Mitt Romney's Mormon religion has been a problem for some
evangelicals. At conservative Liberty University Saturday, Romney
stressed Christian values without mentioning his own faith, part of
an apparently successful effort to win over evangelicals and other
Without dwelling on - or barely mentioning - his own faith, Mitt
Romney Saturday portrayed himself as a religious conservative who
believes that "there is no greater force for good in the nation than
Christian conscience in action."
"Central to America's rise to global leadership is our Judeo-
Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and
possibilities of every life," Romney declared.
His commencement address to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.
put Romney in front of his largest audience so far in his
presidential campaign (an estimated 35,000).
The institution, founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell
and billing itself as "the largest Christian university in the
world," was a crucial setting for Romney - who is a Mormon - as he
tries to attract evangelicals and other social conservatives who'd
held out hopes for Rick Santorum and other Republican presidential
candidates now fallen by the wayside.
RECOMMENDED: Gay marriage issue: Who does it hurt most, Obama or
Pushing both Romney - the presumptive Republican nominee - and
President Obama off their economic message this week was same-sex
marriage. Preempted by Vice President Joe Biden's comments in
support of same-sex marriage last Sunday, Obama found himself having
to jump aboard.
That forced Romney to reiterate his position: That marriage as
limited to one man and one woman should be enshrined in the US
As Americans increasingly and apparently rapidly approve of gay
marriage, this puts Romney on what critics call "the wrong side of
history" on a civil rights issue, especially among younger voters
(18-34), 70 percent of whom approve of same-sex marriage. Women too
are more likely to be comfortable with gay marriage than men - a
portion of the electorate Republicans need to attract in greater
But among social conservatives - especially evangelical
Christians - Romney is right.
Speaking at Liberty University, his strongest applause line was
his brief reference to the subject: "Marriage is a relationship
between one man and one woman."
Still, a significant minority of evangelical Christians are wary
of the Mormon faith. …