Five former Vatican ambassadors endorse Romney
By Michelle Bauman
Mitt Romney at a rally in Paradise Valley, Ariz., along with former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle on Dec 6, 2011. Credit: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Mitt Romney at a rally in Paradise Valley, Ariz., along with former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle on Dec 6, 2011. Credit: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

.- Five former U.S. ambassadors to the Holy See have announced their “wholehearted support” for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whom they describe as the “best qualified” candidate for the nation's highest office.

“Governor Romney has the experience, vision and commitment to the common good that our country needs at this crucial moment in history,” said the former ambassadors in a letter that was released Jan. 7.

Thomas Patrick Melady, Raymond L. Flynn, James Nicholson, Francis Rooney and Mary Ann Glendon all signed the letter, which applauded Romney for realizing “that sound economic and social policies must rest on a healthy culture.”

The signatories, who served under presidents George H. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, agreed that Romney has shown commitment to “the values that we feel are critical in a national leader.”

Ambassadors Glendon and Flynn had also previously signed a letter defending Romney’s record on the issues of life and marriage.

While acknowledging their diverse political affiliations, the former ambassadors said they all agree on “the importance of family and traditional values in American life.”

They voiced their conviction that Romney understands the need for strong and healthy families “as pillars of a vibrant economy and a flourishing polity.”

The signatories praised the former Massachusetts governor’s “outstanding record in defense of marriage and the family” and expressed confidence in him as “a staunch defender” of human life “from conception to natural death.”

Furthermore, they said, Romney possesses a “superior understanding of America’s key role in our increasingly interdependent world.”

They also stated their belief that Romney will uphold “the Constitution and the rule of law” because he recognizes that American freedom and prosperity are due to the country’s “distinctive legal heritage.”

According to The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Catholic voters have tended to mirror the general electorate in recent presidential elections.

In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush won 52 percent of the Catholic vote, while Democrat John Kerry received 47 percent.

In the 2008 election, Democrat Barack Obama garnered 54 percent of the Catholic vote, while Republican John McCain received 45 percent.

In both elections, the Catholic vote was within one percentage point of the general vote.

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