The big question going into Mitt Romney’s speech was whether he’d directly take on the fact that many evangelicals tell pollsters they’d be uncomfortable voting for a Mormon. After saying that efforts “to establish the anti-religion of secularism must come to an end,” Romney seemed to be about to address directly the question of his faith, saying, “You may have heard I’m Mormon.” But he only made a lame joke about a fellow Mormon, U.S. Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader of the Senate, and moved on. No J.F.K. speech tonight.
Romney focused on a new centerpiece of his campaign – to make single motherhood a shameful condition. Romney pledged that the focus of his wife’s work as first lady would be to encourage marriage. He ended his speech by returning to the theme of his family, oddly asserting that his whole family would be under the spotlight, and that his whole family would be held to a higher standard, and would be a model for the nation. Does that mean the five brothers would never go away? Or was it just a veiled shot at the multiple marriages among most of the other GOP candidates?
Otherwise Romney’s speech was a pretty standard run-through of a right-wing stump speech. Marriage (for gays, bad), abortion, judges, pornography, and tax breaks for homeschoolers. Romney repeated his 3-legged stool analogy – that for Republicans to win the White House, they need defense conservatives, economic conservatives, and social conservatives, adding “We’re not going to beat Hillary Clinton by acting like Hillary Clinton.”