(POLITICO) Donald Trump’s primary run left him with few friends among evangelical leaders, who are now weighing sitting out the general election entirely. But there is one way, they say, to win them back: picking a vice presidential candidate socially conservative enough to compensate for Trump’s many heresies.
Several of the country’s top socially conservative leaders, from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council to Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, said Trump’s choice of running mate would be among the most important factors in deciding whether to activate their extensive grass-roots networks on the real estate billionaire’s behalf.
“Who’s he going to surround himself with? The first indication is going to be vice presidential choice,” said Bob Vander Plaats, who served as Ted Cruz’s national co-chairman and is revered in Iowa evangelical circles.