December 6th, 2007
04:28 PM ET
15 years ago

How will Romney's speech play in South Carolina?

Will Romney's speech change any minds among evangelicals in South Carolina?

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) ­ - Two prominent voices in South Carolina Christian politics watched Mitt Romney's speech at Capitol City News & Maps in Columbia on Thursday morning: Oran Smith, president of the Palmetto Family Council, and Joe Mack, public policy director of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

Their thoughts? A solid performance, they said, but unlikely to impact what South Carolina’s evangelicals think about Mormonism.

"It was a good speech, but I'm not sure he changed anybody's mind," Mack said. "I'm not sure it explained the difference in Mormonism and other denominations."

Mack, a Baptist, said he was sure he and Romney were far apart theologically. But he added that they likely shared many of the same positions on "values" issues.

Christian conservatives are crucial to Romney's presidential bid, and white evangelical Protestants constitute more than half of likely South Carolina’s Republican voters, according to a recent AP/Pew Poll.

Thursday's speech was aimed squarely at those evangelicals in Iowa and South Carolina who may remain skeptical of his faith.

Smith said Romney nailed a few references sure to resonate with conservative religious voters here in the Palmetto State.

"For instance, his sadness over the coldness of religion in Europe," Smith said. "There is not a Christian church that that's not discussed on a regular basis."

The speech may have been short on theology – the word "Mormon" was mentioned just once – but Smith said Romney did well to avoid talking about the intricacies of his faith. And he would have been in bigger trouble yet had he tried to compare Mormonism to another form of Protestantism.

"For a minute there I thought he was going to go in the ditch," Smith said, comparing the Mormon faith to some of the Protestant Christian groups he mentioned, like the Lutheran and Pentacostal denominations. "I thought he was going to say that they were the same. But then he turned and he went toward Islam and the Jewish faith, and at that point I was more comfortable because at that point he wasn’t trying to say he was just another brand of Protestantism or Christianity."

Mack maintained that Romney's faith, not his past support for abortion rights or his Massachusetts pedigree, could still handicap his presidential bid, "at least among Baptists here in South Carolina."

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Mitt Romney • South Carolina
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    Paradox...Orthodox

    A sentient consciousness can understand when it trusts, but faith, which is supplied by The Nothing exists even when it can not be perceived or understood.

    In discussing the nothing I would have to define Zero, but nothing begins with the option future choice, and so Nothing can mean every option all at once, while still remaining nothing until the future becomes the present.

    Mathimatical nature can define this Choice, but it is relative and to be true will depend upon the final finite limit of the Universe which still has yet to be found. I just have the faith that when all the information is gather, and so the universe known as 'all of it' is completely understood; then all of everything will grow to include the unknown nothing and so again deem the 'all of it' not completely known but not infinite, which allows the search for the next dimesion beyond time or below physicality and the known creation of sentient life.

    The Nothing can be confused with where we go when we die, but as Peter Pan once said: 'death could be the greatest adventure.' Yet to return possibly knowning the some-thing of the No-thing, one can only describe it as faith.

    Those with faith understand that; and those of freedom can belief what ever they want, until the final truth is found.

    With the final truth: all discussion is closed.

    To even title the nothing 'The Nothing' when being is a wrong when existing.

    December 6, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  2. Jen, Cedar Falls, IA

    Romney IS the man! Those of you who are spouting negatives about him have obviously not heard his presentation of goals he has for the USA. I have and it's impressive.

    December 6, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  3. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    No, Still can't understand?

    Nothing is only a Nothing until it can be perceived, but what happens when the nothing perceives you first?

    In a far distant time into the future of our universe; in a time when humanity as we understand it now has changed completely, when life itself as we understand it now is a distant memory almost forgotten into obscurity: Something comes which threatens all.

    All can be a very big amount; when all is just one type of thing it has limits, but the all mentioned now is the Universe entire; yet, things have changed; a paradigm shift has occurred; All as Everything has once again become immeasurable.

    Life has grown, sentient has spread from earth like a plague throughout the galaxy, and sentient beings from this galaxy now physically explore the new frontiers of alternate galaxies.

    Sentient life in our galaxy was not limited to just earth; while earth held multiple body types that housed a sentient consciousness, one other type was found in this galaxy, and it existed alone and nearly it was nearly the size of a planetoid, they now, once it was only one, have multiplied since earth-life has met it, now them; but that new life is not the topic of interest; sure it was once feared, but that is another story.

    The sentient life from earth has become so many multiples, as it found and changed with evolutionary adaptations to exists in environments so foreign to that known in the earths past; and lower life-forms from earth has even had time on other planets to become, adapt, grow into sentient varieties all their own, but again: that is another story.

