Trump calls on evangelical Christians to vote in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump told a bunch of evangelicals that they may not afford to “sit on the sidelines” within the 2024 election, at one point imploring them, “Go vote, Christians, please!”

Trump also spoke in favor of displaying the Ten Commandments in schools and elsewhere when he spoke to a bunch of politically influential evangelical Christians in Washington on Saturday. He received applause when he called a brand new law was signed this week in Louisiana calls for the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom.

“Has anybody read 'Thou shalt not steal'? I mean, has anybody read this incredible stuff? It's just incredible,” Trump said on the Faith & Freedom Coalition rally. “They don't want it to go up. It's a crazy world.”

A day earlier, Trump had posted an endorsement of the brand new law on his social media, saying: “I LOVE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND MANY OTHER PLACES TOO. READ THEM – HOW CAN WE AS A NATION GET IT WRONG???”

The former president and presumed The Republican presidential candidate supported the move to mobilize his religious right following, which had initially been wary of the twice-divorced celebrity within the New York tabloid press when he first ran for president in 2016.

This support has, despite its conviction in the primary of 4 criminal trials he’s facing. Last month, a jury found him guilty of falsifying business records. Prosecutors said he was attempting to cover up a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election. Daniels claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump 10 years earlier, which he denies.

Trump's declared opposition to sign a nationwide ban on abortion and his reluctance to detail a few of his views on the difficulty are at odds with many members of the evangelical movement, a key a part of Trump's base that is anticipated to assist him mobilize voters in his rematch against Democratic President Joe Biden in November.

But while many members of the movement wish he would do more to limit abortion, they hail him because the cause's biggest champion, having played a task in appointing the U.S. Supreme Court justices that overturned national abortion law in 2022.

Trump highlighted this Saturday with the words: “We have done something great,” but the choice on this issue stays as much as the people within the states.

“Every voter has to follow their heart and do the right thing, but we also have to be elected,” he said.

While he still campaigns for the overturning of the Roe v. Wade ruling, Trump also warns that abortion politically difficult for the Republicans. For months, he avoided questions on his stance on a nationwide ban.

Last 12 months, when Trump addressed He told the Faith & Freedom Coalition that “the federal government plays a critical role in protecting unborn life,” but didn’t provide further details.

In April this 12 months Trump said he believed the difficulty should now be left to the states. He later stated in an interview that he wouldn’t sign a nationwide abortion ban if it were passed by Congress. He has nevertheless declined to elucidate his position in additional detail about women’s access to the abortion pill mifepristone.

About two-thirds of Americans consider abortion must be legal in principle, in response to a poll conducted last 12 months by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Participants at Saturday's evangelical rally said that while they might welcome a nationwide ban on abortion, it might not diminish Trump's deep support.

“I would prefer if he signed a statewide ban,” said Jerri Dickinson, a 78-year-old retired social employee and member of Faith & Freedom in New Jersey. “But I understand that under the Constitution, that decision should be left to the states.”

Dickinson said she couldn’t abide the abortion law in her state, which doesn’t place restrictions on the procedure based on gestational age, but she said leaving the matter to the state was “the best alternative,” except for saying she favored a national ban.

According to AP VoteCast, a comprehensive poll of voters, about 8 in 10 white evangelical Christian voters supported Trump in 2020, and nearly 4 in 10 Trump voters identified themselves as white evangelical Christians. White evangelical Christians made up about 20% of the whole electorate that 12 months.

In addition to offering its own support in the final election, the Faith & Freedom Coalition plans to assist mobilize votes for Trump and other Republicans through the use of volunteers and paid staff to knock on tens of millions of doors in swing states.

Trump can be canvassing voters in Philadelphia, where supporters gathered in an arena to listen to him speak.

Tyler Cecconi, 25, of Richmond, Virginia, said he was glad Trump was stepping out of his comfort zone and going to places which may not be red. At the venue, organizers hung a banner reading “Philadelphia is Trump country.”

“He's showing people that he doesn't care if they vote for him or not, and if it's a blue district or a red district,” Cecconi said. “A president is for everyone in this country.”

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick attended the rally and took the stage to talk to voters in regards to the economy and immigration.

“This economy doesn’t work for most Pennsylvanians and it doesn’t work for most Americans,” McCormick said.

Earlier in Washington, Trump returned to the US-Mexico border several times during his roughly 90-minute speech. At one point he called the migrants crossing the border “tough” and joked that he had told his friend Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, to sign them up for a new edition of the game.

“Why don't you start a migrant league and have your regular fighter league. And then you have the champion of your league, which is the best fighters in the world, fighting the champion of the migrants,” Trump told White. “I think the migrant could win, that's how tough they are. He didn't like that idea very much.”

His story sparked laughter and applause from the audience.

“Trump's incoherent, confused tirade showed voters in his own words that he is a threat to our freedoms and too dangerous to let anywhere near the White House again,” campaign spokeswoman Sarafina Chitika said in an announcement.

Alexander reported from Philadelphia. Associated Press writers Tom Strong and Amelia Thomson DeVeaux contributed to this report.

image credit :