Evangelical voters may be getting more comfortable with Romney

Published: Friday, May 11 2012 5:57 p.m. MDT

"The greatest testimony to his faith is his family," Woodard said. "The values that Liberty University treasures, not only is Mitt Romney the protector of them, he is the embodiment of many of them."

Neither gay marriage nor religion is mentioned in the excerpts from Romney's speech released Friday, but the candidate does speak of the importance of family life.

Romney said in the speech that he "never once regretted missing any experience or opportunity in business in order to be with my wife and five sons," a lesson learned from his father.

He also returns to the centerpiece of his campaign, the economy, telling the new graduates the nation's current economic troubles can be discouraging.

"You are ready for jobs that were supposed to be ready for you. Millions wait on the day when there are jobs for everyone willing to work, and opportunities to match your hopes and your goals," Romney said, urging them not to lose heart, because that day is coming.

The speech is Romney's first at Liberty University and his first to a Christian college this election. During his 2008 White House bid, he gave a commencement address at Regent University, founded by another televangelist, Pat Robertson.

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. told Christianpost.com that since the school was founded in 1971, 21 of the 39 commencement speakers were non-evangelicals.

"Liberty is to evangelical Christians what Notre Dame is to Catholics and Brigham Young is to Mormons," Falwell Jr. said in an interview posted on the website. "I don't think Obama giving the commencement speech at Notre Dame would be a big deal so it's interesting to see people surprised Gov. Romney would address Liberty's graduates."

E-mail: lisa@desnews.com

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