By Alicia M. Cohn - 09/17/11 10:24 AM EDT
Mitt Romney said Friday he does not expect his Mormon faith to become a challenge in this election, and added that he thinks most voters prioritize other issues over religion.
“I addressed this last time around, had a speech on religion in America. … That’s sort of been put to bed for me,” Romney said on the Kilmeade & Friends show on Fox News Radio. “I know there are some for whom religion is the most important issue, and I may lose some of those folks, but for the great majority of Americans, they want to see this country going again.”
Romney delivered a speech entitled “Faith in America” in 2007, when he promised to "put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law."
During Romney’s last campaign, polls indicated that his faith was a liability when it came to Evangelical voters.
A June survey found that some voters are hesitant to support a Mormon in 2012. Twenty-two percent of people surveyed by Gallup said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate. Gallup found 18 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of independents would not vote for a Mormon, while 27 percent of Democrats would not.
Romney is competing against two outspoken Evangelical politicians in Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) for frontrunner status in this race. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who trails in the polls, is also a Mormon.
Romney also said in the interview that he originally had no plans to run in 2012 after he lost the nomination to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008 — and neither did his wife.
"She said, 'We will never, ever do this again,'" according to Romney. “She said that after each one of our five sons was born, as well,” he added.
“It was Barack Obama who convinced her and convinced me” that he needed to try again, Romney said.
Romney said that the “most important thing I’ve learned” since the 2008 campaign is “you gotta make sure the people know why it is you’re running and what you stand for.”
Romney said the main plank of his campaign is his unique qualification as a conservative, businessman with private sector experience.