Romney Team Delays “Mormon Speech”

posted by dgilgoff

romney5.jpgAs outside pressure mounts on Mitt Romney to deliver a “Mormon speech” in the style of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 address on his Catholicism, the Romney campaign has reached an internal decision to delay such a speech at least until early next year, according to two campaign advisors.
“A lot of people were talking about doing it before Thanksgiving and the holidays, but then we moved up in the polls, including in South Carolina,” a senior Romney advisor tells Beliefnet. “So the thinking became that the timing [for a speech on religion] was not as rushed.”
Romney advisors say an internal debate about whether the former Massachusetts governor needs to deliver a speech on his religion has been playing out inside his campaign for several weeks, mostly between evangelical Christian advisors who are pro-speech and non-Christian conservatives who see less of a need for one.
“It might be that a speech is more appropriate for late in the primaries or for the general election,” said another Romney advisor. “Frankly, this is going to be a question of polling; if we’re doing well in Iowa and New Hampshire, and [Romney’s Mormonism] is not coming up as a divisive issue, maybe we should just stay the course, since winning in those early states is key.”
“I came onto the campaign with great conviction that the speech needed to happen immediately,” said this second advisor. “Now, I’m a little more hesitant.”
Both advisors requested anonymity so that they could speak candidly about internal campaign deliberations.
“There are some mainstream Republican advisors who aren’t as sensitive to the fact that there is hesitation among evangelicals, and that a speech addressing faith and politics would be helpful,” says a senior Romney advisor. “Romney is a great communicator and could address the sensitivities in a way that would be productive for voters.”
But the anti-speech faction has won the debate at least for the time being, arguing that such an address could be given only once, and that the news environment is too cluttered for one speech to break through in a lasting way. But perhaps the strongest argument against the speech is Romney’s success in early primary and caucus state polls.
At the same time, a growing chorus of political pundits and Romney supporters are calling for a “Mormon speech.” Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, a Mormon and a Romney supporter, said this week that “There’s a concern that [Romney’s] religious beliefs might interfere with serving all people…. He needs to put that problem to bed.”
“All he needs to do is address it like JFK did,” Hatch said in an interview with the Associated Press.
But the pro-speech faction inside the Romney campaign believes his task is more complex, since the thrust of Kennedy’s speech was that his Catholicism would not interfere with his actions as president, while the Christian conservatives Romney is trying to appeal to want their president to be influenced by his faith. “Romney would be doing something different,” from JFK, said a campaign advisor. “He would be embracing his faith and saying ‘It’s part of me,’ so it would be a new angle.”
Mark DeMoss, a prominent evangelical public relations specialist who is doing outreach to conservative Christians on Romney’s behalf, said he wasn’t convinced that a “Mormon speech” was necessary. “I don’t think it’s critical that he do it, nor am I advising that he not do it,” DeMoss said. “The reason I think it’s not necessarily imperative that he do it is that he’s talked a lot about his faith. It’s a very visible part of his life and he’s been transparent about it.”
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s recent rise in the Iowa polls, due largely to his success consolidating evangelical support there, would seem to increase pressure on Romney to deliver the speech. But campaign advisors say Romney’s strategy is to resist going after single-minded Christian conservatives who are unlikely to stray from Huckabee. Rather, the Romney campaign will spend the next few weeks hitting Huckabee on other issues, like immigration and taxes, which it believes are near and dear to most Christian conservatives.
Given the choice between an evangelical who is right on some of the issues versus who is right on all the issues, I’d rather go with the Mormon,” said a Romney advisor.
According to an opposition document leaked to Beliefnet from a Romney advisor, the campaign will also attempt to paint Huckabee as being weak on terror, as pardoning too many violent criminals as Arkansas governor, and as a weak candidate due to lack of fundraising.


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posted November 29, 2007 at 8:38 pm

I have yet to be told what Romney is supposed to say in such a speech that he hasn’t already said. It’s not at all clear to me why Romney needs to give a speech about his Mormon beliefs when Huckabee doesn’t need to give one about being a Baptist. What’s the difference, politically?

