Tag Archive for: vivek ramaswamy

EXCLUSIVE: ‘He Would Be Amazing’: Ohio Republicans Float Possible J.D. Vance Replacement For Key Senate Seat

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – One day after Donald Trump announced his running mate would be Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, Ohio Republicans started considering who could be his replacement in the Senate in conversations with the Daily Caller.

Contingent on a Trump-Vance win in November, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine would be left to pick a replacement for the seat. Following the announcement, one-time presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy told the Caller he would “strongly consider” taking the seat if it were offered to him, while other reports indicated that DeWine was leaning toward choosing State Sen. Matt Dolan, who earlier this year lost a primary to Bernie Moreno for Ohio’s other Senate seat. Various reports float names under consideration, so state Republicans talking to Daily Caller gave some suggestions themselves.

“Oh, he would be amazing,” Debbie Lang, an Ohio Republican Party central committeewoman, told the Caller of Ramaswamy. “He’s great. He’s such a supporter of President Trump. He can articulate our conservative values. He’s wonderful. He’s our future. He’s a young man and he’s brilliant. And so he would be good.”

State Sen. Sandy O’Brien also threw her support behind Ramaswamy in a conversation with the Caller.

Ramaswamy was at one point a contender for the coveted spot of Trump’s running mate, but reports indicated in March that he had been ruled out. Since, the topic of taking a position in a potential second Trump administration has been the speculation around the rising star of the GOP. Now, the Senate seat may be on the table.

“If asked to serve, I would strongly consider the position,” Ramaswamy told the Caller Monday. He stressed that he would first consult Trump on what the best path forward would be for the country, however. He also lauded the pick of Vance as running mate and characterized him as “one of our best fighters” in the Senate.

Of course, the seat would only need to be filled if Trump and Vance win the election, putting serious consideration off for at least another four months. DeWine would then be left to appoint an interim replacement before a special election could be held in November 2026. Under the state statute, DeWine is free to appoint “some suitable person having the necessary qualifications for senator,” according to the New York Times.

DeWine and the former president were recently at odds after they endorsed different candidates in Ohio’s GOP Senate primary. Trump endorsed Moreno, who would go on to win, while DeWine backed Dolan, who the former president calls a “RINO.” Days before the election in March, DeWine refused to endorse Trump, saying he was focusing on local elections.

Ohio Delegate Mike Gondak told the Caller that whoever throws their hat in the ring needs to think of the toll of the job and whether that is something they can handle. Gondak had some names to suggest for the job, including former Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken, who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2022, losing the primary to Vance along with several other candidates. Gondak also floated the name of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

“Jane Timken would be great. Vivek has raised his hand, he would be great if he was interested as well. We’ve got a stable of statewide officeholders that are going to be term-limited here soon. So it’s an amazing opportunity for the Governor because he has two years left to leave his mark,” Gondak told the Caller.

Though some are enthusiastic to learn who could be replacing Vance, other Ohio Republicans told the Caller that the speculation was premature. The focus instead should be ensuring that Trump wins along with Moreno, who is taking on Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, they said. Moreno has closely aligned himself with Trump during the campaign, which earned him the primary endorsement. Moreno was also endorsed by Vance and Donald Trump Jr., among other Trump allies.

“Every minute we spend talking about anything beyond this November’s election is an advantage to Joe Biden, a man who can barely finish a sentence. It’s an advantage to Kamala Harris because nobody gets to see how incompetent she is and it’s an advantage to Sherrod Brown because we don’t talk about how Sherrod Brown acts like a radical liberal in Washington,” Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted told the Caller.

DeWine was asked directly about who he would appoint to the seat, but similarly punted the question.

“We have to win first,” the governor told Fox News Digital.

AUTHORS

REAGAN REESE AND HENRY RODGERS

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘We’re Gonna Win’: RNC Kicks Off With Defiance, Unity After Trump Assassination Attempt

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – Minutes into the first delegates session of the Republican National Convention, the Fiserv Forum erupted into chants of “fight,” a nod to the message Donald Trump gave to rally-goers after dodging a bullet meant to kill him.

