Pat Robertson Offers Lukewarm Assessment Of Mitt Romney

Pat Robertson offered faint praise for Mitt Romney on the "The 700 Club" Monday, while indicating that he is the best alternative to President Barack Obama.

"It looks like the people who were worried about his Mormonism, at least that crowd is diminishing somewhat," said Robertson, 82, after the show aired an interview with Romney. "The question is, if you have two candidates, you don't have Jesus running against someone else. You have Obama running against Romney." (Relevant exchange from CBN starts at around 4:00.)

The founder of the Christian Coalition and one-time presidential candidate in April also indicated that Romney was the best choice against Obama. "I believe [we] now have a clear-cut choice between somebody who has no plan and between somebody who has a very detailed plan," he said.

Robertson also said in April that Romney's Mormonism wasn't his most relevant feature. "He's not running for Chief Rabbi or Chief American Pastor, he's running for Chief Executive. And he's a skilled lawyer, he's a skilled businessman. And that's what we need ... somebody who would bring business acumen to the White House."

Recent polling has shown that white evangelical voters favor Romney by a wide margin, an approval rate much improved from earlier in the primary. The Public Religion Research Institute found that Romney is favored by a 68-19 margin. Even among the 49 percent of evangelicals who think that Mormonism is different than their own religion favored him over Obama by a 67-22 margin.

Romney gave the commencement address Saturday at conservative Christian Liberty University, as part of an effort to court evangelical voters. He affirmed that he believes that marriage is "between one man and one woman" and said that there is "no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action." Romney, a devout Mormon, barely mentioned his own faith in the speech.