Denver Post - Romney Cites U.S. Strengths
By Karen E. Crummy
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in Colorado to raise money and give a speech on national security, said Thursday that a strong military, strong economy and strong family values are the keys to moving the country forward.
"It's the three-legged stool," said Romney, who did not hold any public events but spoke to reporters for a few minutes at the Brown Palace Hotel. "It's time that we as a nation return to the source of America's strength."
The former Massachusetts governor, who has lagged in the polls despite raising more money in the first quarter than any other GOP candidate, also dismissed those who have contended his Mormon religion may be a liability in his White House bid.
"Voters don't elect candidates based on what church they go to," Romney said.
Some groups and individuals, including some from opposing campaigns, have characterized Romney's religion as everything from a "cult" to being non-Christian.
The campaigns of Republicans Sam Brownback, a Kansas senator; John McCain, an Arizona senator; and Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York, have apologized for anti-Mormon comments made or distributed by their representatives.
Romney, who has raised more money in the interior West than any other presidential candidate, also noted that Colorado Republicans could possibly influence the presidential race if they move up their caucus to Feb. 5 - the same date as about two dozen other states.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers voted to allow political parties to move their presidential caucuses from March 20 to Feb. 5. The chairs of the Democratic Party and the GOP are in favor of doing so but haven't completed the official process.
Romney was slated to speak about a "new course" on the war on terrorism at the American Enterprise Institute's World Forum in Beaver Creek on Thursday night. The event was closed to the public.