Republican presidential hopeful, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigns at a recreational center in Keene, N.H. Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007. Romney, his once strong lead evaporating in Iowa and diminishing in New Hampshire, faces a dual threat â€” presidential rival Mike Huckabee in Iowa and Rudy Giuliani in New Hampshire.
Mitt Romney having lost the poll lead in Iowa to Mike Huckabee has decided to discuss his Mormon religious beliefs Thursday at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.
Romney’s speech is titled “Faith in America,” spokesman Kevin Madden said in a statement.
Romney has said for months that he sees no need to make a big deal out of his religion, despite surveys which suggest that for some voters, especially in the South, his Mormon faith makes them less likely to vote for him. A Washington Post poll found earlier this year that his religion was regarded by voters as a bigger stumbling block than Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s race or New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s gender.
“This speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the grand tradition religious tolerance has played in the progress of our nation and how the governor’s own faith would inform his Presidency if he were elected,” Madden said. “Governor Romney understands that faith is an important issue to many Americans, and he personally feels this moment is the right moment for him to share his views with the nation.”
Actually Romney’s speech is to counteract this television ad of Mike Huckabee now airing in Iowa which among other things is siphoning Evangelical Christian votes away from Mitt:
Flap told everyone that Romney would NOT play the MORMON CARD and that the time to do so had past.
The time for Mitt Romney to â€œcomfortablyâ€ distance himself from his religion may have passed. Had Mitt discussed the issue immediately after his win in the Ames Straw Poll, no one would question the timing.
Now with the first elections/caucus in a little more than thirty days, Romney risks looking as either a desperate politician or an opportunist.
Flap does not expect Orin Hatchâ€™s recommendation to be followed.
So, is Mitt desperate?
It could be that the Romney camp feels it needs to address this issue in light of the mini-brouhaha over Muslims in his cabinet this past week. It could be that, realizing a dirty trickster was push polling to beat him up on his faith, Romney decided it was time.
I hold now to the position that a lot of the reporters I’ve talked to on this subject hold and on which, by stating here solely as my personal opinion I expect to be excoriated by a lot of people, even some who probably privately think I might be right â€” the “push poll” was pushing people on matters of religious bias, but it was not done by a camp hostile to Mitt Romney.
And the results of that polling gave the Romeny camp all the data points needed to finally show their MBA grad of a candidate that there is a real need for the speech he is about to give. I could be wrong and God knows the Romney camp has been telling me since I first suggested it that I’m wrong. But I think I’m right.
If, indeed true, then Western Wats will NEVER give up the name of the patron donor for the “Mormon-Gate” polling – unless forced by a New Hampshire court of Grand Jury.
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