Discuss as:

Romney to give 'The Speech' Thursday

From NBC/NJ's Erin McPike
A week and a day after the flap over Giuliani's in-office expenses broke, and five days after the Des Moines Register announced Huckabee was leading the Iowa GOP race for the first time, Mitt Romney will on Thursday deliver his long-awaited speech on faith.

The AP reported late Sunday afternoon that the campaign chose George HW Bush's presidential library in Texas as the venue for Thursday's address. The former president will attend, prompting Secret Service attendance and more security than Romney has had at his events in the past. The campaign announced that the former president's attendance doesn't signify an endorsement.

Just this past Wednesday, not more than an hour before the debate, Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said the candidate was still making up his mind - and was "weighing it very heavily."

Romney is currently re-reading Jon Meacham's book, "American Gospel."

Spokesman Kevin Madden added in an e-mail, "Governor Romney felt this was the right time, the right moment. No analysis can interpret perfectly what is truly a personal decision by the governor."

And according to the campaign's statement, "This speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the grand tradition religious tolerance has played in the progress of our nation and how the governor's own faith would inform his Presidency if he were elected.

"Governor Romney understands that faith is an important issue to many Americans, and he personally feels this moment is the right moment for him to share his views with the nation.

"Governor Romney personally made the decision to deliver this speech sometime last week."