April 21, 2012
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will deliver the commencement address this year at Liberty University, a speech likely to offer more than the usual advice for graduates, according to WORLD News Service. Unlike Rick Santorum, his former rival, Romney has not actively courted evangelical voters, a bloc pundits say he needs to beat President Obama in November. After speculation about who evangelicals would support after Santorum dropped out of the race, the commencement gives Romney a chance to be seen and heard in a prime evangelical setting, said Mark DeMoss, an unpaid Romney adviser. "Schools don't endorse candidates, but I think his being there will be closely watched by conservatives and evangelicals around the country," DeMoss said. University officials expect at least 34,000 to attend the ceremony, likely Romney's largest audience before he accepts the nomination in August. Although Romney has not tailored his message to different audiences, DeMoss downplayed suggestions the candidate would overlook any group of potential supporters. "To be able to go to a place like Liberty and address that many people from all 50 states is a pretty good way to connect with a lot of folks who also happen to be evangelicals," he said.