Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that he doesn't believe President Trump is "a very good role model for a lot of different youth," and that disagreements on rhetoric have been a "grand challenge" for him as a person of faith.
"I said very early on in the campaign time period, when people asked me in 2016, 'What are you looking for?' Well, I said I always look for a president who can be a role model. I don't think that President Trump, as a person, is a very good role model for a lot of different youth, but that's just me personally. I don't like the way that he tweets, some of the things that he says — his word choices, at times, are not my word choices."
Details: Specifically, Lankford said he disagrees with Trump's tweeting habits and language, but that he's willing to work with the president when they agree on policies.
- "On the issues of abortion, for instance, he's been tenaciously pro-life," Lankford said. "He's focused on putting people around him that are very focused on religious liberty — not honoring a particular faith, but honoring any person of any faith."
The big picture: An editorial by the influential evangelical magazine Christianity Today calling for Trump's removal from office has ignited a debate within the evangelical community over how to reconcile Trump's personal actions with his administration's strong record of pursuing favorable social policies.
- About 81% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump in 2016, according to Pew Research Center.
In response to the editorial, the Trump campaign is working to secure its support within the evangelical community ahead of the 2020 election. Trump plans to hold a rally to launch the "Evangelicals for Trump" coalition in an Apostolic megachurch in Miami on Jan. 3.
- Nearly 200 evangelical leaders rebuke Christianity Today for anti-Trump editorial
- Christianity Today editor explains his decision to call for Trump's removal
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016.