Jeffress: Why So Many Evangelicals Ended Up Voting For Trump

November 09, 2016Nov 09, 2016

Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas has been an ardent supporter of Donald Trump. He's also been especially vocal in encouraging Christians to come up to the polls to vote for Trump yesterday, especially after many pulled their support.

Today on NPR, Jeffress was interviewed — and grilled — on his support of Trump and his thoughts on why so many evangelical voters cast their ballot for him.

"It's a very good day," Jeffress began. "It's interesting, I was with President-Elect Trump and Melania yesterday afternoon in his office, and he asked me, 'Robert, how do you feel like the evangelical vote is going to turn out?' And I said, 'I think it's going to be very strong.' Frankly, I had no idea it was going to be this strong. And I think, really, the reason it has been as strong, and I said this to Mr. Trump, is what happened in that last debate. During that last debate, he made the strongest commitment to a conservative Supreme Court and he articulated the strongest pro-life defense of any presidential nominee in history. And I include in that Romney, McCain, either of the Bushes, or even Reagan himself, and I think that resonated with a lot of evangelicals."

Asked about Trumps crude sexual remarks, Jeffress replied, "Well, first of all, I certainly don't condone everything Trump has said or done in his life, I don't condone everything I've said or done in my life. But I think here is the difference. When evangelicals overwhelmingly voted for Ronald Reagan, he was a known womanizer in Hollywood. He would become the first divorced president in history. Yet they chose him over a once-married, Baptist Sunday school teacher named Jimmy Carter. By doing that, they weren't endorsing womanizing. They weren't endorsing divorce. They were endorsing Reagan's policies, and I think that's what you have here. And people say, 'Well, yeah, but Reagan, it wasn't as bad as Trump.' You know, as a Christian, we don't think God grades sin. We're all sinners. We're all in need of a Savior."

The NPR host pressed Jeffress on Trump being a womanizer accused of rape.

Jefferson replied, "I think the operative word there is 'allegation.' It's not been proven yet. And people could point out and say, 'Well, what role did Hillary Clinton say in enabling her husband to perform alleged attacks on woman?' as well. I don't think people wanted to get into that. I think, on either side, they're looking at the issues, and that's what counts."

Listen to the brief interview here.

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