Romney Woos Christians at Faith & Freedom Summit

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Grassroots conservative evangelicals came together at the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C., this weekend, to plot their strategy for taking back the White House.

Although GOP candidate Mitt Romney is on a bus tour through several key states, he took time to address this key part of his base by satellite.

"We need to strengthen the commitment that exists in this country to family," Romney told conference participants.

The members of this group are important because they not only organize evangelicals to get out and vote, but they also stir up conservative enthusiasm. Romney admits he needs their help.

"One of the reasons I'm on this broadcast with you is I desperately want to see you working hard, knocking on doors, calling friends (and) telling them what's at stake," he said. "The question here is whether we're going to have a nation that becomes more like Europe or a nation that remains the hope of the Earth."

Conservative evangelicals didn't show much interest in Romney during the GOP primaries. Former presidential candidate Herman Cain says now is the time for Romney to reach out to them.

"They've got to connect with people of faith," Cain said. "Not enough people of faith showed up at the polls last time around, not that it would have won the election. They cannot afford to stay in the pews this time."

Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition is bursting with Teavangelicals -- evangelical voters who are also aligned with the Tea Party.

The group has the cell phone numbers and emails of 13 million potential voters, and they're using that information to distribute voter guides electronically, hoping to add at least 3 million new evangelical voters in 2012 -- perhaps as many as 7 million.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America has a plan, too. It's called "She Votes 2012."

"There's about 16 million evangelical women (and) Catholic women out there, and Concerned Women for America has decided that it is our time to reach out to these women, get them registered, get them plugged in and help them to get out on election day and vote," Nance said.

Attendees at this conference say they want Romney to stand boldly and proudly for his values.

"I just want to hear him do what he says he is going to do. I am so tired of politicians saying one thing to get elected and then going in and doing the opposite," one attendee said.

Another said, "It's one thing to say 'I'm pro-life' or 'I'm against homosexuality,' but to fully articulate those ideas and to make sure that his stance is known ... I think we've come to a place where we can't be silent on the issues that need to be discussed."

The real question for Romney between now and election day is can he generate enthusiasm among evangelicals? Pro-family leaders are doing what they can by targeting President Obama's record to get people motivated, but it's unclear if that in itself will make the difference.

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