Donald Trump reached out to a large group of evangelical figures on Tuesday, vowing to be a voice for their concerns if elected president, but one of the leaders at the front lines of the culture wars says Trump needs to demonstrate a pattern of consistency if he hopes to win the vast majority of Christian conservatives to his side in November.
The meeting in New York City Tuesday drew the likes of former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., Dr. James Dobson and dozens more figures ranging from traditional Christian pastors to political activists to prosperity gospel proponents.
While the early reviews from those in attendance appear to be very positive, Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver says it’s only one step.
“At the end of the day, it’s not one meeting. It’s a pattern of activity in which you develop a trust or you develop a suspicion on how a particular candidate is going to act,” said Staver. “The main problem with Donald Trump is nobody really, really knows what he is going to do.”
Staver says Trump needs to starting winning the confidence of social conservatives now.
“After the primary season has completed, is he going to gave a more consistent message? I think that’s going to be very critical as we move into the general election, that he has a very consistent message that resonates with the people and that gives a level of confidence among Christians and other conservative voters,” said Staver.
According to Staver it is up to Trump to prove he is someone evangelicals and other cultural conservatives can count on, not the other way around.
“Is he going to be able to be consistent enough to win over some of the skeptical people, me included, with regards to where he stands on these very critical issues,” said Staver.
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver:
Perhaps the most telling moment for Trump will be his choice of a running mate. He says a good pick will greatly boost Trump.
“That’s a good sign for the future, but if he doesn’t bring the right people around him, then those individuals will be in the White House and they’ll lead us in a direction we don’t want to go,” said Staver.
One thing that is perfectly clear to Staver is where Hillary Clinton stands on all the major social issues, such as abortion, marriage and religious liberty.
“What we do know is what Hillary Clinton said she was going to do. Everything she says she’s going to do is contrary to our values with regards to marriage and issues such as abortion,” said Staver, who also says Clinton is a lock to make the wrong decision on foreign policy and in confronting radical Islam.
He also worries about Trump in foreign affairs, after the presumptive nominee said he would be completely neutral between Israel and the Palestinians and would shake things up at NATO.
However, one area that encourages Staver is Trump’s increasingly conservative position on the type of judges he would nominate for the Supreme Court, an issue taking on huge import after the death of Justice Scalia and the possible retirement of anywhere from two to four other justices in the coming years.
“At least on that matter he seems to have gotten some consistency over the past several months. I think that is a big factor weighing among social conservatives and other religious leaders,” said Staver.