Evangelical leaders sticking with Trump, focus on defeating Clinton
Leaders of religious conservative groups largely stood behind Donald Trump on Saturday, the day after vulgar sexual comments he made about women surfaced online, but some expressed concern that the U.S. Republican presidential nominee's remarks could depress evangelical turnout on Election Day.
Most evangelical leaders did not condemn Trump, and instead pointed to an urgent need to prevent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency, reshaping the Supreme Court and implementing liberal policies.
The latest blow to Trump's campaign came after a 2005 video surfaced of the then-reality TV star talking on an open microphone about groping women and trying to seduce a married woman. Vice presidential running mate Mike Pence said he could not defend Trump's words.
Gary Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families, said Trump's "grossly inappropriate language" does not change the choice facing the country in the Nov. 8 election and that "I continue to support the Trump-Pence ticket."
"Hillary Clinton is committed to enacting policies that will erode religious liberty, promote abortion, make our country less safe, and leave our borders unprotected," Bauer said.
White evangelicals make up about 20 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, and represent a crucial voting bloc Trump needs to win the presidency.