Romney to Give Speech on his Mormon Faith

Romney to Give Speech on his Mormon Faith

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Andrew Adams of KSL Newsradio, and AP Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign says he will give a speech this week explaining his Mormon faith.

Thursday Romney will roll out a speech his campaign is calling "Faith in America." A key part of it will be explaining how his Mormon religion would affect his presidency if he's elected.

BYU political science professor Kelly Patterson says it has to come straight from the heart.

"I think you connect to cherished American values about freedom of conscience, the importance of faith, and the idea of religious liberty," he said.

Patterson says it may be a difficult sell. He says people are much more concerned these days about the connection between religion and government.

Romney's decision to make the speech was made after months of debate at his Boston headquarters over whether to make a public address about his religion. It also comes as the former Massachusetts governor's bid is threatened in Iowa by underdog Mike Huckabee, a one-time Southern Baptist minister. Huckabee has rallied influential Christian conservatives to erase Romney's months-long lead and turn the race into a dead-heat.

Romney will deliver the speech at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, on Thursday.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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