Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon, has been talking more about his faith in recent days and he used part of an appearance in Sioux City this morning to tout the idea of pausing for prayer in public.

“I think at school celebrations and graduations, for instance, that we ought to be able to have prayer there,” Romney said. “Now, I’m not looking for teachers to have prayer every day in the classroom, but I do think at special ceremonies — graduations, football games and the like — that calling on our creator is a good idea.”

Romney criticized those who he accused of aiming to take God out of every aspect of our culture.

“There are some people who would like to make this nation a secular nation. They want to take God out of everything that exists in our country. They try and say it’s constitutional. It’s a little hard given the fact that our founding document, The Declaration of Independence, notes that we were endowed by our creator by certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Romney said. “How do you take God out of America when it’s the Declaration that points out in the first place?”

Romney made his remarks to a crowd of about 100 gathered at the Missouri Valley Steel plant in Sioux City. Romney vowed a get-tough attitude as president to crack down on countries that steal U.S. innovations. 

“There are some cheaters out there when it comes to fair trade — one of them it China,” Romney said. “They’ve been stealing designs, patents and technology. They’ve also manipulated their currency so that their products are articifically low-priced. You can’t allow that to go on year after year after year.”

Romney flew from Sioux City to South Carolina for an appearance with that state’s Republican governor, as Nikki Haley is publicly endorsing his candidacy.

Reporting in Sioux City by Woody Gottburg of KSCJ Radio)