DES MOINES, Iowa - Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee apologized to Mitt Romney yesterday for saying: "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asked the question in an article to be published Sunday in the New York Times, which released his quote Tuesday. Romney, who is vying to become the first Mormon elected president, retorted that "attacking someone's religion is really going too far."

Yesterday, Huckabee said he had asked an innocent question during a lengthy conversation and was shocked to see it taken out of context.

"I was horrified when I read that, and I apologized to Mitt Romney, because first of all, I don't think that his being a Mormon or not being a Mormon has a thing to do with his being president," the former Arkansas governor said.

Huckabee said Romney had responded graciously to his apology, which he offered after the Republican presidential debate.

A spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kim Farah, said Huckabee's question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine. She said Mormons believe that God is the father of all.

- AP

Edwards' star power

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Actor and film director Tim Robbins came to Iowa yesterday to praise John Edwards - and bury the media.

"I'm not Oprah," he said, by way of introduction to a packed library auditorium.

Robbins said the former North Carolina senator had been overlooked as journalists focused on the clash between fellow Democratic candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

With Bill Clinton campaigning for his wife and Oprah Winfrey doing the same for Obama, celebrity sightings are becoming increasingly common on the campaign trail. Actor Kevin Bacon was due to join Edwards later this week. Singer-songwriters Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt are to perform at Edwards' town meetings in New Hampshire next week.

- AP