Mitt Romney seeks to reach South Carolina voters with shared values

Published: Saturday, Jan. 7 2012 3:55 p.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, listens as he is introduced by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., as he campaigns at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012.

Associated Press

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Five years after The New York Times reported Mitt Romney's Mormon faith was dividing voters in Iowa, Romney claimed a slight victory in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses and is now touting his faith and values to reach South Carolina voters.

In mailed brochures being sent out in South Carolina Saturday, Romney introduces himself to voters, saying, "Meet Mitt Faith. Family. Country."

CNN reports the mailing doesn't specifically mention Romney's membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but repeatedly invokes Romney's faith and how it guides him.

"A man of deep and abiding faith, Mitt has been in the same church his entire life," the mailer says. "He has a sense of purpose, a belief that integrity and honesty matter, and a drive to serve others and make a difference."

The mailer also states that Romney is a "pro-life conservative" who "believe that life begins at conception," that he is "pro-marriage" and that he is "pro-family." The mailer mentions his 42-year marriage to Ann, who has been called Romney's "not-so-secret weapon."

On Saturday, five former ambassadors to the Vatican also endorsed Romney, despite the fact that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are both Catholics, The New York Times reports.

"We recognize the importance of family and traditional values in American life," the ambassadors write. "We also share the conviction that Governor Romney has the experience, vision and commitment to the common good that our country needs at this crucial moment in history."

A Friday op-ed piece at the Wall Street Journal posits this year's Iowa contest shows that socially conservative voters are more focused on unseating the president than they are on denominational rivalries.

"Will Mr. Romney's Mormonism be a negative factor for evangelicals?" Richard Land writes. "It will for some, but remember that in Iowa the 60 percent of voters who identified themselves as evangelicals gave 42 percent of their votes to a Mormon (Mr. Romney) or a Catholic (Messrs. Santorum and Gingrich), while giving only 38 percent of their vote to fellow Protestants (Messers. Perry and Paul and Mrs. Bachmann). So much for narrow denominational prejudices."

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