How did Romney do at Liberty University? Just fine, evangelicals say
Mitt Romney always has had an uneasy relationship with evangelical Christians and other social conservatives, both on issues and regarding his Mormon religion. In his important commencement speech at Liberty University, he seems to have won them over.
There was a time in the Republican presidential nominating contest when evangelical Christians and other social conservatives loved anybody but Mitt Romney.Skip to next paragraph
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He was a suspect character, the former governor of liberal Massachusetts, wobbly on such key issues as abortion and gay rights. Then there was his religion – Mormonism – which many saw as downright unchristian.
In the early days, many of these key base voters turned to one after another of the other GOP hopefuls – Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, even an admittedly fallen but redeemed Newt Gingrich – settling in the end for Rick Santorum.
But they’re all gone now, and Mitt Romney remains the presumptive nominee.
Saturday at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. – “the largest Christian university in the world,” as it calls itself, founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell – Romney gave a speech that could turn out to be one of the most important in his campaign. And by all accounts he said just the right things needed to nail down this critical segment of his conservative base.
"Today's address was a tremendous opportunity for Governor Mitt Romney to communicate to social conservatives through one of the largest conservative evangelical venues in the country and Mr. Romney seized it by emphasizing the shared values he holds with evangelicals even while acknowledging theological differences,” Mr. Perkins said.
“In his well-delivered speech, he accentuated the core values issues that are essential to a strong nation and of great importance to evangelicals,” Perkins said. "Mitt Romney picked up on the message that energized Rick Santorum's campaign: America's financial greatness is directly tied to moral and cultural wholeness.”