Televangelist and senior pastor at Houston’s Lakewood Church Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria were non-partisan as they made the rounds in Washington, D.C. this week as a part of their Generation Hope Project.
The Daily Caller caught up with the Osteens during one of their community service stops at the Amidon-Bowen Elementary School, where Victoria Osteen read her book Gifts from the Heart to school children. Generation Hope volunteers and local churches also gave the gift of their time to refurbish portions of the school.
Joel Osteen told The Daily Caller that he was scheduled to make a visit to the White House during this trip, but a scheduling conflict is preventing the visit.
“He and his office have always been great to us,” Osteen told The Daily Caller of his relationship with President Barack Obama. “We have spoken in the past and at the get-togethers they have.”
A Gallup poll released Wednesday found that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has a 17 percentage point lead over Obama among “very religious” Americans, although Obama leads Romney by 6 percentage points among Catholics.
While hesitant to offer any indication of his political leanings, when asked how Obama could narrow that gap Osteen offered a bit of his usual Sunday fare.
“I would just encourage him to be true to his heart and true to his faith,” he told TheDC. “I think he is, and it’s a hard job, so I don’t know if I could give any advice but that would be it,” said Osteen.
Osteen added that he has been able to visit with a number of congressmen, including House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
At the request of Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Osteen acted as guest chaplain in the House on Tuesday.
And Thursday morning, at the request of Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, he offered an opening prayer in the Senate chamber.
Victoria Osteen told TheDC that she and her husband have been bringing a message of the importance of faith and family to the people they are meeting with.
“We’ve been able to visit with a lot of the politicians and congressmen. We had a large reception last night and it’s exciting,” Mrs. Osteen said. “We’ve had a great mixture of everyone we’ve been able to meet; it’s been really wonderful.”
Osteen told an E! News reporter during the Amidon-Bowen Elementary School visit that he will pray with, and be friends with, politicians of all parties. But he will not support one over another, he said, because it has the potential to cut into his message and limit his following.
He added that he would not run for office.
Joel and Victoria Osteen will bring their message of hope and faith to Nationals Stadium for A Night of Hope on Saturday night.