Romney in trouble with Iowa's Evangelical Christians

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The Iowa caucuses, the “first shot” in the 2012 presidential campaign, are mere weeks away, scheduled for January 3.
At a time when most GOP presidential hopefuls are scrambling to woo Iowa’s  largely undecided evangelical Christian voters, a conservative group is baffled by why Mitt Romney seems to be avoiding exactly those voters.
Paul Stanley reports for Christian Post, Dec. 9, 2011, that Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of The Family Leader, a conservative group in Iowa, says all the major candidates attended his group’s Thanksgiving Family Forum in Des Moines last month, except for Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Both Romney and Huntsman are Mormons.
Plaats said: “I think Gov. Romney is sending a clear message that he doesn’t want to be around us – that he doesn’t need us and doesn’t want to be around us. It’s apparent to me he’s unwilling to answer questions on core ‘value’ issues as seen in his interview with Fox News Bret Baier.”
By comparison, Newt Gingrich met with a group of 63 Christian conservatives – at his request – earlier this week to make his case for their support.Texas guv Rick Perry,Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum have also made similar appeals through various formats.
Perry has aired a popular and somewhat controversial faith-based ad, Santorum is spending most of his time in the Hawkeye state and Michele Bachmann has recently gained the support of evangelical heavyweight Phyllis Schlafly.
Frustrated with Romney, Richard Viguerie accused him of likely to not include prominent evangelical Christians in his administration if elected to the White House. Viguerie said, “Romney has made it clear to me that he doesn’t like Christian conservatives, would not include them in his administration. He doesn’t understand why Christians are not supporting him in large numbers and I think that has rubbed him the wrong way.”
Romney spokesman Ryan Williams called Viguerie’s assertion “a ridiculous and false statement” and insisted that “Gov. Romney would look at people of all backgrounds who would be qualified to serve in his administration and in addition, Gov. Romney has a number of prominent Christians throughout the country who support him and that number is growing daily.”
In Florida, however, Romney has put together a strong group of Christian leaders to support his campaign, including state Sen. Anitere Flores. Flores said in a email to Christian Post:
“First of all, out of the leading candidates, Romney’s personal commitment to his faith and family has been evident in his actions as a husband and father. Second, he is the only candidate to organize a Social Conservatives Coalition in Florida, naming prominent values voters and evangelical leaders to assist with GOTV efforts and policy formulation. Third, he has been firm in his commitment to the Defense of Marriage Act.”
But Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leaders is not convinced: “As my dad used to say, actions speak louder than words. About 80% of GOP Iowa caucus goers have decided that Romney isn’t the candidate for them. The bigger issue is most of them still haven’t decided who they are going to support.”

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One response to “Romney in trouble with Iowa's Evangelical Christians

  1. RINOmney… they’ll see that.


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