Analysis: Romney's Faith Speech

Former Massachusetts Governor, now Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered his much anticipated address today.

Speaking in Texas, he explained his views on the role of religion in the public realm, "A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith. Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions."

Romney has been slipping in some polls, losing ground in Iowa to GOP rival Mike Huckabee, who is a former Baptist minister. Romney's speech was supposed to allay some voters' concerns about his own Mormon faith.

In this interview, we'll hear how people in the early voting states of Iowa and South Carolina might be reacting to today's address. But first, what about the state with the nation's first primary?

Romney still holds a solid lead over his rivals in New Hampshire, and former presidential advisor David Gergen says voters there aren't really concerned about Romney's religion, "Because they know him as the Governor of Massachusetts, they see him as much more of a secular candidate, as someone who was a secular Governor, and in that sense I don't think he carries the burden into New Hampshire that he may be carrying in a place like Iowa."

For some analysis of Romney's speech today, WBUR's Bob Oakes spoke with two political science professors: Mack Shelley is from Iowa State University and Scott Huffmon is from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

This program aired on December 6, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

Headshot of Bob Oakes

Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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