Ed Rollins is Mike Huckabee's National Campaign Chairman. Appearing on this evening's Hardball, the renowned political consultant declined to say that Romney's religion wasn't relevant to the campaign. For good measure, Rollins suggested that a senior Romney aide is . . . an atheist.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Does faith bring you guys together or separate you?
ED ROLLINS: Well, first of all, you and I are Catholics and Ron [Kaufman, senior Romney aide], are you still an atheist or have you basically converted, now that you're rich?
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CHRIS MATTHEWS: We've had a Mark Penn moment on this show already, we don't need another one.
ROLLINS: He's my very dear friend.
MATTHEWS: I know, but you just accused him of being an atheist.
And a bit later . . .
MATTHEWS: Relevant to this campaign, is there any religious difference between Romney and Huckabee. Relevant to this campaign, is there a religious difference? Ed Rollins, you know exactly what I'm asking.
ROLLINS: I know exactly what you're asking and I think the bottom line is that the voters themselves will make that decision.
MATTHEWS: Whoa! Whoa! Ron Kaufman, he just dodged on the question whether there's a religious difference between the two candidates in what they're offering in terms of policy.
For whatever reason, Kaufman chose to change the subject. But Rollins couldn't have made it more clear that the Huckabee campaign has decided to leave the religion card on the table.