PHOENIX — Embattled Gov. Evan Mecham, who is fighting a recall campaign charging him with racial insensitivity, faced new criticism today for telling a synagogue breakfast the United States is "a great Christian nation."
Rabbi David Mayer, who invited Mecham to address his congregation Sunday, said the Republican governor's remarks were a "disgrace" and "extremely insulting to all minority religions."
During his talk, the governor was asked whether he said at a ceremony in September to mark the 200th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution that the United States is a Christian nation.
According to Mayer, Mecham replied, "I said it, and I'll say it again."
The governor has been quietly visiting churches throughout the Phoenix area on Sundays. Facing a vigorous recall effort, Mecham has been accused of making insulting remarks about blacks, Hispanics, women and homosexuals.