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Should Evangelical Voters Trust Trump? Cruz? Rubio? Not So Much

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Should Evangelical Voters Trust Trump? Cruz? Rubio? Not So Much

Republican U.S. presidential candidates and U.S. Senators Cruz and Rubio shake hands and talk at the end of the debate held by Fox News for the top 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates in Des Moines

On Monday evening, as many as 150,000 dedicated Republicans in Iowa are going to show up at schools, libraries, community centers, and firehouses to write the names of GOP Presidential candidates on slips of paper. Of those caucus participants, polling suggests that over 60 percent will describe themselves as evangelical Christians.

Current polling also suggests that the top three choices, and therefore delegate winners, will be Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio.

Would the interests of Iowa’s evangelical Christian voters be served by any of those candidates?  If history has any predictive power, not too well. Certainly,those three don’t live the religious life that evangelical voters seem to believe is the most important thing in choosing a leader. (Remember, what counts is acts, not words.)

So how do the candidates act, in evangelical terms?

Trump, as we know, only sees the inside of a church when he thinks showing up there might help him.  He says he never does anything wrong, so he’s never had to ask forgiveness from God.  And his attempts to refer to the Bible are laughable.  But maybe his charitable acts tell another story?  Nope.  He has donated less to charity than almost anyone in his income range.  His namesake charity, the Donald J.Trump Foundation, is remarkably stingy and smells like a scam.  Last year his foundation gave out just over $500,000, and of that, $100,000 went to the purely political “charity” called Citizens United. The year before, $100,000 of Trump’s charitable donations went to Jerry Falwell, Jr’s political operation.  And there was also a nice donation to the slush fund that Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife runs as an “advocacy group.” It was “charity” as political favor-buying, in other words.

The Trump Foundation itself seems to have no particular significance for Trump when it comes to giving money.  He’s put in virtually none of his own money for nearly ten years, and the money that has come in seems to come from business suppliers and other interested parties. just before they ink deals with his management company.  I guess Stark Carpets just feels especially charitable when a new contract for hotel carpets is about to be signed. That has happened five times over the years, so far.

But at least Trump doesn’t claim his religion drives every waking moment of his life and every decision he makes.

Senator Cruz (R-TX), on the other hand, is pushing his affinity for the evangelical community big time.  Too bad he had to release his tax returns. Despite earning a family income well over $1 million per year, the five-year period from 2006 through 2010 was a time when the Cruz family felt no need to donate even one thin dime to any church. What happened after 2010? Oh yes, he started running for public office.

Then we have Senator Rubio  (R-FL), a slick speaker who looks like a shoo-in for student body president. Rubio seems to adopt a new set of religious beliefs every time he moves to a new place.  It’s hard to keep up, but he’s on his third faith so far. Is it too cynical to imagine something other than spiritual awakening made him adopt Mormonism, converting from Catholicism, when he lived in Nevada?  Evidently another spiritual awakening struck him like a thunderbolt when he moved to Florida, and incidentally wanted to join the leadership of the Republican-led state legislature there. Mormonism got jettisoned, and on came his rebirth as an evangelical Protestant.

If any of these three gentlemen becomes the GOP candidate for President, it’s the evangelical community that play the role of unions on the Democratic side, by organizing and providing the foot soldiers who knock on doors and operate the telephone banks.  Will the evangelicals who do that essential work get their payoff in policy priorities from these guys?

The religious right has been burned so many times before by candidates who say they care, and then drop them like a hot potato after the election. Is there any reason to think this time will be different?



  1. yabbed February 1, 2016

    We cannot have an evangelical President of the United States. We can’t have any religiously affiliated President, not Cruz, nor Rubio, nor Sanders. Allowing a President who is affiliated with a religion would be the end of our ability to lead the world.

    1. TheSkalawag929 February 1, 2016

      “We can’t have any religiously affiliated President, …”

      Not really sure what you mean by this statement.
      Over recent decades there have been a number of presidential candidates who have flaunted their religious affiliations to curry favor with evangelicals of the country.

    2. ralphkr February 1, 2016

      Well, yabbed, you seem to have forgotten all the hoorah during the Kennedy campaign about how it would be the end of the world if we ever elected a Catholic President.

    3. mike February 1, 2016

      What a stupid and uninformed post.

  2. FireBaron February 1, 2016

    Frankly, I would love to see an Evangelical Christian like Mike Huckabee, or a Conservative Roman Catholic like Rick Santorum take Iowa, just to shut up everyone else. Would it stick? Nope. In fact, it would reinforce THE DONALD’s statement to Iowa that they had a history of picking losers.
    Waitaminit! If the Iowa Caucus winner rarely wins the nomination, and if they do, they never win the Presidency, well, that means maybe TRUMP should win the caucus!

