In a debate with brilliant contrarian atheist Chris Hitchens on Monday at the New York Public Library’s Beaux-Arts headquarters, Rev. Al Sharpton made an interesting comment about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"As for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don’t worry about that, that’s a temporary – that’s a temporary situation," Sharpton said.
The debate was covered in the New York Times blog Empire Zone HERE and you can listen to the whole debate HERE at the New York Public Library website.
Romney called Sharpton’s remark "a bigoted comment."
"It shows that bigotry still exists in some corners," said Romney. "I thought it was a most unfortunate comment to make."
As for whether Sharpton is a bigot, Romney said, "I don’t know Reverend Sharpton. I doubt he is personally such a thing, but the comment was a comment which could be described as a bigoted comment."
Over at the liberal Huffington Post, John Ridley CALLS Sharpton a "hate-mongering hypocrite."
But Sharpton takes issue with how his remarks are being interpreted.
"In no way did I attack Mormons or the Mormon Church when I responded that other believers, not atheists, would vote against Mr. Romney for purely political reasons," Sharpton told the AP Tuesday. "What I said was that we would defeat him, meaning as a Republican," Sharpton said. "A Mormon, by definition, believes in God. They don’t believe in God the way I do, but by definition, they believe in God."
What do you think? Was Sharpton Mormon-baiting?