Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, appeared on CBN's Faith Nation program Wednesday to talk about the president's appearance at the conference.
WASHINGTON, DC – A senior White House official tells CBN News that President Trump will speak to thousands of conservative Christians next Wednesday, June 26, at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority Conference in Washington, DC.
The plan is for him to speak for roughly 60 minutes, just hours before Democrats begin holding their first debates of the presidential primary season. This will be President Trump's sixth time since 2011 addressing this influential crowd of evangelical political activists. He and the group's chairman Ralph Reed have been friends since 2010. Since that time, Trump has spoken to them twice before he ran for president and twice as a presidential candidate. The last time he addressed the group was as president in 2017.
When President Trump takes the stage, he can expect multiple standing ovations. Each time, he has been fervently received. During his speech two years ago in front of this significant crowd, he received huge applause throughout with lines like, "we don't worship government; we worship God" and, "You fought hard for me, and now I'm fighting hard for all of you." But most of all, Trump was able to immensely satisfy the gathering with a list of victories vitally important to evangelicals: a newly confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court; executive actions on religious freedom; and pro-life moves such as significantly expanding funding for the Mexico City Policy, which requires that non-governmental organizations agree not to "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations."
In 2019, President Trump will have an even longer list of evangelical accomplishments. One of the biggest is the victorious outcome during the bruising confirmation battle over his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Just as important, the president's 2019 speech will no doubt discuss what could be one of his most substantial lasting legacies: the confirmation of a slew of federal appeals judges that is expected to reshape the judiciary for decades.
But now that the 2020 presidential election season is here, the topic of abortion has been front and center. The president will no doubt be discussing how all the Democrats running for president support late-term abortion – a practice that most Americans disagree with and want to be illegal.
In his presidential campaign kickoff speech in Orlando, Florida Tuesday, Trump hammered home the point on abortion extremism, asking Congress to protect unborn children from abortions that happen in the third trimester. "Virtually every top Democrat also now supports taxpayer-funded abortion right up to the moment of birth – ripping babies straight from the mothers' womb," Trump told the huge crowd. "Leading Democrats have even opposed measures to prevent the execution of children after birth. You saw that in Virginia." It's that sort of rhetoric and moral issue that is expected to galvanize the conservative Christian crowd assembled next week in Washington.
The multitudes of faithful that will show up at the conference represent a group of evangelicals and conservative Catholics that are largely responsible for President Trump's victory in 2016. According to exit polls, born-again or white evangelical Christians made up nearly one-fourth of the 2016 electorate, and 81 percent of them cast their vote for Trump. Currently, a new Public Opinion Strategies poll has President Trump's approval rating sitting at 83 percent among this same group. He'll need support like that, possibly even greater, to win in 2020 due to the anger and fervor coming from the progressive Left even more so this time around.
The Faith and Freedom Coalition prides itself on the work they did in helping to elect Trump. They point to a mobilizing ground force in 2016 that knocked on over one million doors and distributed over 50 million voter guides and mail pieces to evangelical voters. The plan for 2020 is even bolder: the goal is to knock on three million doors and circulate 70 million voter guides and mail pieces. In addition, their Get Out The Vote effort will also include making 10 million phone calls and sending out 20 million text messages. As for Ralph Reed, he's been a helpful and important advisor for President Trump. His Faith and Freedom Coalition helped push key White House initiatives and efforts like judicial nominations, the child tax credit, and criminal justice reform, along with executive actions on religious freedom and the sanctity of life.