(CNN) – Short portions of Mitt Romney's commencement address to the evangelical Liberty University largely skip over the topic of religion, focusing instead on the job market for recent graduates and the importance of family in developing character.
Romney is slated to deliver his address Saturday at the Lynchburg, Virginia, institution. Liberty University, which was started by Moral Majority co-founder Jerry Falwell in 1971, bills itself as the largest Christian evangelical university in the world.
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In his address, Romney will portray the economy as hostile for graduating college seniors.
"For you and so many young Americans, our current troubles can be discouraging," Romney will say, according to excerpts of the speech distributed by his campaign. "You are ready for jobs that were supposed to be ready for you. Millions wait on the day when there are jobs for everyone willing to work, and opportunities to match your hopes and your goals. But don't lose heart, because that day is coming."
In a subtle reference to his bid for the White House, Romney will say "lately I've found myself thinking about life in four-year stretches," a nod to both the length of a presidential term and the traditional number of years students spend in college.
"Let's just say that not everybody has filled these past four years with as much achievement as you have," Romney will say, an apparent knock on President Barack Obama.
Liberty has become a frequent stop for Republican politicians seeking to bolster credibility among religious conservatives. Sen. John McCain delivered the commencement address in 2006, when he was preparing to run for the GOP nomination. McCain, like Romney, was often viewed skeptically by Christian evangelicals.
McCain's address focused on broad themes, rather than narrowing in on religious ideology, but the appearance did allow McCain to target voters he might not otherwise have reached.
The excerpts released Friday by Romney's campaign cover similarly broad subject matter, delving into Romney's role as a family man.
"Maybe you've heard that Ann and I have a pretty large family, and I'm sure glad I like having grandchildren because every time I turn around there's more of them," Romney will say. "Two more arrived last week, twin boys David and William, which brings us to eighteen grandchildren we have welcomed into the world."
He will go on to relay advice from his father George, who served as governor of Michigan before running for the GOP presidential nomination in 1968.
"I asked him once, 'What was your greatest accomplishment?' Without a moment's pause, his answer was, 'Raising you four kids.' I had his example to follow, and I have never once regretted missing any experience or opportunity in business in order to be with my wife and five sons," Romney will say.
He'll continue: "Regrets usually come the other way around, from missing moments with your children that don't come again. The same holds true for time with your parents as the years fall away. Among the things in life that can be put off, being there when it matters most isn't one of them."