Former President Donald Trump says in a new interview that evangelical leaders are being disloyal by staying neutral in the 2024 race after backing him in 2016 and 2020.
Trump made the comments in an interview with David Brody, who asked him to comment on "prominent evangelical leaders" who are "not yet willing to commit" to support Trump. Brody referenced Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, who in November said, "the Republican Party is headed toward a civil war," and he would remain neutral for the 2024 nomination.
"It's a sign of disloyalty," Trump said. "There is great disloyalty in the world of politics. And that is a sign of disloyalty, because nobody ... has ever done more for Right to Life than Donald Trump.
"I put three Supreme Court justices who all voted" to overturn Roe v. Wade, Trump said.
Pro-lifers, Trump said, did not fight hard enough in the 2022 election when Democrats kept the Senate and performed better than expected in the House.
"I was a little disappointed," he said of pro-lifers. "... A lot of them didn't fight or weren't really around to fight, and it did energize the Democrats. … There's nobody that's done more for the movement than I have, and that includes the movement of evangelicals and Christians and the movement very much of Right the Life."
A new national University of Massachusetts Amherst poll of GOP voters released last week showed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leading Trump 51-49 percent in a two-candidate race for the party nomination. When other candidates are included, Trump leads DeSantis 37-34 percent.
In hypothetical matchups with President Biden, the RealClearPolitics polling average shows Biden leading Trump by 1.5 points. DeSantis leads Biden in the polling average by 1.3 points.
Meanwhile, Trump said he believes the pro-life community should promote exceptions for rape, incest and in cases where the mother's life is in danger in order to win elections.
"Ronald Reagan and myself and others … believed in the exceptions," Trump said. "... I think it's very hard to get elected … if you're not in favor of the three exceptions."
Republicans Are 'Headed Toward a Civil War,' Pastor Robert Jeffress Says
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joshua Roberts/Stringer
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.