It was a nod that made clear that the near miss on Trump’s life just days prior was on the mind of everyone. Leaving one dead and two critically injured, the assassination attempt could have held the RNC convention back. Trump himself admitted that he considered skipping the first two days of the convention to compose himself. But instead, attendees told the Caller, the tragedy did just the opposite.

“[The mood is] energy, excitement, pissed off or fired up. And if the election were today, or next week, Trump’s gonna win and Donald J. Trump and whoever the nominee VP nominee is, we’re gonna win a landslide,” Mike McMullen, a Pennsylvania delegate who witnessed the shooting on Saturday, told the Caller.  “He’s going to win states that Republicans don’t win.”

And energetic and excited it was – multiple RNC guests approached this reporter unprovoked to quickly share their enthusiasm and love for Trump before catching someone else and spreading the word more.

Before the “fight” chants broke out, and before he officially began the first session, Republican National Committee Co-Chairman Michael Whatley asked attendees to join him in a moment of silence for the tragedy that unfolded Saturday. The Secret Service rushed a bloody Trump off the stage during a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. Though the bullet grazed Trump’s ear, 50-year-old Corey Comperatore was killed.

The shooting left the country reeling, but the convention is rolling on.

“Rewind a week ago, this was not the convention environment that we envisioned. But I do hope that if there is one silver lining that comes out of what happened on Saturday night, let it be that first of all, Americans got to see an American president who was brave in his most vulnerable moment… he took the hit, he took the bullet, he took the fire, felt the blood, stood up and said he was still willing to be ready and would not stop fighting for the people who actually put him there,” former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy told reporters at the Heritage Foundation’s Policy Fest. The event also began with a moment of silence for the tragedy.

A promotional video showed at the Policy Fest featured images of Trump surviving the assassination attempt, emerging from a swarm of Secret Service agents with blood on his face and raising a fist into the air. Marie Georgievski, an Ohio alternate delegate, told the Caller that among guests and delegates at the convention, attendees have been inspired and moved with a desire to support Trump.

“I thought that was an inspiring moment, regardless of what you believe. I talked to President Trump actually, that night was about 12:30am. I think he was on his way out of the hospital at the time, and his level of calm, and his level of strength in that moment, frankly, was a phone conversation that inspired me. I can only imagine, hopefully, the inspiration that offers to all Americans,” Ramaswamy continued.

The excitement, in part, could be attributed to the anticipation of Trump’s pick for vice president. Attendees speculated who Trump would choose as reports trickled in on those being ruled out.

“If it’s not Rubio or Burgum, who do you think it will be?” one attendee exclaimed.

The vice presidential pick, amid the response to the attempt to take Trump’s life, brought a sense of unity to the convention. Later, in a Truth Social post, Trump announced that he was choosing Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance as his running mate.

“The party has never been so united. With a united party, President Trump will unite the nation,” New York GOP press secretary David Laska told the Caller.

“Right now everyone is buzzing about the VP. More broadly, there is palpable excitement in the air. We know we are witnessing history and we can’t wait for President Trump to take the stage,” he added.

Following the attack on Trump, President Joe Biden spoke three times, even giving an Oval Office address in an attempt to urge Americans to tone down divisive political rhetoric. The 81-year-old was briefed several times on the shooting and later moved to boost Secret Service protection for Trump, himself and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The seriousness of the attack has not been lost on convention attendees, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told the Caller.

“I think the mood is more serious. There’s a seriousness of what this election means, but also how fragile life is and the damage could be done if somebody just raises the rhetoric,” McCarthy said.

“Think about how close, but just in a slight finger nail, President Trump wouldn’t be alive today, and what would that do to the entire nation? I think it’s the responsibility of all Americans to take a deep breath, lower the rhetoric, there’s enough contrast in policies between these two men running for president. Let’s debate that,” he continued.

