Well, it looks like Mitt Romney's big speech convinced a large number of America's most influential conservative leaders to take a serious look at his candidacy. These leaders were impressed with what Romney had to say, especially his ability to articulate the relationship between religion and government. Here are a few of their glowing reviews:
RUSH LIMBAUGH (conservative Methodist Christian):
"This speech, the kind of stuff he said today is the kind of stuff I've been dreaming of hearing in a presidential campaign in a long time in terms of what this country is and where we're headed. Do you realize how long it has been since a political person, a presidential candidate of either party, spoke extensively of the founding of this country and how crucial everybody's understanding of that is to maintaining American exceptionalism? Mitt Romney took the long view of this country, from its founding to its future, farther than we can see, and he described what it is that binds us together and defines us as Americans. It is crucially important that people understand this. This was a speech of the long view, a speech of leadership and of vision. It didn't attack anybody. It was optimistic. It was positive. It had reinforcement of American traditions and values."
DR. JAMES DOBSON (conservative evangelical Christian):
"You know, it was not a speech about electoral politics, presidential or otherwise. And it was also certainly not about Mormon theology. And if it had been, I would have written a very different kind of response. It was a magnificent speech...and I was personally moved by it. He was addressing...the issue of who we are as a people, and what the source of our strength has been. And it’s directly related to our spiritual commitment since the days of the founding fathers. He was passionate when he delivered it, and he looked into the camera, at one point, I think he choked up. And it was just a very well-delivered, well thought out speech about the American people. And I loved it."
HUGH HEWITT (conservative evangelical Christian):
"Mitt Romney's "Faith in America" speech was simply magnificent.... [It was] a brilliant explication of the American political theory of faith and freedom. Romney used the moment to defend not just himself but the American tradition of faith in the public square, of vigorous and valued religious plurality, and, crucially, why that tradition has allowed America's role in the world to be so unqualifiedly good. The unexpected but brilliant connection of our tradition of religious liberty with our ability to move in the world to save it again and again from evil and to rebuild it without demands for territory or treasure lifted the speech very far above the ordinary campaign speech, and in so doing lifted the Romney candidacy. Americans watching the speech were listening to a great communicator talk with pride and obvious skill and passion about America and its long history of freedom. This is a much loved and too infrequent thing: An American leader talking with unashamed love and reverence for the country and its shining tradition of tolerance and fierce attachment to liberty.
DENNIS PRAGER (conservative Jew):
"I thought it was magnificent, and I have not been in the Romney camp. I have not been anti-Romney, but I’ve certainly not, you know, been a partisan here. It was a terrific speech about the role of religion, about the role, what it means to be open, the role of religion in American society, what we are, how he takes truths, how he sees beauty in all of the religions, but he’s still deeply committed to his own. I had zero fault with it."
MICHAEL MEDVED (conservative Jew):
"I can’t believe that anyone would not be favorably impressed. This is not just the best speech of this campaign so far, it’s one of the best campaign themed speeches I can remember. It’s vastly better than the John Kennedy speech to which it has been compared.... I will tell you what impressed me about his handling this speech is how beautifully, how masterfully he handled what looked to be contradictory messages. Message number one was hey, don’t judge me based on my religion, don’t get my religion too much involved in politics. And message number two was we want a general involvement of religion in politics. And yet by affirming our common values, our civic religion, what Lincoln called our political religion, Mitt Romney hit a home run."
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