By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff
Mitt Romney says his Thursday speech on faith and politics won't be exactly like John F. Kennedy's famous 1960 address.
Logistically, it definitely won't be.
Romney will be introduced at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Tex., by the former president. He will be speaking to a hand-picked audience of supporters and others, not a ballroom full of skeptical Protestant ministers like Kennedy. And unlike Kennedy, who fielded pointed queries, Romney won't be taking questions.
CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all plan live coverage of the speech, scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. EST, but the networks won't necessarily cover it in its entirety.
Romney’s campaign released a statement detailing the preparations he is making, accompanied by photographs showing Romney putting the final touches on the speech. One shows him at his campaign headquarters in Boston today seated in a black leather chair and leafing through a scratch pad of notes.
"This week, Governor Romney has been working with aides, family, and friends to make final edits to the 'Faith in America' speech," says the statement.
Romney's aides said the audience will include James Bopp Jr., a prominent anti-abortion activist who is an adviser to Romney, and Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Land has been among those who have urged Romney to give a speech addressing suspicions about Mormonism head-on.
Land, in a blog posting today, said "such a speech by Governor Romney is even more important for our nation than it is for Governor Romney. Why? Because our nation needs to be reminded in such a high profile speech that we are a country that believes so deeply in religious freedom that we enshrined the prohibition for any religous test for office in our Constitution."
The venue puts Romney back on familiar turf. He came to the Bush library in April to deliver a speech on strengthening the military, increasing energy independence, and combating radical Islam.