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FRC's Perkins: Evangelical Support For Trump No Surprise

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By    |   Thursday, 27 Aug 2015 10:37 PM

Evangelical Christian support for GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump shouldn't surprise anyone, says Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

"Evangelical voters are more complex than people give them credit for," Perkins said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."

"They don't vote just for who goes to church on Sunday. They vote for someone who they feel confident will lead this nation forward."

Trump's popularity over other candidates such as Mike Huckabee, who is an ordained Baptist minister, or multiple others who tout their faith, including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal or John Kasich, is the result of voter anger, he said.

"Donald Trump is the result of a Republican leadership here in Washington, D.C. that has been playing political footsies with Barack Obama rather than fisticuffs," Perkins said. "People are tired of it, and that includes evangelicals."

Trump is promising action over lip service, he said.

Whether Trump delivers on that and continues his conversation with evangelicals and corrects some of his miscommunication or mixed signals he's been sending is yet to be seen, Perkins said.

Trump has been saying during his campaign events that his favorite book is the Bible  – the only book better than his own bestseller "The Art of the Deal" written in the late 1980s.

In an interview on Bloomberg's "With All Due Respect," Trump declined to identify a favorite verse.

"I wouldn't want to get into it. Because to me, that's very personal," Trump said in the Wednesday sit-down.

"The Bible means a lot to me, but I don't want to get into specifics," he said.

When asked whether he prefers the Old Testament or the New Testament, Trump said, "probably equal."

"I think it's just … incredible, the whole Bible…" he said.

Lines like that, as well as saying he's not sure he's ever asked God for forgiveness, have caused some to question Trump's spiritual bona fides.

Sam Clovis, an evangelical who recently joined Trump's campaign, said in an email while still working for Rick Perry's campaign, " "(Trump) left me with questions about his moral center and his foundational beliefs. ... His comments reveal no foundation in Christ, which is a big deal."

The FRC's Perkins admitted he would have a hard time backing a candidate who has supported abortion in the past – including partial birth abortion – unless he sees evidence of a change.

"Now I will tell you, I've been in politics, I've held public office, I've known a lot of politicians. Past performance is a pretty good indicator of future performance," Perkins told Megyn Kelly. "Not all the time. There can be a change that takes place that can explain the transformation. But in most cases, what you've seen in the past is what you'll get in the future."

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Evangelical Christian support for GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump shouldn't surprise anyone, says Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
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2015-37-27
Thursday, 27 Aug 2015 10:37 PM
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