Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz endorsed President Trump’s re-election during this week’s Republican National Convention, yet it was his words about Democratic nominee Joe Biden that drew the most attention.
Holtz, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, criticized Biden’s pro-choice record and said he was a Catholic “in name only.”
Holtz also contrasted Biden’s record with that of Trump.
“One of the important reasons he has my trust is because nobody has been a stronger advocate for the unborn than President Trump,” Holtz said. “The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history. They and other politicians are Catholics in name only and abandon innocent lives. President Trump protects those lives. I trust President Trump.”
Holtz referenced a statue at Notre Dame that includes three words: trust, commitment and love.
“All my life I've made my choices based on these three words. I use these three rules to make choices about everything – my beloved wife of 59 years, athletes I coached, and of course, politicians, even President Trump,” Holtz said.
Holtz said he asks himself three questions based on the three words: Can I trust them? Are they committed to doing their very best? Do they love people?
Trump passes the test, Holtz said.
“I used to ask our athletes at Notre Dame: If you did not show up, who would miss you and why? Can you imagine what would happen to us if President Trump had not shown up in 2016 to run for President? I'm so glad he showed up,” Holtz said. “Thank you for showing up Mr. President. I encourage everyone who loves this country, who loves America, to show up in November for President Trump.”
Rev. John I. Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, distanced the university from Holtz’s remarks.
“While Coach Lou Holtz is a former coach at Notre Dame, his use of the University’s name at the Republican National Convention must not be taken to imply that the University endorses his views, any candidate or any political party,” Jenkins said. “Moreover, we Catholics should remind ourselves that while we may judge the objective moral quality of another’s actions, we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith, which is due to the mysterious working of grace in that person’s heart. In this fractious time, let us remember that our highest calling is to love.”
Photo credit: Screenshot/PBS News Hour video
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.