Were you, like God-o-Meter, wondering why Mitt Romney appeared to be tripped up by a question about whether every word in the Bible is true during Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate? The New York Times Caucus Blog sheds some light on the answer.First off, the exchange between Romney and debate host Anderson Cooper:MR. ROMNEY: I believe the Bible is the word of God, absolutely. (Applause.) And I try to live by it as well as I can, but I miss in a lot of ways. But it’s a guide for my life and for hundreds of millions, billions of people around the world. I believe in the Bible. MR. COOPER: Does that mean you believe every word? MR. ROMNEY: You know — yeah, I believe it’s the word of God. The Bible is the word of God. I mean, I might interpret the word differently than you interpret the word, but I read the Bible and I believe the Bible is the word of God. I don’t disagree with the Bible. I try to live by it. And The Times’ explanation:

…[A]ll evangelicals place a high emphasis on the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible, even if they do not necessarily believe it is completely without error.On the other hand, Mormons believe categorically that the Bible contains errors, so Mr. Romney may have tripped himself up when he blurted out that he did believe in every word.

Was Romney hinting at the distinct Mormon view of the Bible by saying he “might interpret the word differently than you interpret the word?” Or was he trying to curry favor with evangelical Christians by blurring the line between Mormon and evangelical theology, saying “the Bible is the word of God?” God-o-Meter will only say that if Romney is pursuing this later path, it’s a dangerous one, threatening to upset both evangelicals and Mormons.6

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