When Mitt Romney is assessed as a candidate for the presidency, a handful of potential vulnerabilities are often cited. Among them are his wealth and, as a result, his difficulties c0nnecting with voters, as well as his Mormon faith.
The concerns about Romney’s wealth are well documented, from questions about his tax returns to statements about his wife’s owning a “couple of Cadillacs.” But the role of his faith and the effect they might have on voters are more of a mystery. Romney hasn’t spoken much about his religious beliefs, and he passed up on another opportunity to do so Monday.
Romney spent more than two years living in France in the 1960s, during which time he served as a Mormon missionary. Missionary work is an integral part of the Mormon experience and many young Mormons live abroad for a period of time in a similar capacity.
At a campaign stop in Aston, Pa., Romney, 65, was asked by a French reporter whether he had any memories from his time in France. Romney recalled taking vacations in the country, saying, “I think the best memories were with my wife on vacations from time to time in France,” skipping the chance to discuss his faith.
It’s unclear to what extent Romney’s faith will motivate voters on Election Day. The latest ABC News polling suggests that it will not be much of a factor: Eighty percent of respondents don’t consider Romney’s religion a major factor in their decision on whether to support him.
But polling has indicated that Americans are unfamiliar with Mormonism, and several are uncomfortable with the religion.