy by promising not to interject the issue. He then turned to Perry and chuckled, "Sorry, Rick."

Evangelical Christians are skeptical about Mormons and proved a hurdle during Romney's first presidential run in 2008.

The candidates made their comments at Dartmouth College during the Bloomberg-Washington Post debate among Republican presidential contenders.