As Republican presidential candidates duel over the Evangelical vote in Iowa, President Donald Trump (R), may have a rough path ahead of him after a recent book divulged the embattled former President has previously ripped into the Religious Right.
Before Trump even won the Republican primary in 2015, then-candidate Trump did not have an appeal to religious conservatives whatsoever. In fact, this was one of Republicans' biggest concerns when he became the nominee over 5 years ago. Certainly, plenty has changed in those 5 years, with Evangelicals backing him in droves.
Now the old status quo may be returning with statements from Trump around that time that are now coming to light. The book details an error Trump made when quoting the Bible, which Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) used against candidate Trump to highlight his pandering to the religious class.
According to the book, The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism, “When Cruz’s allies began using the ‘Two Corinthians’ line to attack him in the final days before the Iowa caucuses, Trump told one Iowa Republican official, ‘You know, these so-called Christians hanging around with Ted are some real pieces of s—.'”
The quote could easily be taken as only applying to those specific voters, but Trump's history makes it easy to believe that Trump could feel this way in general about the religious class. The former president often brags about being the reason Roe v. Wade was overturned, but has lived a long history of having socially Liberal stances compared to his GOP counterparts.
Realistically, this could not damage his chances too much in the primary race. Trump is the far and away leader and Evangelicals are not a likely class of voters to stray away from the Republican Party, no matter the nominee.