Mika Brzezinski had an interview with Ann Romney which aired on Morning Joe this morning. Transcript follows…
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, MORNING JOE: So anyway, talking about religion, our own Mika Brzezinski sat down with Ann Romney. She is the wife, of course, of Mitt Romney. They were out in California and they talked about an awful lot, they rode horses, even. That is exciting. We never get that gig, do we? We never get that gig, riding horses with a possible future first lady.
And she did, of course, also ask some candid questions about her husband’s faith.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Faith plays a huge role in this election. Your husband has this big speech on Thursday night. What do you think he can do to assure the evangelical voters that he is their candidate?
ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: You know, what Mitt is going to speak on is really religious liberty. And what we are going to face as this nation, what we have — how we have as a nation coalesced always under a flag of liberty, if you think about it, religious liberty is part of all of that.
BRZEZINSKI: There are polls out there that show that some people will not vote for your husband because he is a Mormon. What do you say to that?
ROMNEY: And you know, I think it is an interesting question and I think it is one that has to be addressed. But I also saw what happened in a state like Massachusetts, which is a very predominantly Catholic state.
He was running against an Irish-Catholic woman. Well, you know what? He won.
If people hear him, they see him, it is not like he is not just the Mormon candidates. He is, as John Kennedy so famously said, I am not a Catholic running for president, I’m an American running for president.
And I think people will have to let that dissipated and let that disappear and say, he will be an American running for president.
We may not all necessarily go into the same church and have the same pastor, but we can all recognize that we share the same values and that is the diversity of America. That is why we are here.
BRZEZINSKI: So to those who say Mitt Romney can never be elected because he is a Mormon, you say what?
ROMNEY: No, that is not correct. That is not correct. And I totally have complete faith in the American people that they are fair and good.
BRZEZINSKI: What has been your advice as he deals with the faith issue?
I mean, obviously he is dealing with it on Thursday night. He has chosen to. But what has Ann’s advice been to him on how he should handle this?
ROMNEY: You know, we talk, obviously. We share. We are always feeling like we need to give each other support and help. But with this decision, this was his decision. As to give the speech and, you know, he has written it himself and he is going to give it and it is his choice and it is his — it was really his decision.
BRZEZINSKI: And was it campaign strategy at all, Ann, given Mike Huckabee’s surge of late…
ROMNEY: You know…
BRZEZINSKI: … I mean, isn’t like the timing kind of obvious?
ROMNEY: … it was time. It was time. It was Mitt’s choice. It was his decision to talk about religious liberty. And that is how he decided to go forward in this.
BRZEZINSKI: Will things be different Friday morning for Mitt Romney, given his speech Thursday night?
ROMNEY: We will see. Tune in and see.
SCARBOROUGH: Tune in and see. Great presence, great interview. That was on “Nightly” — parts of that was on “Nightly” last night also.