Romney asks Perry to disavow pastor; Perry says no

October 11, 2011 - 3:55 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney is calling on Texas Gov. Rick Perry to disavow comments from an evangelical pastor who says Romney isn't a Christian and that Mormons belong to a cult. But Perry is refusing to do so.

The Perry campaign says the Texas governor disagrees with the pastor, Robert Jeffress of Dallas, who endorsed Perry's presidential bid and introduced him ahead of a speech to cultural conservatives in Washington.

Jeffress contrasted Perry's religion with Romney's, and in comments to reporters called Mormonism "a cult" and said Romney is "not a Christian."

Romney calls that kind of language divisive and wants Perry to, in Romney's words, "repudiate the sentiment and the remarks."

A spokesman for Perry says Romney's comments are political rhetoric that won't create one new job.