Romney wins critical support of Billy Graham and his son

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney met Thursday with Rev. Billy Graham, and the aging evangelist pledged to do “all I can” to help the GOP nominee win the presidency.

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney,meets with Rev. Billy Graham, center, and his son Franklin Graham, on Oct. 11, in Montreat, N.C. / Evan Vucci / AP

“Prayer is the most helpful thing you can do for me,” Romney told the 93-year-old Graham. …

“What you’re planning, what your son has shown me, is going to be very, very helpful. And I appreciate that. It’s going to be terrific,” Romney said near the end of their 30-minute meeting. …

Romney adviser Mark De Moss later said Romney and Franklin Graham had been discussing how the younger Graham is doing everything he can “to encourage churches to encourage their people to get out and vote.”

Romney’s embrace of Franklin Graham draws in an evangelical leader who has been criticized for his harsh views of Islam. The younger Graham has described Islam as evil and offensive and has said Muslims should know that Christ died for their sins.

In 2010, the Army withdrew an invitation for Franklin Graham to speak at a Pentagon prayer service because of what officials called inappropriate comments about Islam. …Romney has faced some difficulty making inroads with evangelical voters, in part because some believe his Mormon faith means he is not a Christian.

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