    The Universal problem is the reason for this tale. As the highest evolutionary Earth-life has evolved and combined, it has perceived anew. The dimension of time is a new frontier all its own, but again temporal entity shifting is not related to what is happening now. The Universal problem is what was found outside the Universe, or more importantly what has found us.

    The Universe is understandable, distance, change, physical matter, but outside the reaches of that material change lays a nothing which goes unperceivable; it is a void of limitless anti-space that light has not yet penetrated. It is understood that the Universe is forever renewing itself, Black holes gather material until swallowing the whole thing and explode to change the domestic center, but with that movement the energy of its entirety does not change perceptibly. Of course that is still a theory as no thing has existed beyond the entirety of the universe to record it; accept for a few residual fragments located but physically unexplored and found balancing in the outer space of space itself.

    The problem is with this new perception is it brings the matter of the nothing outside, for no longer is it nothing, not only that, it is not just something, but it is attempting to learn about what we, the universe, is. The nothing seems sentient, yet we inside still think of it as somehow less yet not dimensionally smaller.

    For the longest time, what once was man feared the ability to travel faster than the speed of light; changing the domestic rules of time created a dark heart of energy. Going faster than the temporal speed of matter with an energy burst greater than the mass of the entire object created a pocket in space that was calculated to become a void, a space of infinite gravity similar to the center point of a black hole but it would not become one in the same sense as it was without the matter which compounds it; it would instead create a conduit to a place of unknown origin; believed to be a place similar to our universe but not the same entirely. Depending upon the amount of energy one expended and the number of holes in existence which directly affect each other or as the number of times traveled from different starting dimension it is assumed that the number of destination universes would be multiplied exponentially, and as the universe was only one pocket of universal energy: the universe as its entire dimension would shrink and renew from the known beginning of all time in for every universe required to exist, thus time would eliminate life to impossibility should life every create a multiple dimension universal matrix. It is not known if the Universe could pull itself back together after such a cataclysm, so sentient beings have never tried it.

    Time travel is possible; it is confused with this dimensional shift, this sliding, but is not the same, yet neither matter nor energy can travel backwards in time, yet it is still possible for the new evolution of consciousness to do so, even pass back beyond the existence of life. Yet such travel before life is not provable in any context; so it is like imagination transposed.

    Life did eventually get past the light speed barrier by finding a new type of atomic level underneath the matter of light now found within a contained scale; it is a temporal flux linked to phases in absolute rated temperature which is different for each proto-photon. By aligning all the proto-photons into the same level of phase to meet the universal age and each other: an object suspended in field and calculated into registry can travel at a velocity limited by the extremes of the rated variant as the maximum and minimum of the domestic proto-photons found in the complex object. The computational power requires a system of interlinks to allow the material exchange, but with the assistance and pre-processing of the galactic solar spheres, which were once known as stars, it is possible to pinpoint individual black-holes and direct an exchange towards their extreme gravitational density. It still takes time to travel even with this method, and traveling to places where such gates do not exist is still impossible beyond the approximation of the speed of light, never the less, with ships near the size of planets, many willingly attempt such terminally closed and fatally incarcerating sojourns. No other galaxy has been deemed to possess such a gate system, and with modern techniques the limit of the universal matter has been found and set a finite constant.

    What to call a universe which is greater than the universe, “all or everything?”, while ‘it’ still must remain limited to its unnamed counterpart title: ‘nothing’.

    So please, would you help me in meeting the nothing? And maybe introduce it to the universe so it does not destroy it? Life on earth, remember: has evolved, it grew beyond the physical and into parallels of the mental as psychic ability was harnessed and directed for life’s purpose and became a new dimension of dreaming where the imagination can consciously create a whole world separate from reality to enjoy, yet so lifelike to seem just as real. It was a great challenge to defeat this world of imagination and prevent the extinction of all the life which reaches that level. Yes; nirvana was a tough one to beat.

    Write the next chapter or start again, because the above is just the beginning of the first draft!

    Holograms can not be physical, or if they are their material make-up may interact differently with some natural types of matter it contacts. So, to make something feel like metal A or B: it takes an emitted photonic energy differentiation in such extremes for the safe projection of the required exotic and radical particles and the particles or waves required to contain the correlating or corresponding anti-particle centers: that the energy consumption would be enormous and the projecting energies still might irrevocably interact with certain bonds in some natural atomic particle the projection comes into contact with causing a ‘worse than anti-matter reaction’.

    December 6, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  4. KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT

    "It was a good speech, but I'm not sure he changed anybody's mind," Joe Mack, public policy director of the South Carolina Baptist Convention said.

    Hey Joe, it definitely secured my vote in South Carolina for Mitt!

    Now all I have to do is move down there in time to register for the election. Or can I get a non-resident waiver?

    Mack maintained that Romney's faith, not his past support for abortion rights or his Massachusetts pedigree, could still handicap his presidential bid, "at least among Baptists here in South Carolina."

