Texas Gov. Rick Perry has apparently learned the hard way that in a high-stakes presidential campaign, you’re not just accountable for what you and your campaign staff say, you’re also accountable for what your supporters say.
According to Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, Perry should address an emerging media frenzy about one of his supporters, Rev. Robert Jeffress, who at the Values Voter Summit on Friday denounced former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s candidacy due to his adherence to Mormonism, which he called “a cult.”
Krauthammer expects to hear questions about Romney’s religion at Tuesday night’s GOP debate.
“I think there will be as much abundance of questions about this as there was a scarcity questions about Barack Obama’s association with the racist, anti-Semitic Jeremiah Wright in 2008,” Krauthammer said.
Krauthammer stressed that Perry is now connected with Jeffress, and said that the candidate now must publicly rebuke the reverend. “It isn’t quite enough to say he doesn’t agree,” Krauthammer said. “Like it or not, he’s associated with the Rev. Jeffress.”
The proper course of action, according to Krauthammer: Perry should shun Jeffress.
“I think Jon Huntsman is right when he said today – he’s also a Mormon – that the correct response from Gov. Perry should be to break with Rev. Jeffress,” said Krauthammer.