A well-connected McCain supporter is circulating the news that, in 1992, Romney gave $250 to the campaign of former Rep. Dick Swett (D-NH). That Romney would donate to a Democratic member of Congress two years before his own Republican Senate bid is interesting - and has been trafficked about a bit on blogs in recent months. More notable is what is below the surface. Like Romney, the source notes, Swett is a Mormon.
"Some activists are beginning to wonder: does Mitt support Mormons over Republicans?" muses this person.
Romney's policy reversals have been attacked with vigor by the McCain team, both publicly and privately, but such comments mark the first time that Romney's faith has been invoked. The prospect of a Mormon president has been the subject of much debate recently, and is likely to continue, but such conversations have been limited to intellectuals and blogger-pundits. That they have seemingly moved into the active political sphere could be a portent of the intense battle to come this year for the GOP nomination.
Asked to respond, Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said: "A $250 contribution made almost 15 years ago is, obviously, greatly overshadowed by strong conservative governing and a proud, Republican record of balanced budgets and pro-family advocacy."