Romney Ramps Up Efforts To Attract Social Conservatives | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Romney Ramps Up Efforts To Attract Social Conservatives

Play associated audio

GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is reaching out to social conservatives in a new way. At a rally in the gym at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., Monday night, Romney rolled out some new material: the rights given to people by God.

"I am just distressed as I watch, as I watch our president try and infringe upon those rights," Romney said to the capacity crowd. "The first amendment of the Constitution provides the right to worship in the way of our own choice."

Romney cited a Supreme Court case related to the firing of a teacher at a religious school, and a recent decision by the department of Health and Human Services to require religious institutions like schools and hospitals to cover birth control pills as part of the insurance provided to employees.

That includes "contraceptives, morning-after pills — in other words, abortive pills," Romney said, venturing into territory he typically doesn't address on the campaign trail.

"Think what that does to people in faiths that do not share those views. This is a violation of conscience. We must have a president who is willing to protect America's first right — a right to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience," Romney said.

The crowd cheered wildly, one of several times over the course of what was otherwise a variation on his standard stump speech.

The new language seemed targeted directly at social conservatives — voters who have tended to favor Rick Santorum and at times Newt Gingrich. On the same day, the Romney campaign went after Santorum in a conference call, questioning his conservative credentials.

In that call, Romney surrogate and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty admitted that the campaign considers Santorum a threat.

"He's a credible candidate and deserves to be, you know, right in the middle of the back-and-forth between campaigns, and I think that's what you see happen," Pawlenty said.

Recent polling shows Santorum in the lead in the nonbinding Minnesota caucuses, with Romney still a favorite in Colorado's caucuses.

When asked whether Romney's socially conservative turn had anything to do with his opponents, advisers insisted these are just issues of the day.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Wounded Bull-Runner: 'If You Run Long Enough, You Get Gored'

Bill Hillmann, a writer from Chicago, contributed to the book Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona. He was gored at this year's running of the bulls in that city, but says he plans to return.
NPR

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.
NPR

Congress' Latest Death Match Involves A Bank You've Never Heard Of

The business lobby is pushing hard for the survival of the Export-Import Bank, which has supported U.S. exports for 80 years. Some House GOP leaders, though, think it's time to kill the bank.
NPR

Looking For Free Sperm, Women May Turn To Online Forums

Bypassing commercial sperm banks, thousands are logging on to websites where women can connect with men at no cost. Anecdotes abound, but the scope of the unregulated activity is unclear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.