Evangelicals love it when Trump praises Christianity. But it turns out they love it even more when he calls them "pieces of shit."
According to The Guardian, In the new book, The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism, author Tim Alberta, says Trump loathes evangelicals for a number of reasons:
- Embarrassment about misquoting the Bible: At an event at Liberty University, Trump attempted to cite a Bible verse following the advice of Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. However, he incorrectly referred to "Second Corinthians" as "Two Corinthians," which is not the customary way the verse is cited. This mistake led to "laughter and ridicule," which embarrassed Trump.
- Endorsement for Ted Cruz: Adding to Trump's frustration, shortly after the Liberty University event, Tony Perkins endorsed Ted Cruz, which may have felt like a personal betrayal to Trump, as he had tried to follow Perkins' advice at the event.
- Feeling of Conspiracy: Trump speculated that there was a "conspiracy among powerful evangelicals to deny him the GOP nomination." This perception likely intensified his feelings of resentment towards the evangelical community, who he believed were aligning against him.
- Personal Attacks: As the Iowa caucuses approached, and Cruz's allies began to use Trump's "Two Corinthians" mistake against him, Trump reacted with hostility. He reportedly described evangelical supporters of Cruz with derogatory terms, indicating a deep sense of anger and frustration.
- Ongoing Resentment: Alberta suggests that Trump harbored resentment towards the evangelical community for years, often using "even more colorful language to describe" them in private.
So why would evangelicals approve of being called pieces of shit? Because now they have additional leverage over Trump, who needs their voting bloc to win. They now have increased negotiation power to demand more stringent adherence to their policy priorities. Trump will deny ever having made the remark and will be even more attentive to their agenda to maintain their support.