Romney Supporters On the Web: Early Activity
July 13, 2006
July 13, 2006

Authors: Charles Mitchell, David French, Dawn Meling, Matt Gabler, Nancy French.  First post July 3, 2006.

Information below reprinted directly from Evangelicals for Mitt:

Charles Mitchell
Charles currently works in the non-profit sector. His work experience includes the Heritage Foundation, Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Human Events recently called him one of the top ten young conservative activists in America, and the Claremont Institute named him one of its 2005 Publius Fellows. A contributing editor to Family Security Matters, Charles has appeared on NPR, MSNBC, and Fox News and written for, the Washington Times, and other publications. He is a graduate of Bucknell University, where his conservative activism earned the attention of the New York Times Magazine and, more importantly, where he was converted to Christianity. He attends Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church with his fiancée, Charissa.

David French
David, a graduate of Harvard Law School and David Lipscomb University, works for a non-profit legal organization and is a First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the United States Army Reserve. The former president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, he also taught at Cornell Law School and served as a partner in a large law firm. He is the author of four books, including A Season for Justice: Defending the Rights of the Christian Home, Church, and School, and numerous op-eds. Regularly interviewed by both print and broadcast media, David has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, The Fox Report with Shepard Smith, Special Report with Brit Hume, and Your World with Neil Cavuto, among others. He has also been profiled in the Christian magazines Charisma and Prism and appears regularly on dozens of Christian radio programs.

Dawn Meling
Dawn recently graduated from Bucknell University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and served as vice president of the Bucknell Conservatives, an editor of the campus conservative magazine, and president of the Fellowship of Christians at Bucknell. She won the Phillips Foundation’s Ronald Reagan College Leaders Award in 2005. Dawn is a member of Zion Baptist Church in Slippery Rock, Pa. and will begin a career as a business banker in Pittsburgh, Pa. this July.

Matt Gabler
Matt is Evangelicals for Mitt’s resident Catholic. A proud native of DuBois, Pa., he recently graduated from Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In March 2006, Matt led a delegation from Bucknell that drove 17 hours each way to vote for Gov. Romney at the presidential straw poll in Memphis. He was for several years a leader of the Bucknell Conservatives, a member of the Catholic Campus Ministry, and a cadet in the Bison Battalion, Bucknell’s ROTC unit. Matt also worked for Bush-Cheney ’04 in Harrisburg, Pa. He is now a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve.

Nancy French
Nancy is the author of Red State of Mind: How a Catfish Queen Reject Became a Liberty Belle, which will be released by Time Warner Books in October 2006. She began her writing career as a Philadelphia City Paper columnist tackling politics, religion, and culture with a light, humorous touch; her articles have also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News. Nancy is an alumna of David Lipscomb University, an evangelical college in Nashville, and New York University, where she studied English and philosophy. Her writer's website can be found at and her grassroots political site at Nancy, her husband David, and their two children, live in Columbia, Tenn. and attend Zion Presbyterian Church.

Why We Support Governor Romney

What Are You Guys Doing?

Evangelicals for Mitt exists because we want a president who shares our political and moral values and priorities, can win in 2008, and can govern effectively thereafter. We believe that the leader of the free world should not only understand, but also articulate why, a values-based governing strategy will result in a more humane, just, and compassionate society. We believe we have found just a person in Mitt Romney, the governor of Massachusetts. He’s not just a candidate evangelicals can support—he is the best choice for people of faith. It’s not even close. That’s why we launched a grassroots effort earlier this year that helped earn him a terrific victory at the first presidential straw poll, and that’s why we’re starting this website.

So What’s Your “Values-Based” Game Plan?

We don’t want a Republican nominee who’s simply against the same things we’re against—same-sex “marriage,” abortion, and embryonic stem cell research—because there’s more to being a person of faith than standing against injustice. We want a president who embraces a comprehensive and positive values agenda: defending religious liberty and basic human rights at home and abroad, combating poverty and disease (including the scourge of AIDS in Africa) within the world’s poorest communities, and fighting for better quality of life for our citizens. We also believe the War on Terror is not simply a national security issue, but also a values issue. The enemies of our country who are responsible for 9/11 hate our very way of life. They hate our freedom, our values, and our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Okay, So What About Mitt Romney?

Gov. Romney is the best candidate to be the next president of the United States. He shares our values, and he’s fought for those values in hostile territory—the liberal state of Massachusetts. He’s not just right on the relevant issues (from the protection of traditional marriage, to the sanctity of life, to the importance of articulating a broader faith-based agenda); he’s a thoughtful advocate for these positions. America is ready for someone who doesn’t just act, but tries also to persuade, and someone who has the moral courage to back up his positions.

What Has He Done?

Any politician can fight for his positions, but not every politician can lead effectively. Gov. Romney is a leader. He doesn’t just say he can find a way to govern amongst partisan warfare: He was elected in an overwhelmingly Democratic state and went on to cut spending, reform taxes, and enact a revolutionary, market-based health care plan. And he accomplished those things while simultaneously fighting intense political battles over some of the most controversial social issues of the day. Gov. Romney led Massachusetts out of the economic wilderness at the same time that he held the line on same-sex “marriage,” opposed Democratic efforts to dramatically expand embryonic stem cell research, and resisted attempts to expand abortion services in the state.

