SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) — Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and his LDS faith, have been put under a microscope this presidential election; possibly the harshest attack yet coming from MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.
O'Donnell criticized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Tuesday saying, "Mormonism was created by a guy in upstate New York in 1830 when he got caught having sex with the maid and explained to his wife that God told him to do it. Forty-eight wives later, Joseph Smith's lifestyle was completely sanctified in the religion he invented to go with it. Which Mitt Romney says he believes."
We showed the clip to several people in downtown Salt Lake City to get their reaction. Mark Zand said, “That’s a very bias take on Mormonism.” Ron Crapo couldn’t hold back his surprise, “That’s astonishing I’ve never heard any allegation like that before.”
But this isn’t the first time O’Donnell has challenged Romney or his religion. He also attacked Mormonism in 2007 following Romney’s speech about being Mormon and his belief in Jesus Christ.
"This was the worst political speech of my lifetime, because this man stood there and said to you ‘this is the faith of my fathers.' And you and none of these commentators who liked this speech realized that the faith of his fathers is a racist faith,” said O’Donnell. “As of 1978 it was an officially racist faith, and for political convenience in 1978, it switched."
While some say O’Donnell’s critical look at faith is just politics, others say it’s hate speech and should not be protected.