December 6th, 2007
08:15 AM ET
12 years ago

Romney: I'll serve no one religion

Romney will deliver his speech at 10:30 a.m. ET.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says he'll serve no one religion or cause if he's elected president of the United States.

The Republican presidential hopeful will speak about religion and faith in America in an address Thursday that is being viewed as a way for him to discuss his Mormon religion.

"When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States," Romney will say according to prepared remarks provided by his campaign in advance of the 10:30 a.m. ET address.

The speech comes after several recent polls have suggested that his faith may present a stumbling block in his White House quest. Romney will use the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas as a backdrop.

Earlier this week, Romney told reporters that this speech is not modeled after a similar address given 47 years ago by then-Sen. John F. Kennedy, who spoke about his Catholic faith in his successful White House run. But Romney did say he would talk about being a Mormon.

"There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church's distinctive doctrines," Romney will say. "To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the constitution. No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes President he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths."

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser


Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Sue, Kansas City MO

    Romney will say whatever it takes, to promote himself and to enhance his self interest. That's the perfect American way, people! Get on with the program!

    December 6, 2007 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  2. Mike, New Braunfels, TX

    Although I'm a Christian conservative, Romney's religious beliefs has little to do with my preference for Huckabee over him. It has more to do with his previous flip-flopping on issues, and the simple fact I believe that Huckabee is a more original thinker than Romney. Romney is big money fat cat Republican that is simply "more of the same" cut from Washington mold. Huckabee has the stands on the issue that I agree with, but he is a more grass-roots Republican, an original thinker, and a man of the people.

    December 6, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  3. timmy dallas tx

    Romney is a member of a religion in which the leader of that religion claims to hear from God.

    The leader of this religion claimed there was reason to discriminate against African-Americans.

    Then another leader claimed that God told him that African-Americans shouldn't be discriminated against - during Mitt Romney's life.

    Romney took no political stand against abortion. Now, he claims that he's had a change of heart. Same for guns and basic conservative-liberal politics.

    Now he's saying that there should be no religious test for a presidential candidate.

    His flip-flopping on issues is an obvious effort to pander to the Christian Conservatives.

    Well, I am a Christian who is conservative in my theology, but liberal in most of my politics. And Mitt Romney fails in my test: he comes off as a phony, just as phony and scheming as Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton.

    I would never consider voting for him, Mormon or not.

    December 6, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. Anonymous

    I have known Mormans and they are the best. I will vote for Gov.Mitt Romney even though I am a Lutheran.

    December 6, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Is that Bible the King James or Mormon version??

    December 6, 2007 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  6. Daniel, Syracuse, NY

    "A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States."
    What if there is no common cause, Mr. Romney? Or what if the cause is not commonly held by all Americans? What if the people of the United States are divided? Then what? To whom do you turn? To what do you turn?

    I DON'T WANT you to place me and my fellow Americans before your own convictions; if you can so easily do that, then you hold no convictions at all, just policy positions, mere planks on a platform.

    December 6, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. Justin Utley, New York

    I'm quite disappointed in Romney.

    As a Mormon myself, Romney knows that his service to no "one interest" is impossible in his religion. In the Mormon temples all devout members take strict oaths, one of which being that all time and talents are used first and foremost to build only the Mormon Church, and that we are to have the strictest obedience to its leaders and the church's public stand on issues. A member who speaks out in public must be in-line with church ideals and doctrines or risk excommunication.

    December 6, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    At least Romney as a Mormon could have a chance. A Jew, no matter how secular, could never win because of the anti-semites and conspiracy theorists thinking that this person would have Israel's interests first and look to convert the country. I say this because of what I see as a Jew. I would love to run and win the presidency, but I know that there are too many people who would see my religion as (possible sole) reason to vote no.

    I wouldn't do that with Romney. I have heard some of his policies. It is those I don't like as well. The fact that he feels that we need to drill in wildlife locations is foolish. This is just an example. He seems to think that by lowering taxes, everything will get better. He's wrong in that aspect. Many things need to be done and lowering taxes at the current time is not the thing while we are trying to fund the military in time of multiple conflicts.

    December 6, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. HISTORY REPEATS, NY

    you think he would say that if he was a christian? i think the only reason he is saying that is because mormons dont make up as big a portion of the voting pool as christians do.

    December 6, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. JC Topeka, KS

    I liked Kennedy's response to the fear of hinm being a Catholic. As far a politican goes I don't want to know what his faith is, I do not consider it as being relivent.

    If a politican has to stand at the pulpit proclaiming his faith will guide and enlighten him, I have no use for him, because it is obvious to me that he has nothing to say.

    What I want to know is what is he going to do for me and the nation.