“I think there’s a sense of relief, but also determination,” Wisconsin GOP communications director Matt Fisher told the Caller.

McMullen, just feet from the stage where Trump got shot on Saturday, could’ve stayed home after what he witnessed. He could’ve understandably decided to skip the convention, out of fear that something like what happened on Saturday could happen again.

But he was far from deterred.

“As crazy as it sounds I mean, I’m not saying he’s crazy, but he gets up and does a fist pump and gives a thumbs up. Who the hell does that?” he told the Caller.

“That just shows the plight and the resolve of Donald J. Trump. Donald J. Trump is going to win Pennsylvania,” McMullen continued. “And as you know, Pennsylvania is the Keystone State. We win Pennsylvania, we win it all.”

AUTHOR

REAGAN REESE

White House correspondent. Follow Reagan on Twitter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: The Weaponization of Government and more with Vivek Ramaswamy

Vivek and Darren Beattie discuss some uncomfortable truths about Jan 6, where our MAGA movement may be missing the plot, and the larger weaponization of government.

The media has systematically lied to you about the war in Iraq, 2008 financial crisis, Russian Collusion hoax that never was, Covid-19 origins, Hunter Biden’s laptop, the truth about January 6th, how our money is being spent in Ukraine, the transgender Nashville shooter memo…the list goes on.

If you want the standard conservative talking points, this podcast isn’t for you. But if you want to go deeper, get to the bottom of what is really going on behind the media smokescreens, explore the intellectual foundations of our America-First movement, and challenge your preconceived notions, then join Vivek Ramaswamy and go beyond the Overton window.

Get ready for conversations you won’t find anywhere else.

“Weaponization of government. We hear that term a lot, it’s become popular recently, particularly in conservative media.

Weaponization, what does it mean, though?

We say these things, it’s worth pausing to define what we actually mean when we say them. To me, this is what weaponization actually means. It means taking a neutral institution, an institution that’s supposed to be not partisan in nature, but partisan political forces co-opting that institution to accomplish its own political goals.

That’s, I think, the heart of what we mean when we say the weaponization of or by government. There’s one type of weaponization that I’ve been intently focused on on the last few years. That’s the weaponization of the private sector.

The two sectors, the two areas of the private sector that we’ve seen most weaponized by political forces in the government are in the realm of communications and financial services.

Let’s talk about communications…

©2024. Vivek Ramaswamy. All rights reserved.

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ROOKE: Trump Needs An Ultimate Wingman As His VP — The Pick Couldn’t Be More Obvious

Who former President Donald Trump picks as his running mate is one of the most anticipated announcements in the 2024 election season.

It can’t be just anyone because Trump can’t afford to have another vice president serving in the role who doesn’t wholeheartedly embrace the America First movement. It’s his entire platform. The policies are as important to Trump as they are to the base pushing him through his primary race.

Former Ambassador Nikki Haley, the last obstacle to Trump’s nomination, lost to the “none of these” option on the ballot in Nevada, erasing any doubt that no matter how many “Independents” or “Democrats” show up to vote in the GOP primary, the old Republican Party is dead on arrival.

The base wants Trump. They want him to come back into the executive branch and wreak havoc on the entitled ruling class that jailed political prisoners, sent billions overseas while our economy collapsed, closed down pipelines, pushed DEI over safety and left the U.S. border wide open for terrorists to enter.

To them, it’s 2016 again, but on steroids. Trump’s VP pick needs to reflect this. Enter Vivek Ramaswamy.

After his defeat in Iowa, he dropped out of the race and immediately endorsed Trump for president. On the campaign trail, he’s an asset. He knows how to talk to the base in ways they connect with and want to listen. As far as optics go, Ramaswamy is handsome, and his wife is beautiful. Their family picture is wholesome. His young children mean he’s got skin in the game. Whatever happens to America, happens to them. It’s everything that most politicians wish to portray but can’t because they rely on the corrupt Washington D.C. echo chamber for their image.

