Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar doesn’t mince words in responding to the latest attack on him by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson over President Bush’s judicial nominations. Salazar, who has been viewed to date as a centrist whom the Republicans could rely upon to cross party lines, has not only put his foot down on this issue, but come out swinging:

“Focus on the Family has been hijacking Christianity and has become a wing of the Republican Party,” Salazar said after a news conference. “They’re using Christianity and religion in a very unprincipled way.”

Salazar opposes the “nuclear option”

“What this nuclear option is all about is an attempt to break the rules,” Salazar said. “People think they can break the rules because they have the keys to the kingdom all in the hands of one party.”

Salazar’s response comes as Dobson’s group has launched an ad campaign targeting Salazar for his position on judges.

You can view the anti-Salazar ad here. (pdf) Then you can call Senator Salazar’s office to thank him. His number is (202) 224-5852.