    I wouldn't be so sure Joe, I have a feeling you're not giving them Baptists the credit they deserve. I think they are bright enough to vote on the Issues and not the Faith of the Candidate. And, why do you exclude all of he other denominations of Christians? Do you think only the Baptists will vote against him for his beliefs? Or do you think it is just his Pandering, and Meandering that will offend the good upstanding Christians?

    Any comments people? Speak up please.

    December 6, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  5. Mike, New Braunfels, TX

    Although I can't deny that Romney's speech was very eloquent and well done, it isn't anything new for most if not all Americans. Of course, it never hurts to get a good reminder. However, this feels VERY prepared... the timing....the content...the method of delivery. Much of Romney's comments in all of his previous debates and especially this speech seem very carefully prepared and scripted. His "handlers" have all of this very well planned out for him. Coupled with the timing of much negative mud-slinging toward other candidates, the choice to deliver this speech at this point in time REEKS of pure politics. Again, I question Romney's motivation for delivering this particular speech at this particular time....it seems as though he will say whatever needs to be said and whatever suits the political climate of the day for his personal political gain.

    December 6, 2007 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Now lets have all the Baptists and Evangelicals running for president and tell how they arent going to be controlled by the Gay guy in Colorodo and Pat Robertson, seeing as though they have actually been proven to have direct lines to the current president. Silly right wing fanatical X-tians always looking to question everone execpt themselves.

    December 6, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  7. Dan, Saint Louis, MO

    Amazing speech. Listen to it. Think about it. Romney really came through. Here's a great excerpt.

    "Recall the early days of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, during the fall of 1774. With Boston occupied by British troops, there were rumors of imminent hostilities and fears of an impending war. In this time of peril, someone suggested that they pray. But there were objections. 'They were too divided in religious sentiments', what with Episcopalians and Quakers, Anabaptists and Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Catholics.

    "Then Sam Adams rose, and said he would hear a prayer from anyone of piety and good character, as long as they were a patriot.

    "And so together they prayed, and together they fought, and together, by the grace of God, they founded this great nation.

    December 6, 2007 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  8. Thomas, San Francisco

    Jeff from Schaumburg, IL, you said, "Islam and Judaism are FAR, FAR closer to Christianity than the Mormon faith." You must have forgotten to think before you hit "submit." I'd love to hear your explanation of how Islam and Judaism, neither of which believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, are more Christian than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You must have a very unique definition of what it means to be a Christian.

    December 6, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  9. Rick

    Hello everybody...this speech was given at the George H. W. Bush Presidential library...this was the annointing of the Bush's...he is the successor...and maybe Jeb is to be his VP...is it getting strange yet?

    December 6, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  10. Yama, Alaska

    I think his LDS faith is a concern for those of us who now alittle bit about it. Who whats a POTUS who believes that the American Indians are nothing more than the cursed desendants of a bad Jewish tribe? Look it up.. or better.. let the "nicely" dress, "nicely" mannered young men with the backpacks and ties in your house the next time they come knockin'.
    They'll be more than happy to tell you how the whole bad affair went down.

    December 6, 2007 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  11. George,Md

    It won't change anything. Furthermore it just seems more desperation......

    December 6, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  12. Bot, Cambridge, Mass.

    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often accused by Evangelical pastors of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion. This article http://mormonsarechristian.blogspot.com/ helps to clarify such misconceptions by examining early Christianity's comprehension of baptism, the Godhead, the deity of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) adheres more closely to First Century Christianity and the original New Testament than any other denomination. Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.” The Church believes in the New Testament, not the man-made Creeds.

    Perhaps the reason the pastors denigrate the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is to protect their flock (and their livelihood). It is encouraging that Paul Weyrich, Wayne Grudem and Bob Jones III, (along with Jay Sekulow, Mark DeMoss, and Dr. John Willke, a founder and past president of the National Right to Life Committee.) have rejected bigotry and now support Mitt Romney on the basis that he is the most moral candidate with the best qualifications.

    December 6, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  13. joan niantic, ct.

    The speech by Mitt Romney was a turning point in my mind. The other candidates cant hold a candle to this mans moral and family views. His religion does not matter to this Irish catholic. The Only thing that matters is his patriotism and his commitment to doing the job of President. He does not owe anyone for favors granted. Can hillary, Rudy.orRichardson stand up to that type of scutiny I THINK NOT> they owe their souls to the K Street and wil have to pay back if elected.

    December 6, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  14. Walt, Belton, TX

    More meaningless tripe from an also-ran who waffles more than Hillary.

    December 6, 2007 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  15. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Foregt how Romney will play in SC; how about the New York, Italian Catholic, Giuliani?!

    December 6, 2007 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  16. Daniel, NY

    A new poll just released this morning in South Carolina has Huckabee suddenly rising to a stunning lead in the state... OUTSIDE of the margin of error! Link.

