>When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spouted off on a conference call with reporters that he agrees with an opinion piece saying Mitt Romney isn't the "face of Mormonism" and has "sullied" the faith they share, it apparently wasn't something President Barack Obama's campaign had planned.
"Sen. Reid speaks for himself," the Obama campaign said in a statement to The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday, nearly a week after Reid rattled off a litany of things he disagrees with Romney about.
Reid's initial comments on Romney's Mormonism - now making the waves on cable news stations - were made on a call organized by Obama For America, the president's re-election committee, in advance of Romney visit to Nevada.
Romney is the first Mormon heading a major-party presidential ticket and Reid the highest-ranking LDS adherent in elected office, and the two have been at odds during the campaign. Most recently, Reid accused - without providing proof - that Romney hadn't paid taxes in the last decade, a point Reid later back-tracked on.
Earlier this week, Fox News asked Romney about Reid's Mormon comments, and the ex-Massachusetts governor said the senator can say what he'd like: "This isn't a race about Harry Reid."
The Obama campaign has stated from the outset that it wouldn't pull Romney's faith into the debate.
"We've said that's not fair game," senior adviser David Axelrod told CNN's State of the Union in May.
-- Thomas Burr
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