A televangelist who brags that he loves money more than women has, not surprisingly, thrown his support behind Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Mike Murdock, a Texas-based pastor who promotes the so-called “prosperity gospel,” formally endorsed the real estate tycoon and reality TV star Monday during a rally in Greenville, South Carolina — where GOP candidates debated over the weekend ahead of the state’s primary elections.
“He has a warrior spirit for restoring America in the eyes of the world and he has a warrior’s heart,” Murdock said during an interview with Bloomberg Politics. “I am endorsing him for president.”
The head pastor at the Wisdom Center ministry said he speaks for evangelical voters who believe “God is being ignored.”
“We feel that there’s content for God in the Bible, and I believe that Mr. Trump has a heart of restoration, including restoring us economically,” Murdock said.
Murdock said he had “not a single concern” about Trump’s positions on abortion and gay marriage — which GOP rival candidate Ted Cruz, the Texas senator, has attacked as insufficiently conservative.
“I don’t trust a man who is too calculating in his talk,” Murdock explained to Bloomberg Politics. “I like a man who is thoughtful and I like a man that tells me his heart. [Trump’s] face always says me what his mouth is saying, and I enjoy that.”
Murdock was a preacher on “The PTL Club,” more commonly known as “The Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker Show,” during the 1980s, before a fraud conviction and sex scandal brought down the couple’s ministry and ended their marriage.
The Wisdom Center and its head pastor have attracted criticism for spending less than 1 percent of its donations for charitable work, while Murdock lives a lavish lifestyle that he preaches God has bestowed upon him.
A friend of the televangelist’s son claims Murdock maintained an extensive pornography collection, along with rare coins, jeweled watches and “the best dope money can buy.”
“I had truly come to hate the man and everything he represents,” wrote Trey Smith, who claims he stole a safe from Murdock’s home. “I had come to hate the lies, the deception, the greed, the backroom deals, the secrets, the sex, and all the pain that comes in pursuit of Christian television’s greatest god—the dollar bill.”
John Oliver famously referred to Murdock as “that asshole with two planes” during a segment last year on prosperity gospel preachers who urge their flock to show their devotion to God by showering them with cash.
Murdock sometimes brags during his television programs that sometimes he doesn’t even notice how blessed he was until his “enemies” criticized his huge and luxurious homes — and he makes no effort to disguise his lust for money, which he prefers freshly printed and stacked.
“I ain’t seen a woman as good looking as a $100 dollar bill,” Murdock said. “There’s something about a $100 bill that excites you.”
Watch this video showing Murdock boasting about his wealth and seeking donations: