Evangelical and Conservative Leaders Plan to Meet Privately With Trump
A move is underway to bring Donald Trump together with some 400 evangelical and social conservative to discuss concerns about his campaign and where he stands on social issues, according to an article by Time.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council and Bill Dallas, leader of United in Purpose, are working with Ben Carson, who announced his support for Trump after ending his own presidential campaign, to put together the private meeting. A core group of about 20 leaders includes American Values president Gary Bauer, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, and Family Leader president Bob Vander Plaats.
Though the Trump campaign has not publicly confirmed the event, it is expected to take place in New York City in the next few weeks.
“We are looking for a way forward,” Perkins told Time. “The main thing here is this is to have a conversation.”
Most of those who are expected at the meeting have not been supportive of Trump, including Perkins who endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz. The forum will be “a starting point for many,” Perkins said, giving them the opportunity to hear from Trump first-hand and possibly even ask questions.
“I don’t even know what it will lead to,” Perkins said. “It is just to have an honest conversation so that these leaders know what they need to do.”
Meanwhile, Christian leaders close to the Trump campaign are organizing a committee to advise him on matters of faith and policy, Time reports.
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s name has been floated for the role of chairman.
Trump supporter and televangelist Paula White has been working to put together the committee with Tim Clinton, who heads the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Friday night, Trump addressed the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) in a pre-taped video.
The NHCLC is headed by Samuel Rodriguez Jr.
In his two-and-a-half minute talk, Trump addressed vital issues critical to Hispanics, including jobs, creating better schools and safer communities, as well as cutting taxes for the poor and curbing government debt.
Trump, who has offended Hispanics with his tough talk on immigration and harsh characterizations of illegal immigrants, hopes to unite Latino evangelical leaders who have distanced themselves from him.
His sometimes crude speech, former support for abortion, and talk about not needing to be forgiven has troubled many Christians. Mainstream Republicans say he needs more schooling in foreign policy and are angry at the way he decimated the GOP field of candidates.
Recently, he privately met with House Speaker Paul Ryan in an effort to unify Republicans on Capitol Hill. Though he said the two found common ground, Ryan still stopped short of endorsing Trump.
“To pretend we are unified as a party after coming through a very bruising primary, which just ended like a week ago, to pretend to unify without actually unifying, then we go into the fall with half strength,” Ryan remarked a couple of weeks ago.
However, the meeting did appear to be a first step to mending fences and several Republican leaders on Capitol Hill spoke positively of their discussions with Trump.
Carson says this event with social conservatives would be successful if the outcome is “very similar to what happened a couple of weeks ago with Mr. Trump and people on Capitol Hill, getting an opportunity really to sit down face to face and interact with each other, and that allays a lot of anxiety on both sides.”
Report via CBN News
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