This weekend, Mr. Romney visited Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia to better sell himself to evangelicals. It was an epic fail. I know, I witnessed it, I was there.
To be sure, we’ve had to listen to evangelicals toot his horn for days now. The local paper, twitter, facebook — it seems as if everyone in the area loved Romney’s speech. I was there, and if you were on the fence rather than already in his camp, it accomplished nothing.
The first presupposition is that the main evangelical opposition to the Romney nomination is his religious views, it isn’t. The biggest problem many Christians have with Romney is his history of being pro-choice. What makes Church goers uneasy, is that he presided as Governor over the first state to allow gay marriage without lifting a finger of opposition.
In Saturday’s speech, Mr. Romney said that marriage is between one man and one woman. He got deafening applause. But where was he when it mattered? Where was he when his healthcare plan that he signed into law paid for abortions? It is easy to give speeches in the Bible belt, my question is how will you stand up to those who fight for abortion and other issues in D.C. when you don’t have tens of thousands of Christians applauding you? Do you have the stomach for it?
Many Christians will continue to swear that this speech mattered for him. If Romney was concerned with checking off the box, then he was a success. If he was attempting to give his Christian supporters more ammunition to argue on his behalf, he was a success.
However, if Romney sought to pick up votes, if he sought to solidify his base, if he sought to demonstrate to Christians that there was something to be gained by his candidacy, he utterly failed.
The message of the speech was this, although I am not one of you, I have the same values that you have and that is why we should get into the same bed.
The reality is much different. The real message is that while Romney is of a different religion from Christians, he hasn’t demonstrated any commitment to pushing forward on the life issue. He hasn’t told us what, if anything he will do to protect marriage. Romney hasn’t told us why the judges he nominates will be more conservative than the liberals he nominated in Massachusetts. He simply says that he won’t be as bad as what we have now.
The speech accomplished nothing. He didn’t pick up new voters, he didn’t prove he was conservative. He didn’t pledge any tangible moves on his part, but because he checked the box, we are supposed to get inline.
I have no qualms with the most avid Mitt Romney supporters, defeating Obama is an honorable goal for any American. But my Christian brothers should stop asking us those of us that see Romney for who he really is to fall into line as well.
*To be clear, I am not advocating voting against Romney. I just am on record that the lesser of two evils is still evil.