Still, similar to how America got former Vice President Mike Pence, Trump needs someone who speaks to the middle. This is where Ramasway will thrive. On the campaign trail, when activists would crash his events, Ramaswamy calmed them and invited them into the fold. Trump needs someone to settle the ruffled feathers for him without diminishing him.

While Trump is the general moving the chess pieces and being the face of the war the base wants to rage, Ramaswamy would be the major ensuring the men follow orders. No one galvanizes the base like Trump, and Ramaswamy seems to know his role would be to support, not overshadow.

While these other candidates for the VP position have shown they can use the power of the America First movement to get elected in their respective states, most of them still lack the understanding that to be effective, Trump can’t be undercut. The movement can’t afford another defector.

On the presidential campaign trail, Ramaswamy took a different approach to all the other candidates. He embraces all the parts of Trump that were good for the American people. He talked about the issues surrounding the former president without demonizing him. It was essentially a masterclass in handling a base scorned by the ruling class.

Most of the Republican candidates seemed to be confused about how to approach Republican voters when it came to the political indictments against Trump. But one thing is sure: the last thing a candidate should do to the people who were forced to eat the pain of the 2020 election and all its integrity issues is to pretend it wasn’t happening.

Ramaswamy came out fighting. He promised to stay off the ballot in Colorado as long the state refused to allow Trump to run as a candidate. He not only pledged to pardon Trump if he was convicted of any of the charges against him, but he vowed to wage war against the people and agencies responsible for the political persecution.

His fellow Republican candidates could be correct in their attacks that Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign was essentially him auditioning for the open vice president position.

But the jokes on them.

The biggest shock is that any of them ran at all. For those outside the D.C. consultant class, there was never anything more obvious than the reality that Trump would always be the nominee. Whether it’s Ramaswamy or not, the important thing Trump’s VP needs to know with every part of him is that he isn’t there to run the country for Trump but to be the enforcer.

AUTHOR

MARY ROOKE

Commentary and analysis writer.

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EDITORS NOTE:  This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Vivek Ramaswamy Launches FireRonna.com After Viral Debate Callout Of RNC Chair

Business entrepreneur and White House hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign launched FireRonna.com, a petition to unseat the Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, the Daily Caller has learned first.

The petition aims to rally “grassroots conservatives” in support of Ramaswamy’s call for McDaniel to resign, one week after the presidential candidate called for the RNC leader to step down during the third primary debate, the Daily Caller learned. During his opening statement at the third presidential debate, Ramaswamy called the Republican Party the “party of losers” under McDaniels leadership, adding that he would cede his time to the chair if she would like to resign.

“I am sick and tired of this Republican Establishment that has made us a party of losers. Where is the accountability for years of losing: 2018, 2020, 2022 and now 2023,” Ramaswamy said in a press release obtained by the Daily Caller. “On the debate stage, I called on Ronna Romney McDaniel to resign. Now, I’m asking grassroots conservatives across the nation to join me so she can feel the power of the people. It’s time to stop the culture of surrender and losing. Resign, Ronna!”

NBC’s own Lester Holt opened the third presidential debate by asking each presidential candidate why they deserved to be the Republican nominee, rather than the front-runner former President Donald Trump. Ramaswamy used his time to answer to call out McDaniel.

“Since Ronna McDaniel took over as chairwoman of the RNC in 2017, we have lost 2018, 2020, 2022 – no red wave … We got trounced last night in 2023. And I think that we have to have accountability in our party,” Ramaswamy began, adding that he would cede his time on the stage to McDaniel if she would like to resign from the RNC.

Ramaswamy also blasted the RNC’s decision to allow NBC to host the third presidential debate. The RNC chose the outlet, alongside Salem Radio News and the Republican Jewish Coalition.

The moderators of the evening were Holt, NBC’s own Kristen Welker as well as Salem Radio News’ Hugh Hewitt. An RNC spokesperson has previously told the Daily Caller that the RNC does not choose the moderators but the outlets hosting do.

