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God-O-Meter

monaghan.jpgOn Wednesday, Mitt Romney announced an endorsement from Domino’s Pizza founder and conservative Catholic financier Tom Monaghan. God-o-Meter notes that this is the latest example of the gap between Christian Right leadership and rank-and-file gap that began opening between Romney and Mike Huckabee late last year.
While Romney has the support of movement elites like Monaghan, PR mogul Mark DeMoss, and ex-Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, Huckabee is backed by countless evangelical preachers and a long list of Christian Right figures who may not be household names but who are nonetheless the real meat of the movement, as reflected in AP and Bloomberg stories this morning. While Monaghan is a star conservative Christian businessman, he lacks the organizational networks of Huckabee supporters like Michael Farris, who leads the evangelical homeschoolers movement.
For what it’s worth, a few lines from Monaghan explaining his endorsement:

…Governor Romney is a man of principle. As someone who values the importance of faith in one’s life, I recognize in Mitt his deep religious convictions which will serve him well in facing the critical moral issues facing our society. I believe he will stand firm on the pro-life issues and for the traditional family values that our country was founded on and which are so critical to the future of our nation.

Background on Monaghan, courtesy of the Romney campaign:

Tom Monaghan Is The Chairman Of The Ave Maria Foundation, Which He Founded In 1983. Although best known as the founder of Domino’s Pizza and the former owner of the Detroit Tigers, Monaghan is now devoted to non-profit endeavors, specifically his support for Catholic higher education. In 1998, he founded the Ave Maria Institute, which later became Ave Maria College, a Catholic liberal arts institution. The College was the predecessor to Ave Maria University where he currently serves as Chancellor. In August of 2007, the University moved to its permanent campus in Ave Maria, FL.


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