In an interview with CNN.com, a North Carolina Democrat predicted trouble for Mitt Romney because of polygamy — a practice the candidate's church hasn't practiced in more than a century.
Rep. Alma Adams, who serves as chairwoman of the Legislative Black Caucus in the North Carolina General Assembly, said Romney will struggle for support among social conservatives in the state who voted to support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage last week.
"If they look at that awful ballot amendment, and they compare that with his faith, I don't think people will be OK with it," Adams said. "From what I understand about the Mormon faith you can have multiple wives. That's sort of a contradiction. There are questions about who Romney is and what he believes in terms of that particular issue."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stopped practicing polygamy in 1890, and the practice is considered sinful in modern Mormonism. Polygamists are excommunicated from the Mormon Church.
In 2007, Romney said in an interview that he couldn't "imagine anything more awful than polygamy."
Adams's comments represent the second time in the past month that a Democrat has invoked polygamy in discussing Romney. In April, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer went out of his way in an interview to point out that Romney's father was "born on a polygamy commune in Mexico.” The elder Romney was born in a Mexican settlement founded by Mormon polygamists in the 19th century, but he was in a monogamous marriage.
UPDATE: Adams apologized for her remarks. Her statement:
"I want to apologize in no uncertain terms for my comments on Mitt Romney and the Mormon faith. I recognize there is no place in our public or political discourse for such comments, I regret making them and am sorry for any hurt or misunderstanding they may have caused."
McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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