Monday, December 03, 2007

Romney to give long awaited religion speech Thursday

Romney to give speech on his Mormon faith  
By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent Reuters

Republican White House candidate Mitt Romney will give a speech this week directly addressing questions about his Mormon faith and the role it would play in his presidency, his campaign said on Sunday.

The long-awaited speech by Romney, who would be the first Mormon president, has drawn comparisons to an address given in Texas by John Kennedy confronting doubts about his Catholic faith during his successful 1960 run for the presidency.

Polls have shown some voters, particularly evangelicals, are less likely to vote for a Mormon. The former Massachusetts governor often gets questions related to his religion on the campaign trail.

The speech, titled "Faith In America," will be delivered at the library of former President George Bush in College Station, Texas, on Thursday.

"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," spokesman Kevin Madden said.

It comes as polls show Romney slipping in the state of Iowa, which on January 3 kicks off the state-by-state battle to choose candidates for the November 2008 general election.

A Des Moines Register poll on Sunday showed Romney, who has led in Iowa much of the year, falling behind former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who draws strong support from the state's sizable bloc of religious conservatives.

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