In fact, Gov. Romney has been a leader longer than he has been a politician. Prior to his political career, Gov. Romney helped to launch the very successful Bain Capital, and then led a turnaround at Bain Consulting. Thanks to his efforts, Bain Capital helped launch such successful franchises as (among many others) Staples and The Sports Authority. He also saved the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City which, prior to his leadership, were mired in debt and corruption but subsequently became one of the most successfully run Olympics in memory.

What About Social Issues?

Gov. Romney does not just say he supports traditional marriage; he has defended traditional marriage at great political cost. In 2003, through a breathtaking act of judicial activism, Massachusetts’ supreme court imposed same-sex “marriage” on the state. If not for Gov. Romney’s swift intervention, this action may have led to a national constitutional crisis. Same-sex couples from across the U.S. could have come to Massachusetts, gotten “married,” and then demanded that their home states honor the “marriages”—creating a national wave of litigation and conflicting decisions from state to state. Instead, Gov. Romney and his staff vigorously enforced a little-known 1913 law that prevents out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would be illegal in their home state, keeping Massachusetts from becoming, as he called it, “the Las Vegas of ‘gay marriage.’” He followed this stand with a dynamic and articulate response to Democratic efforts to dramatically expand embryonic stem cell research.

But…He’s a Mormon.

Yes, Gov. Romney is a Mormon. We are not. According to the liberal media, this is an unbridgeable gap, and evangelicals will never turn out to support a faithful Mormon like Mitt Romney. As usual, the media have it wrong. And they root their error (as usual) in a fundamental misunderstanding about American evangelicals—seeing us as ignorant and intolerant simpletons who are incapable of making sophisticated political value judgments.

To be perfectly clear, we believe Gov. Romney is not only acceptable to conservative Christians, but that he is clearly the best choice for people of faith. He is right on all the issues, and he has proven his positions with actions. He is a gifted and persuasive spokesman for our political and moral values. Here is the bottom line: the 2008 election is for president, not pastor. We would never advocate that the Governor become our pastor or lead our churches—we disagree with him profoundly on theological issues. But we reject the notion that the president of the United States has to be in perfect harmony with our religious doctrine. In fact, that is not a test that has been applied before—after all, Jimmy Carter was probably more theologically in line with evangelicals than Ronald Reagan, yet we believe that Reagan was clearly the better choice in 1980.

Let’s leave the absurd religious litmus test to the Democrats. What we want is a president who shares our moral and political values and will put them into action. A President Romney would do that—just as he’s done in Massachusetts—making him stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field.

Finally, it is not just our theory that evangelicals will support Governor Romney. In March, 2006, he shocked the political establishment by finishing second at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll in Memphis, Tennessee. We led the grassroots effort that put him above John McCain and George Allen, and where did he get the vast majority of his support? From the very Southern evangelicals who the media is convinced will not support a Mormon from Massachusetts.

What about the Abortion Issue?

Many people know that Gov. Romney ran against Sen. Ted Kennedy back in 1994 as a pro-choice candidate. Clearly, one can be a convert on the abortion issue. Witness Ronald Reagan, the divorced movie actor who was elected president in 1980 on the strength of huge evangelical support after signing the nation’s most liberal abortion law as governor of California. Reagan later changed his heart on this issue and became one of the most effective pro-life leaders in history. Obviously, our movement can and should support true “converts” on the abortion issue. In fact, converts can be the best advocates.

Gov. Romney has proven he really is such a convert. As we pointed out earlier, he stood against embryonic stem cell research in Massachusetts, at great political cost to himself. He also pledged in his 2002 run for governor not to change the abortion laws in any way—which in his liberal state is frustrating to abortionists, not to pro-life voters. (His opponent wanted to dramatically liberalize the abortion laws, and we’re thankful she was stopped!) We are confident Gov. Romney will appoint the kind of pro-life, conservative judges people of faith (and the Constitution) demand. While there’s no perfect candidate in the field on abortion, no serious presidential contender has risked more for the pro-life cause than Mitt Romney.

Summing It All Up.

Mitt Romney has been a standout conservative governor of a very liberal state. And it’s not just us saying that: National Review, the conservative journal of record, and many others have said the same thing. He believes in the traditional family, and he has fought for it because he truly believes it gives children the best chance for a future. He, like us, is pro-life because he wants to support the weakest and most defenseless members of society. He opposes embryonic stem cell research because he wants to protect the sanctity of human life from speculative and open-ended scientific research. Perhaps most importantly, he holds these values because they are good, not because they are politically expedient. (For him, they have not been politically expedient at all!) He’s shown courage under fire in several challenging situations, and has lived out his values (both publicly and privately) during a time when other Republicans, sadly, have not.