  3. darkagesbegin February 1, 2016

    it is kind of heartbreaking that every four years these wide-eyed evangelicals think that finally this year will be the one where they will elect a true Christian that will smite the believers in free-choice, whether that be about reproduction, or love, or unions or whatever. They are still looking for that one true enslaver who will unite us all, as we should be united, under their true beliefs–whatever they are today.

    1. dpaano February 1, 2016

      Unfortunately, this is a country of MANY religions, but the evangelicals (who are an embarrassment to true Christians) don’t seem to understand this or care about it as much! This is the reason this country was started….freedom of religion! But, the so-called “evangelical” Christians seem to think that this is ridiculous. They are worse than the Taliban and ISIS in that they want to change America into a one-religion country. That can’t happen, and we can’t let it happen!

      1. ralphkr February 1, 2016

        Actually, dpaano, if you look at the first voluntary settlers in the colonies (I stress ‘voluntary’ since about 75% of all immigrants from 1700 through 1775 were involuntary immigrants, i.e., convicts, slaves, indentured) you shall quickly discovery that “freedom of religion” meant being free to either accept the dominant religion or be shunned or banished. When our Constitution was written it included the stipulation that religious conviction could not be used as a criteria to hold office because in many localities one could only hold a public office if belonged to the prevailing religion. Of course, those places did stress some form of Christianity which automatically barred members of the Papist Cult (Catholics), Jews, and Moors (Mohammedans) as well as the “wrong” Christians from holding office.

  4. Paul Bass February 1, 2016

    Trump “How stupid are the people of Iowa?”

    Today we will see if Iowans are as stupid as donnie believes…

    1. Paul Bass February 2, 2016

      Holy Moley, Iowans aren’t quite that stupid!

  5. The lucky one February 1, 2016

    Rubio’s religion hopping and the Trump and Cruz stinginess to religious charities or any charities should be enough to make any evangelical with an IQ over 50 see through their act, but there’s the rub.

    1. Paul Bass February 1, 2016

      methinks there are few evangelicals with an IQ over 50.

      1. The lucky one February 1, 2016

        Exactly, except for those over 100 IQ who prey upon their brethren.

  6. jmprint February 1, 2016

    TRUMP will trump America into bankruptcy
    CRUZ will cruzify America into false religion
    RUBIO will hook America on Koch dependency.

    1. mike February 1, 2016

      Sanders will Drive America into bankruptcy. Sanders will almost equal present national debt 19 trillion, in just 10 years.

      1. JPHALL February 1, 2016

        Only a low information right winger would believe that. Sanders needs Congress to approve his plans. And I seriously doubt a Republican led Congress would accommodate him.

        1. mike February 1, 2016

          All those falling all over Bernie believe he can do it. Free schooling, free heathcare, increase SS, paid leave, etc.. Why do you think they are so enthused.
          Democrat centrist think it is to liberal. This far left agenda is for bigger govt. and more govt. intursion to everyday Americans. More taxes, less choice.
          Analysis say in 1st year govt. spending would jump to 30% of GDP now running equal to about 20% of GDP.
          Lets hope it is Republican Congress if not the democrats will bury this country more than Obama has in last 6 years.

          1. dpaano February 18, 2016

            We could only hope that the Democrats will take over the government…..they are the least spenders in government. Maybe, Mike, if you googled or otherwise researched this, you would see that Republican presidents have spent MORE during their administrations than most Democratic administrations. They are the party of “spending,” not the Democrats.

          2. mike February 18, 2016

            Keep trying, no cigar.
            All those who beieve Sanders is the answer are living in fantasyland. If he would be elected he would make Obama look like a spendthrift in comparison. Analyst have found he would add as much debt as we presently have in ten years.

          3. dpaano February 18, 2016

            Again, Mike, research this, fact check it, or Google it…..the truth may set you free (doubtful). As for Sanders, never said I planned on voting for him…..

          4. mike February 18, 2016

            Research what? As to bernie I have researched his scam. As to you I know you are one of the “monolithic” block of women, Eleanor thinks exists in her warped mind, that will vote in lockstep for Hillary.

          5. dpaano February 19, 2016

            Research which group, Democrats or Republicans spend the most while in power. Secondly, don’t tell me I vote in “lock step” with anyone!! I do my research and vote for the person I feel would do the best job…..sometimes that’s been a Republican and sometimes that’s been a Democrat. As for Eleanor, I am not one of her “monolithic” block of women, and for you to say that is, as Trump would say, ridiculous!! Get a life, little boy, not ALL of us are so closed minded as you are! Some of us DO our research for both sides of the coin and vote our conscience and not our party! This year, I will be voting for Hillary, not because she’s a woman, but because she is the best candidate for the job! There isn’t a GOP nominee that I would vote to pick up my trash!!

