Donald Trump’s evangelical adviser is courting Christian voters with a new theory: God “raised up” the Republican nominee to win the presidential election. In fact, former Minnesota Congressman and former Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann is pulling out all the stops, including citing scripture to get the American heartland onboard the Trump train.
“This is one thing I know from the Book of Daniel: the bottom line of the Book of Daniel is this: it teaches us that the most high God lifts up who He will and takes down who he will," Bachmann told The Brody File in an interview conducted on Friday, adding:
I actually supported Ted Cruz. I thought he was fabulous but I also see that at the end of the day God raised up, I believe Donald Trump who was going to be the nominee in this election. I don’t think God sits things out. He’s a sovereign God. Donald Trump became our nominee.
Despite Trump’s struggles in the polls, Bachmann suggested that God’s apparent ordination means that the real estate mogul “could win in a General Election.”
"I think it’s very likely that in the day that we live in, that Donald Trump is the only individual who could win in a General Election of the seventeen who ran,” she said. “Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know but I do know that the Bible is true and that Daniel teaches the most high God which is one of God’s names is the one who lifts up who he will and takes down who He will..."
While declarations of divine intervention have floated through American political discourse since the founding fathers first stepped foot into Philadelphia's Independence Hall to reify the dream of a “city upon a hill,” Bachmann’s quasi-sermon seems out of place, if not uncomfortably ironic, given her candidate’s religious illiteracy and soft-pedaling on Christian conservative social issues.
Indeed, Trump’s resounding support from evangelicals during the primaries shocked many lifelong political observers who argued that the Manhattan billionaire would likely confuse Mary Magdalene with the Virgin Mary. Trump didn’t just defeat his ostensibly more devout GOP primary challengers, but he managed to secure endorsements from the country’s most influential evangelical leaders, including Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell Jr.
But Bachmann’s plea for the evangelical may not push the needle in the general election all that much. The fact is, Trump will need more than the evangelical vote to defeat Hillary Clinton. He’ll need to expand the tent, and galvanize independents, voters outside of the Republican Party’s core base.
So far, he hasn’t given any indication he can do that.