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Mitt Romney's Son on Dad's 2008 White House Run

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," March 15, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: A "Big Story" exclusive. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is moving up in the polls. He's still third among Republican contenders, but he is closing in on frontrunners John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. And a new poll shows Romney finishing first in personal character and on his issue positions.

So what's it going to take for Mitt Romney to push over the top in '08? Plus, there is still the Mormon question: Will his faith hurt his run? With me now is Mitt Romney's son, Tagg Romney, in his first national live television interview.

Tagg, welcome. So, let me put this question on the screen. Your dad is rising in the polls. I'm sure that makes everybody happy. But this question of the Mormon faith and whether it matters is still on the table. What do you think?

TAGG ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY'S SON: You know, my dad is not running for pastor, he's running for president. And at the end of the day, it's not differences in theology that are going to make a difference. It's the shared values that he has with the American people of hard work, integrity, faith in God, his love of country, his love of his family. It's those shared values that matter, and not theological differences.

The second issue is I have been all around the country — New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, Michigan — and have talked to lots and lots of voters. Hardly, if any, at all have brought up the issue of religion. It is typically the press that brings it up and not the voters. So I think as people get to know him and his character that the issue of religion will fade into the background.

GIBSON: Do you think voters are curious about Mormonism, that they don't know the tenets of the religion and they would like to know or that they just don't care?

ROMNEY: You know, I think it may just be that they are unfamiliar with some of the teachings. Frankly, it's not going to be my dad's job or the campaign's job to educate the people on a particular brand of faith. The thing that will matter is what are his values, what has he done. You look at the way he has raised his family and been with his wife for the last 38 years and loved her and raised five sons and 10 grandchildren, and those are the things that matter, not a particular brand of faith.

GIBSON: Well I know that your mother and father are on the campaign trail because they truly are in love, and they do like each other, and they like each other's company. But one can't help but wonder is it also because these other Republicans are on their second or third wife, and your father has been married once to the same woman for what, 38 years?

ROMNEY: You know, I don't think the other candidates have anything to do with it. You look back at his past campaigns and we have always been there for his announcements. I worked in his 1994 campaign, his 2002 campaign. We love our dad. My mom loves her husband.

You know, I quit my job in Los Angeles, moved my family all the way across the country to come back and help him because I think he is going to be a fantastic president. It's the most important thing I have ever done. The other candidates don't have anything to do with our love and affection for our dad.

GIBSON: Tagg Romney, one of Mitt Romney's sons, rising in the polls. Tagg, thanks very much. Appreciate you coming on.

ROMNEY: Thank you.

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