Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Tuesday called on fellow candidate Rick Perry to renounce an anti-Mormon Dallas pastor who he had chosen to introduce him at last week's Values Voter Summit.
"Gov. Perry selected an individual to introduce him who then used religion as a basis for which he said he would endorse Gov. Perry, and a reason not to support me," Romney explained at a news conference ahead of Tuesday's debate.
"I just don't believe that kind of divisiveness based on religion has a place in this country... I would call on Gov. Perry to repudiate the sentiment and the remarks made by that pastor."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who was on hand at the news conference to announce his support of Romney, agreed that religious bigotry had no place in the presidential race.
"These type of religious matters have nothing to do with the quality of somebody's ability to lead," Christie said. "Any campaign that associates itself with that type of conduct is beneath the office of the president of the United States."
Within moments of the conclusion of that news conference, a Perry spokesman told The Associated Press that the Texas governor was refusing to disassociate himself with Jeffress.