WASHINGTON – Family Research Council President Tony Perkins says he has confidence that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will be a solid justice despite not being the preferred pick of evangelicals.
"We feel confident based on this administration's track record that Kavanaugh is going to be a good jurist," Perkins told CBN News.
Perkins and many other evangelical leaders wanted to see President Trump pick judge Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic who was not ashamed to wear her faith on her sleeve.
"The reason I said Barrett would be good is because when she was confirmed last year they attacked her faith and we saw people who generally don't pay attention, but they were engaged," said Perkins.
"They saw that as an extension of what the Democratic Party did under Barack Obama and has continued and that is to say, 'If you're a person of faith, you can't come in and be a part of public service,'" he continued.
"I think that type of engagement would not only help this justice be confirmed, I think it would have actually spilled over into the midterm election because of the engagement and enthusiasm of conservative voters," Perkins explained.
Evangelical enthusiasm will be crucial in these upcoming midterms. Typically, evangelicals make up 26 percent of the electorate that shows up. Perkins says picking Kavanaugh over Barrett may make it trickier to galvanize evangelicals this fall.
"It's a little bit harder. This is more of an inside game in terms of this confirmation of Kavanaugh juxtaposed to an Amy Barrett, which I think would have been more of an outside game as well. It would have been easier to connect people with it," he said.
Kavanaugh has been loosely criticized for not being as strong in his opinions on the abortion issue.
"There were a couple troubling decisions on the life issue, but they weren't significant," said Perkins. "I think the bigger issue is the path that he has taken to get to the court. He's basically been in DC. There are some others that have come through that same route who have not turned out to be that good."
The FRC is a major voice in evangelical politics and will play a crucial role in motivating and mobilizing the conservative Christian base. Ultimately, Perkins says evangelicals will get behind Kavanaugh.
"I think conservatives are going to lock ranks behind this administration," he predicted. "It's clear that he's a strict constructionist and he's going to abide by the letter of the Constitution, which is what we're looking for."