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Mitt Romney says he won't draw focus to his Mormon faith

Published: Thursday, May 31 2012 7:53 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. The Iowa magic that launched Barack Obama to the presidency four years ago has all but faded. Today, the Democrat who emerged Cinderella-like in Iowa in 2008 is sharply attacking Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s economic credentials and his ability to grasp voters’ everyday concerns. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Charles Dharapak, AP

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In an interview segment scheduled to air Thursday on Fox News, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney revealed that he currently harbors no plans to speak at length about his Mormon faith.

"The presumptive GOP nominee (was) asked if he will draw any focus to his Mormon faith during the last months of the campaign," ABC News political blogger Shushannah Walshe reported. "Romney gave a speech during the 2008 race at the George H.W. Bush Library at Texas A & M University on his faith. In the interview he answered, 'I don’t know that I would add to that or change it in some way,' referring to the speech.

“'I give major speeches on topics of significance and have about once a week or once every two weeks for the last couple of months, and will continue doing so as regards religion in America,' Romney said, making it seem less than likely he will lay out his beliefs this cycle as he did in what came to be known as his 'Mormon speech' during the 2008 primary."

The comments come from an extended interview that Fox News' Bill Hemmer conducted with Mitt and Ann Romney on Tuesday in California. The first portion of that interview aired Wednesday as a five-minute segment, during which Romney evoked John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in brushing aside the suggestion that voters may ultimately reject him because of his wealth.

Politico's Tim Mak summarized the exchange: "Mitt Romney … dismissed the notion that voters may see him as just a 'successful rich guy,' pointing out previous wealthy presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. … 'This is not a nation that divides people based on whether they’ve been successful or not,' Romney said. 'We don’t say, "Oh, boy, this person won the lottery and therefore they can’t understand me." We instead look at people and celebrate their success and their achievements, and we look for people who have the skills we think will make our lives better.'”

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