Mitt Romney put God at center stage of his stump speech during a campaign stop in Virginia Beach Saturday. Alongside televangelist Pat Robertson, Romney made it clear, in case you were wondering, that he has no intention of taking the word “God” out of his party’s platform or off the country’s currency, reports Politico. It was a not-so-thinly-veiled attack against Obama and the Democrats, who took heat from conservatives for not mentioning God in their platform. They later reinserted it.
After leading a reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in the middle of his remarks, Romney began talking about God. “That pledge says ‘under God.’ I will not take God out of our platform. I will not take God off our coins. And I will not take God out of my heart,” Romney said to roaring applause from the audience. Romney also pledged to “rebuild America’s military might” to an audience that was heavy on military families, reports CNN. (Video of the remarks after the jump.)
Since Tampa, Romney’s stump speeches have become less predictable so it’s unclear whether all the talk about God on Saturday was tailored to the conservative, rural audience in southern Virginia, or whether it will form part of his regular campaign rhetoric, writes McKay Coppins in BuzzFeed.
The Obama campaign quickly fired back, saying that Romney’s comments were “extreme and untrue,” reports the Hill.
Internal polls show the candidates are virtually tied in Virginia, a state that is seen as a must-win for Romney, notes the Associated Press. Yet Romney outpolls Obama by more than 20 percentage points among the state’s white, working-class voters.