After treading lightly around the subject for most of his campaign, aides have released information that Mitt Romney's speech when accepting the Republican presidential nomination Thursday night will reference his Mormon faith. POLITICO reports that top Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom told press at a breakfast hosted by Bloomberg News Tuesday that the candidate "welcomes" discussion on his church, and activity in it.
"The governor ... welcomes those questions," said Fehrnstrom, adding Romney talks about when he was a bishop in the Mormon church and the different types of people he helped, saying it gives the candidate an understanding of the "hardships" that "ordinary Americans" go through.
"So it’s something that the governor himself insisted on talking about," he said. "He will make reference to it in his speech and he will hear from other speakers at the conventions about the counseling and pastoral work that Mitt Romney did."
But another prominent Republican Mormon does not think discussion on the faith will do much good for Romney. After hearing the news of what Romney is planing to discuss in his important speech Thursday night, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch told POLITICO; “I don’t think there’s a downside [of talking about his religion], but I don’t think that’s what the American people want.
“I think people want to hear – what’s he going to do? Is he going to turn this mess around? Is he going to work at solving these economic problems that we know are in the doldrums right now and aren’t likely to be solved by President Obama, nice guy though he may be. The American people want to know: What are you go to do for us?”
During his 2008 campaign, Romney gave a pivotal speech addressing his faith head on, at a time when conservatives and liberals alike brought up Mormonism in not always positive light on the trail.
"I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from 'the God who gave us liberty,'" said Romney.
"Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage. Perhaps the most important question to ask a person of faith who seeks a political office, is this: does he share these American values: the equality of human kind, the obligation to serve one another, and a steadfast commitment to liberty?"
Utah Congressman and fellow member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jason Chaffetz, joined Will and S.E. from Tampa Tuesday to discuss how Romney has addressed his faith, and what factor it play in the 2012 presidential campaign: