'I believe in the Bible': Trump courts Christian right | us news

‘I believe in the Bible’: Trump courts Christian right

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Donald Trump’s size fixation.

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump, whose candidacy has become defined by thick crowds of cheering fans, heard something unfamiliar at the annual Values Voter Summit: Boos, directed at him, for what he had just said about a fellow Republican. In this Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks at a signed pledge during a news conference in Trump Tower in New York.As the Republican presidential front-runner and billionaire businessman tries to maintain his lead in early polls with rivals gaining, Trump is increasingly courting a wing of the Republican Party that might seem antithetical to his brand: evangelical Christians.

The GOP pack leader and former reality television star constantly touts the number of attendees at his events and sometimes wildly exaggerates, an unusual habit for a presidential candidate. After initially declining the invitation, Trump spoke Friday in front of several hundred social conservative leaders at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit in Washington. When Paul Duncan dares to watch a channel other than the fair-and-balanced channel, Jackie Duncan demands that he switch it back to the “default station” at their place in Columbia, Md. Bobby Jindal stepped up his attacks against Donald Trump Friday by warning social conservatives that the New York billionaire is not as bound to the Christian faith as he would like them to believe. “He hasn’t read the Bible,” Mr. Trump’s very public interest in attendance figures distinguishes a campaign that benefits from perceptions of its own energy and momentum — and that refuses to hire pollsters, instead measuring its success by whatever numbers are at hand. “He’s completely obsessed by it,” said a person familiar with Trump’s thinking about crowd estimates. “He believes that it is a real-time measure of how he’s doing.

The fact that he has consistently drawn huge crowds is a matter of pride to him.” According to a Trump associate, there are strategic reasons for touting, and inflating, crowd sizes. Jindal is among the eight Republican candidates scheduled to speak at the three-day event, which also features a straw poll that helps take the temperature of social conservatives. He’s gotten more coverage by being on the ‘Fox & Friends’ TV show in the morning . . . for years than any other candidate has gotten,” says Duncan, who runs a real estate business with 68-year-old Jackie. “What have they done to him?” asks Jackie. In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that will be broadcast Sunday, the billionaire businessman says if elected president he won’t be stopped by deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, the landmark Clinton-era free trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico.

The biggest, the best, the greatest,” said the Trump associate. “It’s also gratifying to him, I think, at a personal level.” The person added that Trump relies on big, energized crowds to motivate him to maintain a grueling campaign schedule on top of his business dealings. The personal importance Trump places on crowd size, beyond their strategic value, is evident from the personal attacks he levels at journalists whose reporting on attendance conflicts with his own narrative. He once held a reputation as a womanizing playboy, previously supported abortion rights, and appears to spend more time calling into Sunday morning talk shows than attending church.

It’s a touch relevant, too, because yesterday Fox News announced a summit next week between top network executives — including top guy Roger Ailes — and Trump to resolve a spat between the two parties. The US is allowed to withdraw from the agreement, so long as it provides six months’ notice, said Douglas Irwin, a professor of economics at Dartmouth and an expert on US trade policy.

He ended by bemoaning the increased use of the term “Happy Holidays” in place of “Merry Christmas” as a sign that Christianity is under attack. But there is disagreement among experts about whether Congress would need to sign off on such a move, an echo of questions about whether the next president could abandon the deal with Iran over that country’s nuclear program. In Oklahoma City later in the day, Trump had kind words for Pope Francis as the Catholic leader visited Trump’s hometown of New York. “He is a unifier. But reporting from other news outlets, plus photographic evidence that there were not enough people in the hall to fill many of the seats, appears to vindicate Martin.

In his interview with “60 Minutes,” Trump cites his desire to do so, using his favorite example — Ford Motor Co. moving production of some autos from the US to Mexico. “If they want to sell that car in the United States, they pay a tax,” he said. “Here’s what’s going to happen: They’re not going to build their plant there. Trump also lashed out at an Associated Press photographer who snapped an image of empty seats at the Charleston event, calling him a “f—ing thief,” according to the Daily Mail. In Trump’s campaign, the crowd-size approach to measuring strength appears to have partly taken the place that internal polling would normally occupy. This year, the goal was to see whether Trump had the backing of a key Fox News constituency as he heads into his summit with the network. “He’s a slimeball,” says Gary Hafemeister, 67, of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., who’s supporting Sen. He warned of tremendous consequences for business. “You have thousands and thousands of businesses on both sides of the border that are set up to operate the way they are because the rules of NAFTA exist,” he said, “so it’s not the kind of thing you could just pull the plug on overnight.” Thomas Bollyky, a former trade negotiator who is also a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, called Trump’s plan both unwise and unnecessary.

