Former President Donald Trump maintains a formidable polling lead heading into the Iowa Caucuses next week, but a recent video touted by Trump has rubbed some evangelicals in Iowa the wrong way.
Trump has more than 50 percent of support from Iowa evangelicals, almost doubling up the next closest candidate. The group is the foundation for what some say could be an easy win for Trump in Iowa.
Trump held rallies over the weekend filled with supporters eager to cast their vote for the leading candidate.
“I believe the people I talk to, I can’t hardly find anyone who doesn’t like him. The people who don’t like him are either not active or you’re not going to change their minds anyway. It’s not very many,” said Chris, a Trump supporter from Osage, IA.
Trump boasts a number of pastors who have endorsed him, including pastor and Iowa state legislator Brad Sherman. Sherman prayed over Trump at a December rally.
“I run into Christians all the time and they say ‘How can you support President Trump, he’s an immoral man.’ Well first off, a lot of those stories are inflated more than they really are, but I always want to ask, ‘Who is that perfect candidate?’ Oh yeah, there isn’t one. So there are these people with an idea of a perfect candidate and they don’t cut anybody any slack,” Sherman told CBN.
Trump’s rivals are now attacking his record on pro-life issues, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a recent town hall. DeSantis was asked if he believed Trump was a pro-life candidate.
“Of course not! When you’re saying pro-life protections are a terrible thing, by definition, you are not pro-life,” DeSantis replied.
A video shared by Trump on social media and played at some of his Iowa rallies called “God Made Trump” has been rejected by some in the Iowa evangelical community.
“God looked down on his planned paradise and said ‘I need a caretaker’ so God made Trump,” a voice on the video says. It was made in the same vein as Paul Harvey’s famous “So God Made a Farmer” speech.
“He is definitely not the Messiah of people for Iowa,” said Fort Des Moines Church of Christ Pastor Mike Demastus.
Demastus calls Trump the most pro-life president in America’s history. He also says the video is disturbing to him and other evangelicals.
“It’s got this messianic tone to it, and that’s not how we view Trump. I have every bit of respect for our former president, I do, I genuinely do. But when you’re positing yourself in a messianic way, maybe a little more humility please,” Demastus told CBN.
The question over whether or not the ad does damage to Trump’s standing with evangelicals should be answered come caucus time on January 15th.