Axelrod says Romney’s Mormon religion off-limits

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WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John A. Boehner dismissed as “nonsense” a proposed GOP campaign attack on President Obama’s past association with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., as well as a Democratic fundraising effort that followed.

“This kind of nonsense shouldn’t happen,” said Boehner on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “The election is going to be about the economy and getting Americans back to work. And I think Gov. Romney’s prescriptions are much better.”

The role of the harsh attack ads -- this one over the delicate topic of religion -- reared this week after the New York Times disclosed a proposal from conservative strategists to wage an ad blitz against Obama, linking him to the controversial remarks from Wright, his former pastor in Chicago.

At the same time, Obama campaign senior advisor David Axelrod said Sunday that Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion was off-limits in Democratic strategies for the campaign.

“We’ve said that’s not fair game,” Axelrod said onCNN’s”State of the Union with Candy Crowley.” “And we wish that Gov. Romney would stand up as strongly and as resolutely consistently to refute these kinds of things on his side. Instead he’s amplified them in the past. And he’s put logs on that fire. And that’s not leadership.”

When the GOP proposal from a “super PAC” emerged last week, Romney was quick to distance himself from the conservative group.

“I want to make it very clear I repudiate that effort,” Romney told reporters at a campaign stop in Jacksonville, Fla., our colleagues reported.

“I think it’s the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign. I hope that our campaigns can respectively be about the future, and about issues and about a vision for America.”

The Democratic campaign committee working to regain the majority in the House seized on the proposed ad in an appeal to voters.