Mitt Does JFK

For more than a year, there has been talk inside Mitt Romney's presidential campaign ( that the GOP candidate would give a JFK-ish speech explaining his religion--he's a Mormon--and how it would or wouldn't affect his presidency.

Well, it wasn't what they had in mind, but an unscripted, passionate, and argumentative Romney let loose last week during some off-air discussions with Iowa's WHO Radio host Jan Mickelson. It was caught by the radio studio's cameras. It's must-watching and hearing for anybody interested in the issue, as Romney, like JFK before him, brushed aside any concerns that he would let his religion rule his administration.

"My religion is for me and how I live my life," he declared. "I don't impose all my faiths and beliefs on you." For example, he noted that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn't approve of booze and that he doesn't drink. But he won't be pushing for a new constitutional amendment banning alcohol.

His staffers thought it was so good that they posted it on a YouTube page ( Campaign spokesman Kevin Madden tells me that "it shows Governor Romney at his best: tough, passionate, confident in his convictions and engaging. It could be titled MittTV Unplugged." Madden adds that the reaction has been good so far.

"Once we reviewed the interview in full, we thought that it showed Governor Romney in an unvarnished setting that folks would be interested in seeing. Judging from the reaction, supporters and potential supporters are really responding in a positive manner."

By Paul Bedard