    I applaud Romney's statement "I'll serve no one religion". That is what America is about. Freedom of religion, it has no place politics. If you want religion in politics take a look at Iran, the turmoil in Iraq. Religion in it's proper place does good, taken out of context it causes striff and conflict and War.

    December 6, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Truth Seeker

    "If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest."

    So will you serve Christ?

    December 6, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. GaVoter

    A litmus test is nothing more than a stealth form of discrimination. If I had a problem with the god he worships won't I also have a problem with someone who worships only themselves??

    December 6, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Steve, NY

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says he'll serve no one religion or cause if he's elected president of the United States......Nor will he take one stance on any issue......

    December 6, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    I think some of you need to watch that movie Jesus Camp, or least open a history book. The Evangelical church has been brainwashing people for years. Those super churches in the mid west sure do take alot of money to keep up and running. I wonder how wealth and salvation became so entwined with one another? Your buying people like Ted Haggard crystal meth, and male prostitutes, and in return they fill your heads with crap. The earth is only ten thousand years old? God made women from Adam's rib? Gays are agents of the devil? Now I know where the term" holy roller" came from, you'd have to be high on Ecstasy to buy into any of it.

    December 6, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. Fred, Syracuse, New York

    "A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States."

    When Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he was not serving the common cause of the American people. At most half of the country supported him, but in actuality, it was probably much less than that. He did what he did because it was the just and morally right thing to do.

    Similarly, I want a president willing to take a stand against abortion, not because it is the “common cause of the American people” (which it obviously isn’t), but because it is the just and morally right thing to do. Where would we be today if all presidents had pandered toward the majority or “moderation” on every issue?

    December 6, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. I. Dern, Farifax, VA

    Yet Romney is an LDS Bishop... that needs more explanation than a quick aside...

    December 6, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. HISTORY REPEATS, NY

    george bush has a library?

    December 6, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Mark ,,Alabama

    20 years ago being gay was a sin. And it says in the Bible it says it Still is a sin. Hilary Clinton Can not control her husbands relationships with other women(s). Our country has turned from doing the right thing to being politcal corect. If Romney is a acting Christian person and not being "just polical Correct". What is the Problem?

    December 6, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT

    I don't understand why this has been an issue to begin with.

    But, nonetheless, he seems to be making more of an issue about this than anyone else. Why is that?

    I just finished watching, and Listening to his speech regarding his faith. He sounded to me to be saying 'vote for me because although I am a Mormon, I won't BE a Mormon'. Somehow he protests too much. Like someone with a guilty conscience? I haven't heard Obama saying 'vote for me because although I am of color, I won't be of color'. Oh wait, Hillary did raise this issue, but we all know what Hillary really is, and will be.

    To me, Romney just put himself about three notches lower with this move. But I doubt the general public will see the underlying issues here.

    December 6, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. Jo, ATL GA

    Freedom of Religion:

    Do we really have freedom of religion or are we giving a platform to practice freely?

    If we have to vote for those that only share our religion does that make us better than those in the Arab countries?

    Personal, I believe if you call Jesus lord you are my brother.

    To me just don't wear it on your selves. By there fruits you shall know them.

    December 6, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. Will, Arlington, VA

    It seems any more we're not electing a poltician, we're electing a pope or bishop or some other religious grand poobah. Freedom of religion is one of the aspects that has made our country a great one, but how about freedom "from" religion? Religious conservatives need to remember this is a secular society, not one that must bend to fit their religious doctrines. We're losing our way and falling into a trap of religion as "the" yardstick for measuring elected leaders...not a good thing.

    December 6, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. Rabbi Weis. Bronx, New York

    Wonderfully Explained. You have my vote now! Now fix our economy. You are the only one I have faith in fixing the economic mess in America.

    December 6, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Anonymous

    Mitt Romney talked about all the religion but left out a major one….the Hindus are becoming more and more involved in this area and also in business. It's a shame that the politicians of this country keeps dismissing this major religion but willingly using the very known work describing a Hundu preast..Pundit. If he or any politicians thinks we will support them... think again.

    December 6, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    This is just sad. People don't have a problem with this guy because he is a Mormon. They have a problem with him because he is not trustworthy. Although many social conservatives in Iowa and New Hampshire have apparently bought into this sham, so far, most intelligent Americans see through his recent conversion to pro-life principles, as well as his newfound respect for our immigration laws. If anyone ever bothered to watch this guy in a debate they would see a shameless political opportunist (ala Hillary, John Edwards) who will say whatever he thinks will get him elected. The fact that he is trying to come out today and exploit his Mormon faith for votes is almsot criminal. WAKE UP, PEOPLE.

    December 6, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. LT Jon, Olathe, KS

    Fix the Dollar, Fix the deficit, that is the only way to restore the economy.

    RESTORE THE REPUBLIC, and the economy will follow.

    December 6, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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