Writing at MyManMitt, Jason Bonham notes that the speech Drudge linked to today (in which Huckabee said, "I hope we ... take this nation back for Christ"), took place at a convention in Salt Lake City where some Baptists were seeking to convert Mormons.
According to Bonham:
... I hope Huckabee supporters realize asking for unity in the party is a tough sell for a candidate who speaks at Anti-Mormon conventions about taking this country back for Jesus. It's a little insulting.Of course, this opens the door to all sorts of questions. For example, if it is offensive for Baptists to travel to Utah to proselytize Mormons, is it also offensive when Mormons knock on a Baptists door, in say, Arkansas?
When asked to clarify, Bonham told me:
"My point is not the Baptist faith but rather the forum a then sitting Gov. Huckabee chose to speak at. I am pretty positive there are Mormons in Arkansas he represented at the time of the speech, yet this was acceptable."Either way, it is unfortunate that this race is clearly getting nasty. As I've noted recently, since becoming a frontrunner, Mike Huckabee has endured daily attacks on his religious positions -- attacks that would not be tolerated were he of another religion.
So who is to blame? MyManMitt's Justin Hart weighs-in, via email:
"I might add that Mormons aren't the least interested in making this about a war of religions. The tension seems to be coming from one side of the equation."Regardless of who is to blame, this, of course, is not good for the GOP. Never mind so-cons vs. fiscal cons, now there's going to be a fracture among the conservative religious base, too??? No wonder Republicans like to pick the standard-bearer so far in advance ...
Update: Huckabee's Director of Research, Joe Carter, emails me this:
I have to agree with my friend Justin Hart who said, “The tension seems to be coming from one side of the equation." Indeed, it’s the side that keeps emailing this type of thing to reporters and bloggers in the hopes that they can make this about a candidate’s religion rather than about their positions on the issues.