The Boston Globe explains why he’s making the symbolism imbued pitch to evangelical Christians, “The speech at Liberty University on May 12 will allow Romney to make both overt and subtle outreach to evangelicals and other social conservatives suspicious of his faith, and who typically did not make him their first choice in the primary.”
“It also is sure to renew focus on his own religious beliefs – he is vying to be the first Mormon elected president – as well as the checkered history of Falwell and Liberty in Republican politics.”
“In 2000, then-GOP candidate John McCain labeled Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority, and fellow evangelist Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition, as “agents of intolerance” aligned with George W. Bush.”
Former Reagan adviser Doug Wead writes, “They announced in the morning that Governor Romney would be the commencement speaker at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. The school founded, by Jerry Falwell, is touted as the largest Christian University in the world. And in the afternoon they announced that openly gay, Richard Grenell, would be Romney’s new national security and foreign policy spokesman.”
“Students at Liberty were in an uproar. Not over Grenell, but over the University choosing Romney instead of their beloved Ron Paul. The firestorm began on the University’s own website, where the thread hit 700 comments in a couple of hours. The discussion was promptly censored and then shut down proving that the University is not very aptly named. But the discussion moved onto Facebook where it continues to spread.”
Given the school’s doctrinal statement it’s likely those present will receive Mitt’s address courteously and a good many will no doubt exhibit their contempt in a way that remains unpredictable.
A list of “recommendations” on Liberty University’s facebook page continues to see an influx of Ron Paul supporters, former students and current students alike discussing the issue at length.