Add Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, a Romney supporter and fellow Mormon, to the list of those urging the former Massachusetts governor to deliver a “Mormon speech.”
The AP has these quotes from Hatch, given in an interview after the Senator’s appearance at Utah Valley State College, in which he made similar comments:
“There’s a concern that his religious beliefs might interfere with serving all people. There’s no question they do not,” said Hatch, also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “He needs to put that problem to bed.”
“All Mitt has to do is make it very clear that he’s his own man. … He doesn’t tell the Mormon church what to do but neither does the Mormon church tell him what to do,” Hatch told AP.
“I’ve been in the Senate for 31 years,” he added. “I have yet to have the leadership of my faith tell me what to do.”
But God-o-Meter questions whether Romney’s job is quite so easy as Hatch makes it sound. As E.J. Dionne has pointed out, Romney’s challenge is to assuage concerns that his Mormonism is out an out-of-the mainstream and would be a dangerous influence on his decision even as he assures the GOP’s religious conservative base that his faith does indeed shape his thinking. How do you, Sen. Hatch–or valued God-o-Meter reader–propose he does that?