CNN’s Michael Smerconish explains why Christianity Today's anti-Trump op-ed is unlikely to move the needle among evangelicals
On Thursday, Christianity Today — an evangelical Protestant fundamentalist publication founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham — published a blistering op-ed denouncing President Donald Trump as someone who is “morally lost and confused” and needs to be removed from office. The op-ed, written by Christianity Today Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli, is receiving a lot of attention. But CNN’s Michael Smerconish, during a Friday morning appearance on “New Day,” asserted that the op-ed is unlikely to inflict any major damage on Trump’s relationship with the Christian Right.
The Philadelphia-based Smerconish (who is conservative/libertarian politically but not a Trump supporter) stressed to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota that Trump continues to be quite popular among fundamentalist evangelicals, who view him as their “pit bull” who will “bring a gun to a cultural knife fight.” And as evangelicals see it, Smerconish told Camerota, Trump has come through for them when it comes to putting right-wing judges on the federal courts in big numbers.
A leading Christian magazine founded by late evangelist Billy Graham called for President Trump to be removed from… https://t.co/CScb7Mpw4S— New Day (@New Day)1576844039.0
Referring to Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate, Smerconish asserted, “Is there someone on that Democratic stage last night that (evangelicals) are going to gravitate toward? I don’t see that individual.”
Smerconish added that the “cynic gene” in him finds Galli’s timing to be overly convenient: Galli, Smerconish noted, is retiring — and he likened the timing of Galli’s op-ed to Republican members of Congress who don’t criticize Trump until after they have decided not to seek another term.
Far-right evangelical Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, has been highly critical of Galli’s op-ed —complaining that it has “liberal” strains — and remains an unwavering Trump supporter.