“Think about who’s moderating this debate, this should be Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, Elon Musk. We’d have ten times the viewership, asking questions the GOP primary voters actually care about and bringing in more people to our party. We got Kristen Welker here, you think the Democrats would actually hire Greg Gutfeld to host a Democratic debate?” Ramaswamy asked.

“The fact of the matter, and Kristen I’m gonna use this time ’cause this is actually about you and the media and the corrupt media establishment, ask you the Trump-Russia collusion hoax that you pushed on this network for years — was that real? Or was that Hillary Clinton made up disinformation? Answer the question. Go,” he continued.

McDaniel responded to Ramaswamy’s viral debate moment in an interview with CNN, saying that the presidential hopeful is just “looking for headlines.”

“Last I checked, I wasn’t running for president,” McDaniel said. “He’s at 4%, he’s looking for headlines.”

Members of the RNC have been quick to defend McDaniel and her leadership after Ramaswamy’s comments, many previously telling the Daily Caller that they found the presidential candidate’s comments to be “inappropriate” and “unfair.”

“The comments from Vivek last night were unfair. Ronna is doing an amazing job uniting our party and working to make [President] Joe Biden a one-term president. She is the exact right person to chair the committee in this moment.” Nevada GOP Chairman Michael J. McDonald said in an earlier statement provided to the Daily Caller.

“No one fights harder to get Republicans elected all over this country than Chairman McDaniel,” California GOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson added in a statement to the Daily Caller. “The infrastructure she has built and implemented is the strongest in our party’s history, including early and unprecedented investments into California. She’s the leader we need to help Republicans take back the White House, flip the Senate and hold the House next year.” 

AUTHOR

REAGAN REESE

White House correspondent.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Vivek Ramaswamy Wants to Phase Out Military Aid to Israel by 2028

Among the Republican candidates for President whom you likely had not heard of until the recent debate in Milwaukee is the Indian-American Vivek Ramaswamy, a near-billionaire biotech entrepreneur and investor who has never held elective office. He has strong positions on domestic policy, but in foreign policy he has focused almost entirely on reducing American dependence on China. He has expressed a desire to learn “the truth about 9/11,” which could indicate that he thinks there has been a cover-up, leading some to fear he is a conspiracy theorist. Though a Hindu, he has never shown the slightest interest in the history and present condition of Hindus in southeast Asiaincluding the mass murder of 80 million Hindus by Muslims, nor in the continued aggression by Muslims against Hindus, both in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and in India itself. He has had no comment, for example, on the Muslims who attacked and drove out 350,000 Hindus from Kashmir — the “Kashmiri pandits” — in recent decades.

Ramaswamy considers himself to be “pro-Israel.” He supports former President Trump’s moving of the American Embassy to Jerusalem. At Yale Law School, Ramaswamy belonged to Shabtai, which he has described as a “Jewish intellectual group.” On the other hand, he drew attention for criticizing a bill signed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis that penalizes antisemitic harassment.

Ramaswamy has been in the news for proposing that American military aid to Israel be cut off within five years. He is not anti-Israel, he reminds his critics, but thinks that by then Israel will no longer need such aid because it will have integrated into the region. “6 Jewish facts about GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy, who proposes cut to Israel funding,” by Andrew Lapin, Times of Israel, August 23, 2023:

In June, while campaigning in New Hampshire, Ramaswamy suggested that he would be open to ending aid to Israel as “part of a broader disengagement with the Middle East.” He later walked back those comments. But last week, he told actor and podcaster Russell Brand that he does, in fact, want to end US aid to Israel in 2028, the year when the current US commitment to provide $3.8 billion annually to Israel expires.

Ramaswamy said that decision would come as Israel receives recognition from more countries in the Middle East. Israel has signed normalization deals with several states in the region in recent years, a framework called the Abraham Accords, and is now pursuing a treaty with Saudi Arabia. Ramaswamy told the Jewish News Syndicate that he’d also like to spearhead Israeli accords with Indonesia and Oman.

