Trump Is Meeting With Evangelical Leaders As He Pushes To Keep Coalition In Tact

( Mar-a-Lago, the former President’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida, was the setting this past Friday for a luncheon with a group of evangelical leaders.

Paula White-Cain, Trump’s spiritual adviser, organized the meeting. She is a fixture at the club, often attending fundraisers for GOP candidates, mingling with guests that include consultants and wealthy donors.
One witness to the lunch said that the attendees talked and prayed.
Observers are saying that this is a sign that Trump will embrace the coalition that secured the presidential win as he mounts his 2024 run.
Cynics say that evangelicals and Trump make strange bedfellows. He has appeared on the cover of Playboy, been divorced twice, and can be a bit crude in his speeches, dropping f-bombs and hurling insults that can be considered highly insensitive.
It’s a symbiotic relationship. The evangelicals, despite Trump’s crudeness, like the Trump doctrine. Trump needs their votes.
Tony Perkins, the evangelical president of the Family Research Council, says, “I think he has a strong platform to run on — on what he has done”.

Attendees at the Mar-a-Lago meeting included the most influential evangelical leaders. Pastor Jack Graham, James Dobson, and Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, were on the guest list.
Trump spoke to the group about Joe Biden’s failures, but he also reminded the faithful of his administration’s record on religion. Trump is serious about keeping those ties and allying with the “religious right.”
Evangelical voters helped deliver Trump’s victory in 2016 and supported him again in 2020. Approximately 80 percent of the evangelicals voted for Trump in both elections. This triggered a slew of criticism that evangelical leaders backed a candidate who didn’t take their agenda seriously. Still, those leaders spoke out to say that Trump is being misrepresented.
“I think people think evangelicals have been duped by President Trump, Evangelicals are not morons. They understand that he might not pray six hours a day or be able to quote the Bible backward and forward but they do believe he’s a man who loves our country and he’s embraced policies that are in keeping with the truth of God’s word, and that’s why they selected him,” said Robert Jeffress, pastor at First Baptist in Dallas.
“I don’t speak for evangelical Christians — they’re all over the place politically, and a lot of them didn’t support President Trump, and that’s fine. But I think the majority did, and I think they will continue to support him. It’s his policies that benefited all of us,” said evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the famed crusader Billy Graham.

Trump understands that he needs evangelicals in his camp when he runs in 2024 because other potential Republican candidates will court them. Former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo all have their eyes on this potential voting bloc.

Untethering them from the former president will be a minor miracle.