WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is taking on GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney over his criticism of President Barack Obama’s birth control coverage mandate.

Press secretary Jay Carney says Romney is an “odd messenger” to be attacking Obama over the issue. The mandate requires that church-affiliated employers such as hospitals or charities provide birth control coverage even if it runs counter to their religious beliefs.

Romney has accused Obama of an “assault on religion” over the issue. But Carney says a virtually identical policy is in place in Massachusetts, where Romney served as governor, and that it’s ironic for Romney to criticize Obama over it.

The rule is causing an election-year furor for Obama. Carney says the White House wants to search for ways to address Catholics’ concerns.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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