    December 6, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  17. Steve Blaine Washington

    I know it is not Church policy but as a Mormon myself I do not look upon myself as being a Christians in the sense that Christians are defined as
    Christians today.
    I look upon myself as being a Christian
    in the sense that the early Christians
    of 2000 years ago were Christians. I know what the definitions of Baptism of Fire means, how the new name is aquired and used, the meaning of the coming of Elija before the great and dreadful day of the coming of the Lord, and the meaning of the 2 priesthoods and many other terms that defined the Christians of 2000 years ago as Christians.
    Simply put the Mormons are just a restored Church as promised by God himself in the days of refreshing in Acts 3 verses 19, 20 & 21 that had to take place before the great and dreadful day of the coming of the Lord just like Enoch was called to round up the good people who were taken to heaven as translated being before God destroyed all mankind except for Noah and his family by a flood.

    December 7, 2007 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  18. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    Nice speech but it did not address the issue of the Mormon Religion, a Religion that I know nothing about. My only concerns about the Mormon Religion: Does your Religion want to impose their Religious beliefs on others,[if the answer is, no] do the Mormon's want American civil laws to reflect their Religious laws,[if the answer is, no] will the Mormon Religion let me practice my Religion in peace and out in the open,[if the answer is, yes] will the Mormon's harass me because of my religious beliefs,[if the answer is, no] then your Religion poses to threat to me.

    December 7, 2007 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  19. Gary,boston,ma

    Romney want us to have sympathy and vote for him because he was a Mormon pastor and doesn't resonate with most people? Nah, doesn't work like that mitt!

    December 7, 2007 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  20. common sense

    It's an obvious appeal to Republican heartstrings by a guy who acts like a used car salesman.

    He wants a line item veto, which grossly oversteps the bounds of what the President should be able to do. It's flat out unconstitutional because it upsets the system of checks and balances.

    What is so wrong about gay people adopting and getting married? What's so wrong about studying embryos for the sake of millions of lives? What's so wrong about letting women get legal and safe abortions? The gay population can only increase, cancer won't cure itself, and women will simply get unsafe back-alley abortions or give birth in a public bathroom and leave the baby in a dumpster.

    Extremists hate America because we've been over there. We support the Saudi kingdom, we supported the Shah of Iran, we supported Saddam, we supported the Taliban. We need to understand our mistakes to see why we have enemies.

    I like how he doesn't want the judicial branch to have any power. Judicial review is there for a reason. I also like the xenophobic stance he takes, since America has (until recently) prided itself on being a land of immigrants who bring their language and cultures into the melting pot of the USA, not plastic American flags and bumper stickers made in China.

    I would love to have an actual answer from Romney, not this idealistic nonsense painted red white and blue. America is about opportunity and equality for all people even if you don't agree with them. This speech didn't do anything except show that Romney wants to be a new Reagan.

    This crop of candidates is just trash. We have Rudy spouting 9/11 as foreign policy experience, Clinton mandating health care insurance when people can't afford it in the first place, Obama with just hope, Romney going with super-nationalism, Huckabee who wants to tax everything, Edwards wants socialism, and Thompson who looks confused to be anywhere. This is pathetic. We need a new Teddy.

    December 7, 2007 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  21. erika morgan black dimond wa

    Mitt lost me I went from curious to not trusting, since there was no real explanation of how Mormonism worked for him in his decision making, i.e. like a good explanation for his flip-flops. What I heard is a slick talker trying to shmoos right past anything real.

    December 7, 2007 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  22. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    He looks like a president.
    He acts like a president.
    He talks like a president.
    He has the credentials to be a president.
    He SHOULD be a president.
    The only question is, will the American people trust the Republican Party again, because of our current president? Mormonism is a moot point now.

    December 7, 2007 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  23. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Romney couldn't have been more anti-american. His dismissal of the separation of church and state undermines freedom of religion completely. It's over for him and Huckabee both now. Big mistake to say exactly the opposite of JFK.

    December 7, 2007 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  24. JB Boston MA

    People-

    The reason he addressed this issue, is because it became an issue. He was being asked everywhere he went. It is sad that he had to speak to it, but the truth is people do care about religion. You can see that when people attempt to claim Obama is a Muslim. Calling him a Muslim is an attempt to hurt his candidacy. The same was occuring with Romney.

    Now, that being said . . .that was the best speech I heard in a long long long time. Probably since Obama spoke at the convention. I bet Romney is back!!

    December 7, 2007 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  25. John, Boston MA

    What do you want America? We've got a lawyer, a minister, a military man, and a businessman. So take your pick. Personally, I'd rather see America back again as a true economic superpower. It is all about the economy stupid. America is in big trouble people. We need some strong ECONOMIC leadership in Washington. That's why Romney is the best choice.

    December 7, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
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