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Sunday, December 2, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 8:05 PM | permalink
“Governor Romney has made a decision to deliver a speech titled “Faith in America.”

“The governor has been invited to The George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas to deliver this address on Thursday, December 6.

“This speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the grand tradition religious tolerance has played in the progress of our nation and how the governor’s own faith would inform his Presidency if he were elected.

“Governor Romney understands that faith is an important issue to many Americans, and he personally feels this moment is the right moment for him to share his views with the nation.”

“Governor Romney personally made the decision to deliver this speech sometime last week.

“While identifying a venue for this address, the campaign consulted with President George H.W. Bush’s office last week about Governor Romney’s decision. President Bush was gracious enough to extend an invitation to deliver the speech at the presidential library.

“The invitation to speak at the presidential library is not an endorsement of Governor Romney’s campaign.

-Kevin Madden, Romney for President campaign spokesman
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It is opening up a whole can of worms that Romney by himself will not be able to defend. The voices in defense of religious liberty on this issue have been few and far between. For any of you Mormons out there, I'll describe it in way you can probably understand. You know how you have to get all quiet in order to hear that pin drop thing they do to show off the acoustics during guided tours of the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City? Well, if the entire media was a figurative Tabernacle, you'd almost be able to hear the pin drop with how quiet the voices in defense of Mitt Romney and Mormons will be after this speech. There will be no tsunami of Mormon defenders, just quiet cowards and loud anti-Mormon bigots left. How many times has Romney said that he is against abortion, and is it ever enough? For those who have a problem with Romney's faith, one speech will not be enough either. He should understand this too. As a Mormon missionary in France, he probably had to talk to people for months before they gave him the time of day. And did that even work? Well, how many people went through a spiritual conversion helped by their conversations with Elder Romney? My guess is not many. I know, the French are hard people. But so are American religious bigots!

If Romney was already the Republican nominee than the Republican National Committee would have his back and could immediately go on the attack against any potential anti-Mormon bigotry being spewed. But giving this speech now, who's going to have Mitt's back? What the RNC needs to do privately is get it through the heads of other candidates (and they all seem to understand this based on common courtesy except for Mike Up-Chuck-abee) that religious bigotry will not be accepted. The RNC must understand that the kind of religious bigotry that Mike Up-Chuck-abee is fomenting will come back to haunt them big time. If Up-Chuck-abee continues using anti-Mormon hate-mongering as a strategy to win the nomination, Mormons will remember and Mormons will refuse to vote for a ticket with such a bigot on it come November regardless of whether the Dem is Hillary or whoever else.

I think Romney's decision was finalized by Huckabee's surge in Iowa. Huckabee's surge has cannibalized all candidates except Romney. This is because the evangelical vote it splintered in all directions with the exeption of Romney. Romney's evangelical supporters have already come to terms with his religion and Huckabee's new-found legitimacy has not changed their support for Mitt. MH is attracting the support of evangelicals who were supporting the other candidates.

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