Posted Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, at 12:50 PM
The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer didn't appreciate being dissed by Mitt Romney. The GOP's frontrunner distanced himself from whatever Fischer was saying before he even spoke. It struck Fischer, as "tasteless," he said. Plus, when he talked about religion, and said the next president needed to share the faith of the foundes, he wasn't talking about Romney.
"I was not thinking about any particular candidates when I wrote that part of my speech," he told me. "Mormonism is outside the mainstream of Christian orthodoxy. That's not pejorative. That's not a slam. It's just a statement of historical fact." That said, "I think as people become more and more familiar with the substance of Mormon teaching, it raises question about the judgment of that person." What specifically? Fischer shifted the conversation: "My main concern with Gov. Romney is not that he's a Mormon. It's that he's not Mormon enough!"
He spoke some more about the in-person diss, saying Romney's team "cleared out" the green room, making sure he didn't talk to him.
Another question: From the stage, Fischer made an odd-sounding comment, saying that the lack of terrorist attacks since 9/11 was a result of "prayer" -- in the 7th inning stretch of many baseball games, Americans had started singing "God Bless America." I asked why this didn't prevent the Fort Hood attack.
"We have not had mass casualties," he said, "and we've had literally dozens of these Islamic terrorist attacks that have been stopped or frustrated. Fort Hood happened because of political correctness."
Later, he got another question about this, and expanded on the answer.