WASHINGTON – Utah Senate candidate and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in a Sunday evening tweet said he objects to Baptist minister Robert Jeffress speaking at the opening ceremony of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
Robert Jeffress says “you can’t be saved by being a Jew,“ and “Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.” He’s said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 14, 2018
Jeffress, 62, is an evangelical Christian and a strong supporter of President Donald Trump. Jeffress is a member of the White House faith initiative.
Jeffress has come under fire for statements he made in 2010 sermons about Judaism, Islam and the Mormon faith. Jeffress said practitioners of Judaism and Islam cannot receive salvation because they do not believe in Jesus. Jeffress said the Mormon faith is “wrong” and has suggested that its practitioners are not true Christians.
Romney is a devout Mormon. He frequently speaks out against religious and racial bigotry and anti-immigrant sentiment.
In a video announcing his Senate candidacy, Romney subtly blasted Trump’s arguably hard-line anti-immigration polices saying: “Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world-Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion.”
Trump endorsed Romney despite the contentious relationship the two have had.
Romney said of then-candidate Trump in a March 2016 speech: “Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing members of the American public for suckers.” Trump later fired back in a tweet that accused Romney of running a “horrible campaign.”
The embassy is set to open this afternoon. Its previous location was in Tel Aviv.
The move has outraged much of the Arab world. Jerusalem is internationally regarded as a divided city.