Bryan Fischer, the head of the American Family Association, have repeatedly attacked Mitt Romney‘s Mormon religion. Given the opportunity to respond to Fischer’s constant claims about his beliefs, Romney used a small part of his speech at the Values Voters Summit last week to briefly address the situation. Although the Republican presidential hopeful did not call Fischer by name, Fischer came out swinging after hearing what Romney said.
So what did Romney say at the podium that ruffled the feathers of Mr. Fischer?
We should remember that decency and civility are values too. One of the speakers who will follow me today has crossed that line I think. Poisonous language doesn’t advance our cause. It’s never soften a single heart or change a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate. The task before us is to focus on the conservative beliefs and the values that unite us. Let no agenda narrow our vision or drive us apart.
Bryan Fischer was besides himself. How dear Romney say these things about him? Below is Fischer’s response, as recorded on his radio show;
It was just an odd thing to me, it was just bizarre because I did not think that Mitt Romney would fall for the bait. I mean, the Left was trying to goad him into attacking me and I didn’t think he would do it – I thought he had too much class for that. What he did was completely and utterly lacking in class. It was tacky, it was impolite, it was rude, he insulted his host in the presence of the guests; the host who had made it possible for him to speak to the pro-family community. I just thought he had more class than that.
When I came out into the main lobby outside of the room where we were meeting, I was just besieged by the media, just inundated, enveloped with media. I had never experienced anything like that before and the only reason was because Mitt Romney attacked me. So they wanted to know what I thought about that and I explained that I thought it was pretty tacky, I thought it was unpresidential of him to do that. And they said “when Governor Romney was referring to your ‘poisonous language,’ what was he talking about?’ I said “I have absolutely no idea.”
Jesus used poisonous language. He was the one who referred to the Pharisees as a brood of vipers. I’ve never said that about anyone. I mean, Jesus used far more incendiary and inflammatory language than I have ever used.