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Thursday July 25, 2024

‘You have to vote’, Trump tells US evangelical Christians

By AFP
June 24, 2024
Former US president Donald Trump seen in this undated image.— AFP/.file
Former US president Donald Trump seen in this undated image.— AFP/.file  

WASHINGTON: Former US president Donald Trump urged evangelical Christians on Sunday to vote en masse for him in November, vowing to “aggressively” protect their religious freedom if he is elected.

The ex-leader, who rarely appears in church himself, has built a crucial base among the religious right, promising -- and delivering -- on some of their biggest priorities, including by appointing Supreme Court justices who helped overturn the federal right to abortion.

“The evangelicals and the Christians, they don´t vote as much as they should,” Trump told hundreds of supporters at a Washington conference put on by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a conservative advocacy group.

“They go to church every Sunday, but they don´t vote,” he said, adding in a half-joke that “in four years, you don´t have to vote. Okay? In four years, don´t vote. I don´t care.”

If elected, Trump would be ineligible to run for president again in 2028 because of term limits.

Evangelical voters were crucial for Trump´s 2016 victory and again in his failed 2020 campaign, when 84 percent of white evangelical Protestants voted for him, according to the Pew Research Centre.