In a recent interview with CBN aboard Air Force One, President Trump said he believes evangelicals will show up at the polls for next week’s midterm elections because no one has done more for them than him.
The comments came amidst a discussion about the upcoming midterm elections as President Trump hopped across the country to campaign for GOP candidates. The interviewer talked about Trump’s strong evangelical support in 2016 and wondered if they would show up for an election when he was not running.
President Trump responded, “Well, they’re going to show up for me because nobody’s done more for Christians or evangelicals or frankly religion than I have. You’ve seen all the things that we’ve passed including the Johnson Amendment and so many things we’ve nullified. Nobody’s done more than we have.”
President Trump spoke about his desire to repeal the Johnson Amendment during his Presidential Campaign. The amendment, named after former President Lyndon Johnson, who proposed it when he was a Senator in 1954, puts the tax-exempt status of churches in jeopardy if they endorse candidates for public office.
President Trump told the audience at the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast that he planned to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment. However, a repeal of the Johnson Amendment was not included in the 2017 tax legislation. President Trump signed an Executive order in May 2017 “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” which directed the Department of Treasury that “churches should not be found guilty of implied endorsements where secular organizations would not be.”
The President also highlighted steps he has taken to protect the Mexico City Policy. He said, “Mexico City, take a look at that. Things that frankly until Ronald Reagan, nobody did anything. So, I know they’re very happy with me.”
President Reagan first announced the “Mexico City Policy” at the International Conference on Population in Mexico City in 1984. This policy placed restrictions on foreign NGOs. They could not receive funding from the United States if they used funds, even if they were not from the U.S., to perform or promote abortions. The policy has been rescinded or reinstated, mostly by executive order, along party lines since Reagan first implemented it.
CBN asked the President how it has moved him to know a lot of people are praying for him “because a lot of people think the empathy factor with you as president is on the low end if you will.”
The President responded, “I don’t think they do think that. I think it’s on the high end. Well maybe the critics say it because they’re doing anything to get us all out of office. No, I think we’ve had tremendous support in the form of prayer and I get it all the time, ‘I’m praying for you, Mr. President. I’m praying for you.’ We, I hear it so much. It’s nice and it’s great to see it and great to hear it but all the time people are coming up to me and they’re saying, ‘Mr. President, I’m praying for you.’ It’s very nice.”
The President will rely on evangelicals, 81% of whom voted for him in the 2016 Presidential Election, to help his party in the midterms. “The question is whether or not they’re going to go out and vote when I’m not running. I have no doubt they’re going to be there in ’20. I hope they’re going to be there now because it’ll be a lot easier if they are, a lot better.”
Scott Slayton writes at One Degree to Another.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Scott Olson/Staff