Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mitt Romney consults evangelical leaders

Governor Mitt Romney is convening meetings with small groups of evangelical leaders to seek guidance for his possible presidential run, as Romney and Mormon supporters intensify efforts to allay concerns about his faith.

Romney, who is ramping up preparations for a 2008 campaign, huddled privately at his Belmont home last Thursday with about a dozen evangelicals, including conservative activist Gary Bauer, president of the group American Values, and Richard Land, a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Two weeks earlier, Romney met with about a dozen Baptist pastors at a private club in Columbia, S.C. Today, he is set to meet with more Christian leaders at an activist's home in Greenville, S.C.

The meetings have touched on several themes, participants say, but two topics being discussed are Romney's religious beliefs and how he should address his faith as the campaign progresses.

Romney's meetings with evangelicals, which are reminiscent of a similar effort by President Bush before he ran for president in 2000, take place as groups and individuals separate from Romney's political team are trying to improve the public perception of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Polls indicate that the religion is widely misunderstood and viewed skeptically by many in the United States.

Read the rest of the article at The Boston Globe

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