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David H. Sundwall

posted November 30, 2007 at 11:11 am

The difference is that the media and other critics will not let go of their obsession with Romney and his religion. Romney’s answered all these things over and over again. Yet the media keeps asking the same questions as if they never heard the answers.
Now that Huckabee has new-found prominence and viability, hopefully he’ll get the scrutiny he deserves as he’s running as the religious conservative who also happens to be not a Mormon. A not so subtle pitch that seems to be working Iowa.

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posted November 30, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Here’s Romney’s “Mormon Speech”
Huckabee quoted the Bible’s “Love thy neighbor” on the YouTube Debate, and Romney lives it!

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posted December 5, 2007 at 1:41 am

Well, we’ve heard all the white versions of why Romney’s Mormonism “shouldn’t matter.”
Of course Romney’s “Mormonism” matters, especially to people of color. The media doesn’t seem to pick up on the fact there’s overt RACISM in the Book of Mormon itself—and how that makes people of color feel watching this being swept aside as “no big deal.” Perhaps these pundits are ignorant to that fact or perhaps because they are white it doesn’t bother them. A very large portion of the Evangelical Christians are black and people of color. Christians don’t only denounce Mormonism because it is a cult, more specifically it’s because the Book of Mormon, which Mormons consider their “bible,” STILL contains overt racist “scriptures” against people with “dark skin.”
The Book of Mormon that Romney believes and supports, states that God curses certain individuals with dark skin; the races are determined by how worthy individuals were prior to this mortal life; and blacks were not as faithful in their first estate; that God cursed people with dark skin to keep them from interbreeding with their white brethren; and that God blessed some who repented with white skin. Nothing concerning the revelation in 1978 to give “all worthy males members” the priesthood invalidates or denounces those racist beliefs.
SOURCES: (Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:61-7; McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 527-8; Alma 3:6-9; 2 Ne. 5:21-4; and 3 Ne. 2:14-6).
http://www.mormoninfo.org/ MORMON RACIST DOCTRINE: http://www.realmormonhistory.com/god&skin.htm
Now, if Romney were to denounce the Book of Mormon, that would be a different story.
So next time anyone reports on why Evangelical Christians don’t accept Romney due to his Mormonism, be sure to include one of the biggest reasons: RACISM in the Book of Mormon. Otherwise, you’re just not reporting the whole truth.

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posted December 7, 2007 at 12:58 am

Having canvassed the reactions to Governor Romney’s speech on religion, we are issuing the following rating on his candidacy for President: http://www.godvoter.org/Mitt-Romney-rating.html.
The answers from the other candidates to our 30 questions will be posted online along with our ratings within the next 48-hours.

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posted January 19, 2008 at 5:28 am

The guy here talking about book of mormon being racist should read the book, for he hasn’t done so.
Book of mormon talks about how Christ wont forbit anyone to come unto him, neither white or black or male and female.
Book of mormon doesn’t mention anything about the pre-existence nor peoples ability to be obedient there, nor does any official church doctrine(mormon doctrine isn’t an official church doctrine book)
The curse for the lamanites was red skin as we know the indinas have, but the author of that particular book in the compilation of 15 books in the coleection of books known as book of mormon, said they had a skin of blackness to separete them. But God also chastises them(whites for theyr racist feelings and says that they(red skinned) will be more blessed and the whites cursed if they don’t stop theyr prejudices.
So the book of mormon gives a good moral teaching to our era where racial predujice is so common everywhere.
It was the christians who in america supported slavery by appealing to the bible, where Noah curses the posterity of Canaan(son of Ham) because of an act Haam did, and there he says that canaan will be the servant of the servants to his brothers.
Tradition says in christendom that Canaan’s descentants are the african blacks, and that they are supposedly cursed to be slaves and so on.
Mormons don’t believe in this neither does the book of mormon.
I don’t believe that Mitt Romney either.
Get your facts right before you go wild about nothing.

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