Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed weighs in on how Donald Trump is doing among evangelicals and what the Republican candidate needs to do to secure the evangelical vote in November.
“He is getting 68%-70% of that vote, Hillary’s getting about 20%. That’s the historic Democratic average but to win in November, Donald Trump needs to push that number among evangelicals to 75%, maybe even 80%,” Reed told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.
Reed then explained that to win over evangelical voters, “You don’t need to quote scripture, just come and be yourself. No one’s asking you to be exactly what they are. “
According to Reed, Trump is aligned with evangelicals on many of the core issues.
“The second thing is, emphasize the fact that he shares their views on certain core social, cultural and moral issues, life, marriage, support for the state of Israel, opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and support for religious liberty. He is good on every one of those,” said Reed.
On Trump’s shifting view on the issue of abortion, Reed said, “That’s not new for a Republican nominee. Remember, Mitt Romney was pro-choice a few years before he was the Republican nominee, George H.W. Bush was pro-choice, became pro-life. Ronald Reagan signed the most liberal abortion law in America in the late 60’s as governor of California and was a pro-life hero by 1980.”
Reed offered advice to Trump on how to handle the issue of abortion on the campaign trail.
“So all Donald Trump has to do is, as those prior nominees did, make it clear, I changed my views,” Reed said.
Besides focusing on the core issues important to evangelicals, Reed said the other key factor that will boost evangelicals’ enthusiasm for Trump is his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Reed pointed to her role in the negotiations with Iran as one example of why evangelicals are opposed to Clinton’s candidacy.
“She began the negotiations [with Iran], we now know deceptively. We now know that her State Department lied from the podium about what was going on with the secret negotiations that has led to the mullahs in Tehran gaining access to ballistic missiles and ultimately nuclear weapons,” Reed said.