Tony Perkins: Trump is open to changing his views because ‘he didn’t think’ them through
Donald Trump certainly isn’t an expert on Christian morals and values, which is making pandering to the right-wing evangelicals difficult. The only solution Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and his allies can come up with is a meeting Tuesday, where leaders in the right-wing Christian Evangelical movement can come together and tell Trump how it’s going to be.
“Many evangelicals did not support him,” Perkins said about Trump’s lackluster numbers among Christians who see his past as a problem. “There are many out there that I think would like to, but there is some uncertainty.”
When asked what Perkins plans to tell the GOP nominee, he said that the issues will come down to national security and religious liberty, particularly how aggressive Trump will be in defending religious freedom. Perkins admitted Trump’s past statements about being pro-LGBT and pro-choice are concerns as they move forward as well.
“I think that’s why there’s not people just rushing because he’s the GOP nominee,” Perkins said. “Look, as Evangelicals, Christians, Conservatives in this process, we not only want to have influence but we also have to be a witness to the truth. And, so part of that is, ‘Alright, let’s have a conversation about these issues. Maybe you didn’t think through them.’ And I give him the benefit of the doubt that as a businessman who’s been doing other things, he’s not thought through these policies, and that’s why you’ll see him from time to time change his positions once it’s been explained to him.”
Perkins admitted that most of the 900+ group participating in the meeting didn’t support Trump in the primary. He said that these leaders want to know how important the role of faith is in Trump’s life. Trump said in an interview Saturday that he doesn’t believe in asking God for forgiveness, a key component to baptism and Christianity.
He then pivoted to security being the key element to the election, not faith or values issues. Trump’s vice presidential candidate will be key here, Perkins explained, because Trump has no record on these issues.
“Scripture’s very clear on this, you cannot know a man’s heart,” he said of Trump. Perkins famously told Christians to leave their church if their pastors supported Barack Obama in 2012.