Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell proved again yesterday just how irresponsible the GOP leadership is willing to be in its quest to regain control of Capitol Hill. In appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” McConnell refused to state clearly that President Obama is a Christian.

Host David Gregory asked McConnell about last week’s Pew poll showing that nearly a third of Republicans believe Obama is Muslim. Gregory had to ask the question twice, insistently, in order to get McConnell to address the poll at all. Where do the Republican Party faithful get this false notion about Obama’s faith, Gregory asked. McConnell’s answer said it all: “The president says he’s a Christian. I take him at his word. I don’t think that’s in dispute.”

Except it is in fact in dispute, sadly. And it’s considered a legitimate dispute precisely because the right’s leadership continues to say things like “I take him at his word” on the subject of the president’s plainly established faith.

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