Sen. Orrin Hatch expects Mitt Romney's Mormon faith to become an issue in the 2012 general election campaign.
According to Politico, Hatch told a group of supporters that he expects the Obama campaign to play the religion card against Romney, but he expects the tactic to backfire.
Speaking to a group of GOP delegates at a campaign stop Tuesday, the six-term Republican incumbent warned, "You watch, they're going to throw the Mormon church at him like you can't believe."
Asked to elaborate in an interview later, Hatch fingered campaign adviser David Axelrod and White House aide David Plouffe as the masterminds who would insert the issue into the campaign.
"Let me tell you something. The Obama people have some of the best political consultants in the country and they don't get there because they're always wonderful people. They're very tough. I have respect for them. They're very tough. I've met with Axelrod, he's the best there is in the business. Plouffe, you've got to say he's one of the best. And there is nothing they won't do," Hatch asserted.
Hatch went even as far to say he thought the duo had already played the religion card against the likely GOP nominee, but failed to point to any evidence of it.