Huckabee's low blow
You have to wonder why someone who's been doing well in the polls would sink to attacking another person's faith, but that's what Huckabee's done in an interview with the New York Times, (to be published this Sunday).
In the interview, when questioned about his thoughts on Romney's Mormon faith, Huckabee says, "Don't Mormon's believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers?".
For his part, Romney said that "attacking someone's religion is really going too far"
"But I think attacking someone's religion is really going too far. It's just not the American way, and I think people will reject that," Romney told NBC's "Today" show.
Asked if he believed Huckabee was speaking in a coded language to evangelicals, Romney praised his rival as a "good man trying to do the best he can," but he added, "I don't believe that the people of this country are going to choose a person based on their faith and what church they go to."
The WaPo has an article on the story, noting the position of the LDS Church in Salt Lake:
The authoritative Encyclopedia of Mormonism, published in 1992, does not refer to Jesus and Satan as brothers. It speaks of Jesus as the son of God and of Satan as a fallen angel, which is a Biblical account.
A spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Huckabee's question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine.
"We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all," said the spokeswoman, Kim Farah. "That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for."
Hugh Hewitt comments:
No word yet on whether the former Arkansas governor asked if the Jews killed Jesus or if Catholics pray to Mary as a god.
When your campaign is in trouble, it is better to focus on the trouble and fix, not set it ablaze.
For a candidate who's been trading on being the quiet, well-spoken, "nice guy" in the race, this comes off as desperate. So what's up? Well, here's the breakdown of the latest Strategic Vision poll, via MSNBC:
Huckabee and Obama continue to lead in Iowa according to a new Strategic Vision (R) poll which will be released tomorrow. On the Democratic side, Obama leads with 33% of the vote and Clinton and Edwards are statistically tied for second with 25% and 24%. Biden and Richardson each received 4%.
On the Republican side, Huckabee leads with 30% while Romney has 25%. Thompson came in third with 13% followed by Giuliani with 10% and McCain with 5%. The poll was conducted December 8 to 10 with 600 people from each party. The margin of error is 4.5%.
In other words, it looks like his lead is diminishing, which I'm guessing has something to do with the hits he's been taking on his positions on taxes and immigration lately.
(full disclosure: I'm on the Romney bandwagon!)