He may be too extreme for West Point and George W. Bush, but apparently not for Mitt Romney. Politico reports today that the Republican presidential nominee met with retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, who is now a highly controversial anti-Islam activist, in a private conclave with four other social conservative leaders in Denver last week. The day after the meeting reportedly took place, Romney dodged a question on Rep. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government. “I’m not going to tell other people what things to talk about. Those are not things that are part of my campaign,” he said at a press availability about Bachmann’s allegations last Friday.
Boykin is best known for earning a public rebuke from President Bush himself in 2003 for his vitriolic anti-Islamic rhetoric. Boykin, in uniform at the time, gave a speech portraying the war against Islamist militants as a Christian struggle against Satan, and suggested that Muslims worship an ”idol” and not ”a real God.” Some Republican lawmakers spoke out against him, as well as the president, who said, Boykin’s opinions “didn’t reflect” his or the government’s views. A year later, a Department of Defense investigation determined that Boykin had violated three internal rules while delivering his controversial anti-Islamic speeches.