Trump touches on hunger-related issues in meeting with evangelical leaders

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

By Bread Staff

Donald Trump met with several hundred evangelical leaders in New York City on June 21 (see Bread’s statement on the meeting). One of the church leaders present asked the presumptive Republican nominee for president a question that touched on several of the issues that Bread is concerned about.

Since last fall, Bread for the World, as part of the Circle of Protection, has been requesting of Trump a video statement on what he would do to address poverty both in the United States and around the world as president. The Trump campaign has not responded to repeated requests from the Circle of Protection. (See the video submitted by presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.)

The following excerpt from the transcript of Trump’s meeting with church leaders highlights Trump’s stance on some of the issues that Bread is concerned about:

Ronnie Floyd (former president of the Southern Baptist Convention): …If you’re elected president of the United States, what will you do to address the real need of poverty and crime, violence and a lack of opportunity in the urban areas of our country? And to heal the worsening racial tension in the United States of America?

Donald Trump: Now, there is one word that would take care of a big chunk of it, and that’s jobs. We need jobs. [Applause] Our jobs are being taken away to other countries. NAFTA — which is one of the worst things ever signed economically in this country’s history, it was signed by Bill Clinton — it’s a disaster. I won all these states by such big margins, I’m looking at all these factories that closed 20 years ago and are rotting, really. Jobs have to be brought back. With that, we also have to understand — and they don’t get enough credit — but our police forces do an unbelievable job. They are so ridiculed and so maligned: You have one bad actor, something happens, it’s a national story for weeks, and they don’t show you the good work the police do. One thing I have to say is that when Obama got elected, I didn’t think he was going to be a great president — I didn’t know it would be like this. … But I thought he would be a great cheerleader, especially when you’re talking about the inner cities. And what they need is they need training, but they also need spirit. There’s no spirit in these inner cities. You look at what’s going on in Chicago. Chicago’s like a tale of two cities. There’s no training, there’s no spirit, there’s no hope for these people. We’ve gotta get in and we’ve gotta straighten it out. We’ve got a spirit crisis in this country, and I’m not only talking about the inner cities — I’m talking everywhere.

People are showing up to my rallies because the economy’s terrible. The 5 percent [unemployment rate] is a phony number that’s derived by politicians who were [unintelligible] years ago — before Obama — to make presidents and politicians look good. And you all know, you’ve heard it a thousand times — you look for a job, you look, look, look, and then you give up. And then you’re not considered unemployed because you’re not looking. The real number’s gotta be over 20 percent, the real number. The job situation — they’re bad jobs. The other thing, because of Obamacare — which we will repeal and replace, 100 percent — the premiums are going through the roof. You know, in Texas, Blue Cross BlueShield, because of Obamacare, they just announced a 60 percent increase. They’re going to announce an increase on Nov. 1, for much of the country, that’s going to be so high that it’s election changing. Believe me. Election changing. And now what they’re trying to do, because of the election, they’re trying to get that notice, instead of Nov. 1, they’re trying to get Dec. 1 or next year. And we cannot let that happen. Because it’s going to be numbers that are even higher than Texas, that’s what I’m hearing.

It is a horrible thing that’s going on with Obamacare. It’s a ruse. It was gotten there by fraud. I mean, he said 28 times, you’ll keep your doctor, you’ll keep your plan, all this stuff. And even Democrats say that’s why they voted for it. I mean it only passed by, like, a vote. But we’re gonna repeal it and replace it. We’re gonna get to the inner cities. We need a lot of work on the inner cities. It’s one of the toughest jobs we’re gonna have. The inner cities are a tough, tough job. That’s been going on for a long time. And through various incentives and lots of other things, including spirit and training, we’re gonna get things straightened out. People don’t wanna talk about the inner cities. But one of the toughest problems we have is right there. It’s not something our politicians wanna talk about.

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