Social conservatives got Donald Trump into the White House. Now, they expect him to deliver.
In conversations on Capitol Hill, donor meetings in Texas and behind closed doors at the Ritz-Carlton in McLean, Virginia, socially conservative leaders are cheering Trump’s election and already moving to hold him accountable to the myriad campaign promises he made to Christian voters.
“Donald Trump is not the candidate pro-lifers would have chosen, and he understood that, and he did outreach,” said Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs at the anti-abortion rights group March for Life. McClusky, who has been critical of Trump in the past, continued, “If he fulfills the promises he’s made, he could be the most pro-life president since Reagan.”
Trump, a thrice-married, onetime New York liberal who has said he has never asked God for forgiveness, was an uncomfortable fit for Christian leaders throughout much of the campaign. But he won over many of them with a pledge to appoint only Supreme Court justices who oppose abortion rights, and he solidified that support in September by releasing a detailed letter that spelled out four policy promises, all tied to curtailing abortion rights. He went on to win 81 percent of the evangelical vote, a higher percentage than George W. Bush, himself a born-again Christian, landed in 2004.