          6. mike February 19, 2016

            Thanks for a good chuckle. No, you are voting for Hillary for one reason, she is a women. What is interesting the young women are walking away from Hillary in mass, only older women are supporting her.
            She is not qualified to be president. For her to say there was no classified documents(1700+ found) in her emails and server shows how dishonest she is. Having 20 SAP’s, highest classification of secret documents, one listing secret agents in other countries, photos of North Korea sites and she denies having any on her server and emails, tells many Americans she is either lying or can’t distinguish what is top secret and what isn’t. For all the time she has been in politics if she can’t tell the differece between a top secret documents and simple email tells many Americans she is disqualified to hold the top job.
            For you not to question her ethics and proven lies and still planning on voting for her tells me you are as corrupt as Hillary.

          7. dpaano February 22, 2016

            I resent your comments. First of all, I’m NOT voting for Hillary because she’s a woman….I’m voting for her because she’s the best choice. Secondly, those e-mails were classified months, even years, AFTER she received them, which happens on a lot of occasions. And, since most of those e-mails were public record either in newspapers or other articles, Hillary would NOT have considered them as being confidential no matter WHAT her position was (talk to Colin Powell, who had the same problem….how quickly Republicans want to gloss over that). And, finally, you don’t know me, so you have NO right to say I’m corrupt. I spent over 26 years in the military with a Top Secret clearance and retired as a Major. Please refrain from calling people names, especially when you do NOT know them! It just shows what an idiot you are, and I’m calling you that because I DO know you from your posts, and that’s what your comments show me!

          8. mike February 22, 2016

            You have given me an even bigger chuckle.
            I haven’t called you squat.
            So you want to compare Powell’s 2 classified emails to Hlillary’s 1700+ emails.What a joke.
            Emails were “public record”, are you this delusional? Not one of the 1700 emails were public.
            When Hillary signed NDA in 2009, which said she was responsible for ascertaining information in her possession was classified and acknowledged that “negligent handling” of that information could jeopardize national security. So having 20 SAP’s, highest classification of secret documents, one listing secret agents in other countries, photos of North Korea sites but she was unable at that time to recognize or ascertain their Top Secret value, shows just how unqualified or corrrupt she is.
            What your posts show is a person who lacks personal ethics much like Hillary. When Hillary was asked about telling lies her response “I don’t try to”, what a pathetic answer.

          9. dpaano February 22, 2016

            First of all, you have NO idea what you’re talking about….apparently, you don’t read a valid newspaper or listen to anything other than FAUX News. It has been CLEARLY stated that the so-called “classified” e-mails that are Hillary’s e-mail account were classified AFTER she received them and were not considered classified at the time they were received. Additionally, several of them had to do with articles that appeared in various publications, even the NY Times.
            Again, you don’t know me, so I don’t think your comment about my lacking “personal ethics” is valid. I have more ethics than you do, I’m sure, but we won’t go into that because you can’t argue with stupid!!! And, if you can’t remember….you mentioned that I was “as corrupt” as Hillary. Again, not true. Maybe you should talk to your mom about her letting you use the computer and spouting off about things you know nothing about!

          10. mike February 22, 2016

            Oh, but I do know what I am talking about just the opposite of you.
            You said: “several of them had to do with articles that appeared in various publications, even the NY Times.” , several vs 1700+ , makes your comment even more ridiculous.
            You want to ignore the fact she is either lying or can’t discern the difference between an email with SAP’s or a yoga class. When Hillary signed NDA in 2009, which said she was responsible for ascertaining information in her possession if it was classified or not and acknowledged that “negligent handling” of that information could jeopardize national security.
            As to your ignoring or denial of her unethica behavior, unsecured server and emails and her lying about them just confirms to me and millions of Americans, who don’t have their head where the sun doesn’t shine, you are as corrupt as Hillary. If she thought she could get away with her server I can only imagine what she will try to circumvent once president.
            The Nevada caucus over the week end showed over 80% of Democrats viewed her as not honest. Was it 12% that thought she was honest?
            Heck, even 80% of democrats think she is untrustworthy, and lying and are more honest and enlightened than you.

        2. Paul Bass February 2, 2016

          JP,Mike is a troll, I’m sure you know, He will not stop, no matter how rational you are.
          He will always answer whatever you say with diversions, misrepresentations and outright lies.
          With mike’s upvote ratio about .3 you can tell no one on National Memo believes him. We should just stop feeding him…

          1. JPHALL February 2, 2016

            Mike, like Trump is a joke. He is like the medieval court jesters. Pure unintelligent entertainment. Like deliberately watching a bad movie he gives insight into the thinking, or lack there of, of the right wing. Subject: Re: Comment on Should Evangelical Voters Trust Trump? Cruz? Rubio? Not So Much


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