Donald Trump met privately with evangelical leaders in New York Tuesday. At the end of the gathering his presidential campaign announced the formation of a fifteen-member Evangelical Executive Board. The Trump campaign release underscored that those on the board were not asked to endorse Trump in order to be named.
Members include former congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann; Focus on the Family founder James Dobson; the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Ralph Reed; Southern Baptist leader Richard Land; LIFE Today founder and host James Robison; and Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University.
Week before last, Trump told the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference, “We will restore faith to its proper mantle in our society … we will respect and defend Christian Americans.” Reed, the founder of the coalition, explained his support by saying, “We’re not looking for a political messiah because we already have a messiah. We don’t need to find one in the political arena. We understand that perfection is not the measure that should be applied, not to any political leader and not to any man or woman.”
Some on the new board, including Dobson, had been strong supporters of Ted Cruz and opponents of Trump. In March, Richard Land commented, “It must be said, before it is too late, that whatever the problems may be, Donald Trump is not the answer.”
Trump’s campaign said that forming the new board “represents Donald J. Trump’s endorsement of those diverse issues important to Evangelicals and other Christians, and his desire to have access to the wise counsel of such leaders as needed. Mr. Trump has received widespread support from Evangelical leaders, communities and voters, winning the majority of the Evangelical vote throughout the primaries.”
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