- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 20, 2012

President Obama’s senior adviser on Sunday pledged that the Democratic campaign won’t target Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.

“We’ve said that’s not fair game,” said David Axelrod, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The declaration came three days after Mr. Romney repudiated plans by Republican donors and super PACs to launch a $10 million ad campaign tying Mr. Obama to his controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, known for fiery condemnations of the United States and its policies delivered from behind the pulpit.

Despite Mr. Romney’s calling such a strategy “the wrong course” for his campaign or outside groups sympathetic to the GOP, some Democratic strategists have suggested in recent days that the Obama re-election team should respond by making Mormonism a campaign issue.

Both sides now have promised that religion will be off-limits in the campaign, but Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday that the Obama team actually would be happy to have Mr. Wright or Mr. Romney’s faith take center stage, since it would provide a distraction from the struggling economy or the nation’s stubborn unemployment rate.

Mr. Obama “can’t change the truth and escape the reality of where we are in this American economy,” Mr. Priebus said during an appearance on “State of the Union.”