Since the second Republican debate last week, the campaign has touted positive polling results from Morning Consult and Zogby polls, and Trump has complained that online poll results are not widely reported by the media. Trump Foundation has given to numerous Christian causes in recent years, including $100,000 to the Billy Graham Evangelist Association in 2012, as well as ministries as far away as Debra George Ministries in Texas and the Ramp Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Monday’s gathering is expected to open with a prayer service and include discussion of issues affecting the preachers’ communities, said Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen, who struck up a friendship with Scott. Trump proceeded with his usual blend of free-associative patriotism, blending in some talk of religion and jibes at retiring House Speaker John Boehner. Paul Bothwell, 54, a big fan of the “Watters’ World” segments on “The O’Reilly Factor,” says he’s followed the Trump-Fox News brawl. “No, I don’t think they’ve been unfair to him.” How about the Trump allegation that Fox News poses tougher questions to him than the rest of the field? “It’s no different than when George Stephanopoulos asked tough questions of Mitt Romney in the last election,” says Bothwell, who’s with the National Organization for Marriage.

They love me,” Trump, a Presbyterian, said of evangelicals last month in Greenville, S.C. “I love the evangelicals, and it’s really shown in the polls.” When one looks at the very serious moral character questions, from Trump’s involvement in the casino gambling industry all the way through to his attitude toward women, Donald Trump is the embodiment of everything that evangelical Christians have been standing against in American culture. But experts said that a renegotiation of some of NAFTA’s terms is, in many ways, going on now as negotiations continue on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

They’re reporting the news.” When asked about this spat, Values Voter attendee Julia DuVall, of Londonderry, N.H., cited the Fox News slogan in defense of the network, “Fair and balanced.” DuVall is another eagle-eyed tracker of Fox News programming. Trump’s longest comment on America’s Judeo-Christian tradition came when he indulged an issue familiar to Fox News viewers: Shop owners replacing mentions of Christmas with unspecific ‘‘holiday’’ messages. WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has discovered a chain of e-mails that Hillary Rodham Clinton failed to turn over when she provided what she said was the full record of work-related correspondence as secretary of state, officials said Friday.

Added Bollyky, “It would be really hard to see what (abandoning NAFTA would) accomplish in this particular case given that we will have a new trade agreement with these countries with new terms.” Disclaimer: Comments do not represent the views of INQUIRER.net. The development added to the growing questions related to the Democratic presidential front-runner’s unusual usage of a private e-mail account and server while in government. The messages were exchanged with retired General David Petraeus when he headed the military’s US Central Command, responsible for running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Informed that the Zogby poll is not considered highly reliable by many experts, Lewandowski responded, “I think John Zogby is a well-respected pollster.” Lewandowski then cited several live-caller polls that show Trump winning nationally and in New Hampshire.

He’s now helping to organize Monday’s gathering along with televangelist Paula White. “He said, ‘Pray for me that God leads me in the direction that he wants me to go in,’ ” recalled Scott. “I was flabbergasted. A recent poll by none other than Fox News, for example, found that Trump led the pack among “white evangelical Christians voting in the Republican primary” with 29 percent support, eight points ahead of Carson. They largely pertained to personnel matters and don’t appear to deal with highly classified material, officials said, but their existence challenges Clinton’s claim that she has handed over all of her work e-mails from the account.

After that call with Lewandowski, Trump tweeted an inaccurate accounting of the conversation, falsely stating first that POLITICO called the campaign and second that POLITICO commented on the reliability of polls other than Zogby and Morning Consult. Speaking of her e-mails on CBS’s ‘‘Face the Nation’’ earlier this week, Clinton said: ‘‘We provided all of them.’’ But the FBI and several congressional committees are investigating. At this stage of a primary process, campaigns often prioritize accessible retail politicking at house parties and diners in early states over mega-rallies. “It’s not how it’s done,” Bruce Berke, an unpaid New Hampshire adviser to John Kasich who helps plan the candidate’s events in those states, said of the big-crowds approach. “The people of New Hampshire expect to be able to touch and feel and kick the tires and poke at the candidates and pull on their ears or whatever.

Over the years, Fox News has given prominent placement to the concerns and agenda of these reliable Republican voters, and they have responded with high viewer loyalty. The accusation that Trump packed the launch was first lobbed by Media Matters’ Angelo Carusone, who pointed to a now-deleted Instagram photo from the event posted by actor Domenico Del Giacco. The campaign denied any effort to pack the event with fake supporters, but the Hollywood Reporter obtained a June 12 email from Extra Mile Casting offering area actors $50 to show up at the launch and “to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement.” At a Michigan rally in August, Trump claimed that 1,000 supporters were stuck outside the venue trying to get in. But The Washington Post reported, “only around 25 people showed up to see if they could access the sold-out speech.” At a July 11 rally in Phoenix, Trump attracted about 4,000 supporters, according to staff at the Phoenix Convention Center — roughly twice the room’s official capacity of 2,000 people. But Trump’s campaign quickly published a photo of the crowd to social media with the caption, “This is what 15,000 people look like.” “This crowd today blows away anything that Bernie Sanders has gotten,” he said at the time.

After POLITICO noted the discrepancy from the Phoenix event in an August article, Trump tweeted, “I had 15,000 people in Phoenix but @politico said ‘the rooms capacity is just over 2000.’ But said Bernie Sanders had 11,000 in same room.” Said the person with knowledge of Trump’s thinking, “It came from his head.

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