Come 2028, that additional aid won’t be necessary in order to still have the kind of stability that we’d actually have in the Middle East by having Israel more integrated in with its partners,” he said on a show Brand hosts on the video platform Rumble.

More of his thoughts on ending aid to Israel by 2028 can be found here: “Republican Jewish Group Pushes Back on Ramaswamy’s Stance Against Israel Aid,” by Alana Goodman, Washington Free Beacon, August 22, 2023:

Republican Jewish leaders pushed back on Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s proposal to cut off military aid to Israel within five years, arguing that “such a move would very decidedly not be in America’s best interest.”

Matthew Brooks, the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, in a letter on Monday praised Ramaswamy as a “strong and passionate supporter of Israel” but urged him to rethink his stance against U.S. military aid to the Jewish state.

In light of your overall support for a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, I believe that a closer look at the issue of U.S. aid will convince you that now is not the time to end an aid program that provides so much benefit to our nation, strengthens our key strategic ally Israel, and contributes to the stability of the Middle East,” Brooks wrote.

The letter comes as Ramaswamy has climbed in the polls, prompting new scrutiny on his foreign policy positions….Ramaswamy reiterated his position to the Washington Free Beacon, arguing that the aid will be unnecessary after he successfully negotiates new peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors during the first year of his presidency.

Ramaswamy’s success as a businessman has gone to his head. Now he is putting himself forward as a wonderworker, able to “successfully negotiate new peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors.” Presumably he also means bringing about a permanent “peace” between Israel and the Palestinians. How does he propose to end the Palestinian jihad against the Jewish state? And when he talks about how he will negotiate “new peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors,” what does he mean? Israel already has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. But there is no chance that Syria will ever sign a peace treaty with Israel, a country that it has been at war with since 1948, especially since the Golan Heights have been annexed as part of Israel in 1981. And if in 2028, Lebanon is still under the control of the Iran-backed Hezbollah, it will not agree to a peace treaty with the Jewish state. Nor will Iraq, where Iran-backed militias now dominate the country, be willing to “normalize ties” with Israel and sign a peace treaty. Ramaswamy, a self-made billionaire, has convinced himself that he is uniquely qualified to achieve an Israel-Arab peace, thereby obviating the need for American military aid to Israel.

AUTHOR

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Christian Voters Are Likely To Put Their Faith In Trump. Here’s Why

  • The Christian vote in the 2024 primaries is an important demographic for Republicans, and religious leaders that spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation indicated that only one candidate really stands out.
  • Recent polls show former President Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination spot by as much as 26%, while his chances against President Joe Biden still present a large question about whether or not a 2024 rematch would place Trump in the White House.
  • “[W]hen you look at how [Trump] performed as president in what he did in terms of advancing or restoring policies that respected faith and upheld a moral foundation, no one comes close,” Tony Perkins, the founder and president of the Family Research Council, a Christian advocacy organization, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

As the presidential primaries approach, religious advocates believe that Donald Trump, of all Republican candidates, is likely to claim a large majority of the Christian vote.

Republican presidential candidates have been working overtime to impress religious Americans, with many attending the recent Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in June and spending large amounts of time among religious voters in battleground states. Former President Donald Trump is leading the GOP contenders, and religious leaders that spoke to the DCNF believe his previous record on issues of faith, life and freedom will win him the Christian vote.

Evangelicals, particularly, are keen to see the former president back in office, according to Tony Perkins, the founder and president of the Family Research Council, a Christian advocacy organization, that spoke to the DCNF.

“Donald Trump kind of raised the bar, which sounds a little odd on its face, because he certainly was not a candidate when given his background, and everything that evangelicals would have been drawn toward,” Perkins said. “But when you look at how he performed as president in what he did in terms of advancing or restoring policies that respected faith and upheld a moral foundation, no one comes close.”

Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, his infamous, expletive-filled Twitter rants against various media, celebrity and political figures and his more recent trouble with the law might otherwise preclude him from gaining such strong support from religious circles; however, Trump’s policies and stances during his first term as president often resonated with those same voters who have often felt ignored by more mainstream Republicans, according to Perkins.

Trump made waves as the first sitting president to appear publicly at the March for Life, an annual pro-life march in D.C. that usually draws upwards of 10,000 people. In 2019, he announced that his administration was working on creating a new federal policy that allowed religious adoption facilitators, homeless shelters, health care clinics and other organizations to participate in grants from the Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2017, the former president issued an executive order to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to defend laws like the “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act,” which allows religious Americans to adhere to their faith on issues of same-sex marriage and gender identity and sexual orientation, that was passed in Missouri.

In 2020, Trump took 80% of white evangelical voters in 2016 and 76% in 2020, while a March poll found that in a head-to-head matchup, Trump is currently holding 51% of the evangelical vote over DeSantis’ 42%, according to Reuters.

“I think he’s the undisputed favorite,” Robert Jeffress, the pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and host of the radio show Pathway To Victory, told the DCNF. “I made a prediction shortly after he announced his candidacy last November. I said that eventually, evangelicals would coalesce again around Trump, some of them might try to kick the tires of different candidates, but eventually, they would coalesce. What I didn’t realize was that ‘eventually’ would come sooner than anybody expected.”

The Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual conference this year hosted many of the top GOP contenders to give them a chance to speak to evangelical Christians and appeal for their support. Trump had a strong base of support among the attendees, with many booing fellow candidate Chris Christie during the conference for criticizing the former president, while other potential nominees avoided mentioning Trump entirely.

Trump is currently leading the pack in the Republican primaries by significant margins, according to Real Clear Politics. The most recent poll from the Economist/YouGov showed the former president winning the nomination spot by 26%.

Despite this, Trump has been trailing President Joe Biden in the polls. One poll from NBC News had Biden beating Trump at 49% to 45% but a new poll by the Morning Consult showed Trump closing the gap at 42% to Biden’s 43%.

Perkins told the DCNF that for Trump to keep up the momentum he will need to “cast a vision of the future” but said that regardless he felt Christians’ inclination was still to vote for the former president due to his previous record on religious issues.

While Trump appears to have a hold on Christian Americans, other candidates have chances at making inroads by focusing on issues like abortion, where the former president has struggled lately.

Tim Head, the executive director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, an organization dedicated to “educating, equipping, and mobilizing people of faith,” agreed that Trump has a solid core percentage of the Christian vote, but cautioned that nothing is guaranteed since the election is still many months away.

Head explained that candidates like DeSantis could have an advantage over Trump in the pro-life arena after the former president went back and forth on a federal ban and criticized the governor for signing six-week abortion protections in May.

“Governor DeSantis has a lot of influence in this type of area, and he’s using that influence to deliver victories for religious voters on life, religious liberty [and] certainly on traditional family values,” Head told the DCNF.

Jeffress conceded that in the event that Trump does not become the nominee, he believed Mike Pence would be the one to receive the full support of Christian voters due to his commitment to his faith and his involvement in the Trump administration.

Bob Vander Plaats, the president and CEO of the Family Leader, a Christian advocacy organization in the key primary state of Iowa, told the New York Times that Vivek Ramaswamy, who is Hindu, impressed him despite the difference in faith because he was willing to answer the “deeper questions.”

The odds, however, are against any other candidate taking the nomination, according to Jeffress and Perkins.

“When you look at his four years as president and how he championed all of these issues, and look at how he continues to push back on the left,” Perkins told the DCNF. “He puts himself into a position that many who have been marginalized and attacked by the culture identify with. So I think he’s in a very strong position from this standpoint.”

Trump, DeSantis, Ramaswamy and Pence did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

AUTHOR

KATE ANDERSON

Contributor.

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