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Former White House strategist Steve Bannon blasted Mitt Romney's decision to go on a Mormon mission instead of serving in the military. The reaction from prominent Utah Republicans was swift and savage.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch verbally slammed Bannon, saying the attack on Romney's faith was "disappointing and unjustified." From Politico:

“Steve Bannon’s attacks on Governor Romney and his service are disappointing and unjustified,” the Utah Republican said in a statement. “Mitt is a close personal friend, an honest leader, a great American, and someone who has sought every opportunity possible to serve our country.”

 

Utah’s other senator, Republican Mike Lee, also hammered Bannon’s rebuke of Romney.

 

“Mitt Romney is a good man,” Lee tweeted on Wednesday. “Whether you agree or disagree with him on any matter of public policy, you can’t credibly call into question his patriotism or moral character — especially on the basis of his religious beliefs or his outstanding service as a missionary.”

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert was less reserved, calling Bannon's attack "Mormon bigotry."