The video has been a hot topic on Twitter since being uploaded
to YouTube on Wednesday. Alyssa Milano has tweeted it to her 2.2 million followers, famed atheist Richard Dawkins, and film critic Roger Ebert and Graham Linehan, the Irish TV writer behind hit U.K. comedy The IT Crowd, have posted it, as well.
Taped during Romney's first presidential run on Aug. 4, 2007 as part of an "ask anything" tour.
The five-minute video features Romney defending his views to conservative radio host Jan Mickelson who had challenged the candidate on air regarding his stance on abortion, saying he violated his religious beliefs because he was not pro-life from the beginning.
Thus begins the fiery conversation about Romney's faith that continues after the show concludes its national broadcast, THR
As the Blaze
noted, the discussion is particularly noteworthy because it unfolded during a commercial break and was, thus, somewhat more forthright and unscripted than are many theological and political debates.
"Throughout the Bible, Christ appears in Jerusalem, splits the Mount of Olives to stop the war that's coming in to kill all the Jews. Our Church believes that," Romney presses, then explains how he reconciles his personal beliefs with his politics.
"I'm not running to talk about Mormonism," the agitated candidate later says before getting up from his chair and heading toward the exit.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remains neutral in political affairs, asking members of the church to be knowledgeable and responsible citizens of the community and to engage and participate in civic affairs. The Church does not "endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms."
"Elected officials who are Latter-day Saints make their own decisions and may not necessarily be in agreement with one another or even with a publicly stated Church position," the Church said in a prepared statement, according to KSL
. "While the Church may communicate its views to them, as it may to any other elected official, it recognizes that these officials still must make their own choices based on their judgment and with consideration of the constituencies whom they were elected to represent."
Kevin Madden, a top Romney adviser, told the Boston Globe
that Romney’s Mormon faith is an important window for voters in understanding him.
“The governor’s faith is part of who he is,” Madden said.