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Michael Steele And Mitt Romney Trade Barbs Over Mormonism

Michael Steele is fighting with more Republicans. This time it's with Mitt Romney: In an unusual move for the person tasked with being his party's

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Michael Steele is fighting with more Republicans. This time it's with Mitt Romney:

In an unusual move for the person tasked with being his party's top cheerleader, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is shining a light on the political vulnerabilities of one of the GOP's top figures and a likely frontrunner for the 2012 Republican nomination — former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Now Romney's team is hitting back.

Steele, guest-hosting on Bill Bennett's radio show Friday, cast doubt on Romney's conservative bona fides and blamed the Republican base for rejecting Romney last year because "it had issues with Mormonism" and was unsure of Romney's commitment to opposing to abortion rights. Those comments aren't sitting too well with Romney's political team.

"Sometimes when you shoot from the hip, you miss the target," said Romney spokesman Eric Ferhnstrom. "This is one of those times."

Romney's Mormonism was a turn-off to some of the religious right. Remember when Focus on the Family took down an interview with Glenn Beck because he's a Mormon?

Colorado-based Focus on the Family pulled an online interview with conservative television host Glenn Beck after concerns were raised about Beck's Mormon faith.

Gary Schneeberger, vice president of media and public relations for Focus on the Family Action, said that "differences in the Mormon faith and the historical evangelical faith are not inconsequential."

Beck's interview with CitizenLink.org, Focus on the Family Action's Web site, touched on his Christmas memories and his recent best-selling book, "The Christmas Sweater."

On Dec. 22, Underground Apologetics, a Wisconsin-based group dedicated to helping Christians "defend their faith," criticized Focus on the Family for not mentioning Beck's membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in its online interview.

"While Glenn's social views are compatible with many Christian views, his beliefs in Mormonism are not.

Check out the book by Jon Krakauer called Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith if you want to learn a bit about Mormon beliefs. I'm reading it now and it's intense. Many people don't know anything about their beliefs or practices and the fundamentalists that it spawns.

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