The view that only a “person of faith” is qualified to serve in high political office that I don’t know if there’s any point in criticizing Mitt Romey for expressing it. I recall when Joe Lieberman was running on the ticket with Al Gore and said all atheists are immoral . It seems pretty clear that political consultants think the smart play for non-Christian candidates is to try and whip up anti-atheist sentiment to bridge the gap. This is why Romney’s going to wind up getting a lot of odd questions about the details of his approach to Mormonism.
Christian candidates usually just let the whole issue go unsaid, trusting in the occassional “God Bless America” to express solidarity with Christian sentiment in the electorate. The Romney/Lieberman approach, however, requires the non-Christian candidate to explicitly cite the fact of his deep religious faith as a qualification for office. In Lieberman’s case, he had the advantage of his deep faith being more obviously sincere than in Romney’s case and the fact that though Judaism denies the truth of Christianity it doesn’t try to replace it in the way that Mormonism does.