Evangelical leader Billy Graham offers to help Romney

MONTREAT, North Carolina Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:17pm EDT

1 of 4. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney meets with Reverend Billy Graham (R) at his home in Montreat, North Carolina October 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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MONTREAT, North Carolina (Reuters) - Evangelical leader Billy Graham offered to help Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday in what could prove to be a boost in getting evangelicals to turn out for the Republican in the November 6 election.

Graham, who will turn 94 next month, is one of the most recognized religious figures in the world and has been a spiritual adviser to a number of American presidents and political leaders. He has had talks with presidents going back to Harry Truman and President Barack Obama visited him in 2011.

Romney's motorcade made the trip up a winding mountain road to Graham's compound, where the former Massachusetts governor met with Graham and his son Franklin for about half an hour.

"What can I do for you?" Billy Graham asked Romney.

"Prayer is the most helpful thing you can do for me," Romney said.

Before the meeting ended, Graham led a prayer for Romney and said: "I'll do all I can to help you. And you can quote me on that."

Graham's support would be especially meaningful for Romney since some in the Christian right have been suspicious of Romney because of his Mormon religion. Despite any doubts, Christian conservatives seem energized for the opportunity to defeat the Democrat Obama in the November 6 election.

Romney made a comment to Graham that suggested he and Franklin, also a well-known evangelical leader and now head of the family's ministry, will try to turn out evangelical Christians for the Republican.

"What you're planning, what your son has shown me is going to be very, very helpful," Romney told Billy Graham. "And I appreciate that. It's going to be terrific."

A campaign official said among the topics discussed were religious freedom, religious persecution and growth of the Grahams' Christian ministry in China, Sudan and North Korea.

They also talked about Afghanistan. Franklin Graham's son has been deployed to Afghanistan three times.

(Editing By Alistair Bell and Bill Trott)

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Comments (3)
texoman wrote:
I read a while back that Billy Graham said one of his biggest regrets was getting involved in politics? Maybe he and Romney have something in common after all, Flip-Floppers? He was my hero when I was young but that changed when he chose to get involved in republican politics. The politics of screwing the working middle-class people to make the Rich even more wealthy.

Oct 11, 2012 7:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
neahkahnie wrote:
This is the minister to Presidents and to the nation of America. As long as they are White and Conservative. Graham should be ashamed of himself.

Oct 11, 2012 8:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Billy and Franklin will support anything, even the anti-Christ Mormons, if they can once again get a president that talks to them.

Oct 12, 2012 11:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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