Launching a political coalition called Evangelicals for Trump at a Florida megachurch on Friday, President Trump declared his belief that God supports his agenda.
“I really do believe we have God on our side. I believe that. I believe that,” Trump said at King Jesus International Ministry in Kendall, Fla., adding, “or there would have been no way we could have won, right? People say how do you win, you don’t have the media, you have so many things against you, and we win. So, there has to be something.”
Speaking before a crowd of roughly 7,000 people that included noted pastors such as James and Shirley Dobson, Robert Jeffress, Cissie Graham Lynch, Alveda King, Jack Graham and Alberto Delgado, Trump portrayed himself as a dream president for evangelicals.
“Evangelicals, Christians of every denomination and believers of every faith have never had a greater champion, not even close, in the White House than you have right now. I think you know that.” Trump declared. “And I’m not saying that in any other way other than just look at the record.”
Trump touted his pro-life agenda and his attempts to overturn the Johnson Amendment forbidding nonprofit organizations — such as churches like the one hosting his rally — from endorsing political candidates.
“Our opponents want to shut out God from the public square,” Trump said, later shifting his focus to specific critics within the Democratic Party.
“These people hate Israel. They hate Jewish people. I won’t name them. I won’t bring up the name of Omar, Tlaib, AOC — I won’t bring that name up. Won’t bring it up,” Trump said.
Before he left for his rally in Kendall, Trump made his first public comments on the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, casting the decision as in the interest of peace.
We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago golf resort.
At the rally, Trump said that he had “ensured that his [Soleimani’s] atrocities have been stopped for good.”
“So let this be a warning to terrorists, if you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our own citizens,” Trump said.
Trump’s courtship of the religious vote comes just weeks after a leading evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, published an editorial calling for Trump’s removal from office, calling him “morally lost and confused.”
Exit polls showed that upwards of 80 percent of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump in 2016. While acknowledging that support, Trump told his crowd he hoped it would be even bigger come November.
“We’re going to blow those numbers away in 2020,” Trump said.