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On Hannity & Colmes, Romney Claimed He’d Be An Ally To The Non-Religious While Also Insisting That Freedom Requires A Religious Base

Reported by Ellen - December 13, 2007 -

Mitt Romney appeared on Hannity & Colmes last night (12/12/07) and, in a nice change of pace, faced both hosts. Alan Colmes questioned Romney about his recent “Faith in America” speech, particularly his statement that “Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.” Despite the evidence to the contrary, Romney insisted that he was an ally to the non-religious, someone who would unite people of all religious viewpoints. You could almost see Colmes longing to challenge the contradictions but he was almost certainly under some restraint as to how vigorously he could debate the candidate. With video.

On the one hand, Romney assured viewers he’s a friend and ally to the non-religious.

Colmes had asked whether agnostics, atheists, non-believers and those who struggle with their faith have a friend in Romney, evidently referring to his statement, "[a]ny believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me.”

“Of course they do,” Romney said. “You can’t be the president of the United States, recognizing the need to call on the good will of the people of the United States, without recognizing that you have to unite people. And you have to hope that you can get the prayers of all the people of our country.” The phrase “prayers of all the people” is kind of a clue that he thinks everyone prays or ought to pray.

Colmes questioned whether it’s really true that freedom requires religion and religion requires freedom, noting that there are some very religious countries that are not free and some free countries that are not religious.

Romney said his statement was related to a quote from John Adams. Then he confirmed that he thinks freedom and religion, or at least faith, are intertwined. “In fact, freedom in this nation, the greatness of this nation, does require, in my view, a religious base, a conviction that there is a creator. That doesn’t mean every single person has to be religious but that overall, a recognition of the role of a creator is an important element of our morality and of our society. And I think that long term, you’ll see that this country remains a great nation as we have a religious foundation.”

Colmes asked, “What do you see is the role of a president in terms of being a moral leader, religious leader? Does that have any role in the job description of the president of the United States?”

At that point, Romney openly pandered to both the evangelicals and the libertarians at the same time. “I think it’s important to have a person that recognizes the religious heritage of this country, that recognizes that this is a very diverse religious base, with people’s freedom to choose to worship or not worship as they might but at the same time that we’re not going to push God out of our nation.”

Colmes’ time was up just then. Sean Hannity spent his time exploiting the vulnerabilities of Mike Huckabee (again) and Barack Obama.