Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the highest ranking elected Jewish leader in Congress, said Tuesday he doesn't believe religion should be a key factor in choosing a GOP nominee for president.
Asked about the recent controversy sparked by a Texas pastor who stated he believed one should vote for Christian over non-Christian candidates, Cantor said "I don't know what to say to that, other than to say if people view that as their driving factor then this country is one that affords all of us to practice our faith."
But Cantor made it clear he didn't believe a candidate's faith should be a disqualifying factor.
"Obviously I don't think that one's religion is demonstrative of anything other than that is their faith. And you look to see their record and how they're affected by their moral values, and if those moral values come from their faith."
Rev. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Dallas, caused a stir last week when he referred to Mormonism as a "cult "and said Christians should support other Christian candidates. Jeffress endorsed Texas Governor Rick Perry for president at a conference of conservatives in Washington and said Republicans should not vote for former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. Another GOP presidential hopeful, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, is also a Mormon.
Jeffress: I'm not 'Rick Perry's Jeremiah Wright'