Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney says the Reverend Al Sharpton made a "bigoted" remark earlier this week when Sharpton said voters who "believe in God" will defeat Romney, who is running for president.
"I think it was a very unfortunate choice of words on his part. I don’t know what he was thinking at the time…It was a very unfortunate and un-American thing to say," Romney says.
Sharpton later said he wasn’t questioning Romney’s Mormon background. Romney’s not buying Sharpton’s explanation. "I think it was a bigoted statement and I have no interest in seeing bigoted statements about my faith or anyone else’s faith put into the public discourse," Romney says.
Sharpton was among the leading critics of radio talk show host Don Imus for making racially insensitive remarks and Sharpton demanded that Imus be fired.
In this latest squabble, Sharpton issued a statement this week accusing Romney of trying to "fabricate a controversy" to help his campaign.
Romney campaigned in Iowa Wednesday, with a mid-day stop in Clear Lake and an evening town hall meeting in Ames.
Click on the audio link below to hear Romney’s comments from a news conference in Ames.