Texas Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] — who has surged in Iowa with the help of evangelical voters — is being criticized by one opponent in the Republican presidential race over his tithing to the church.
According to a report at BuzzFeed, based on tax returns released when he ran for the Senate in 2012, “Cruz contributed less than 1 percent of his income to charity between 2006 and 2010 — a far cry from the 10 percent most evangelical leaders believe the Bible demands.”
Cruz, who identifies as Southern Baptist, is being challenged for Iowa’s Christian conservative vote from a number of rivals, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
“I just think it’s hard to say God is first in your life if he’s last in your budget,” Huckabee told BuzzFeed for the story on Cruz’s tithing. “If I can’t trust God with a dime out of each dollar that I earn, then I’m not sure how I can tell him that I trust him with my whole life… To me, it’s a validation of a person’s stewardship and whether they put God first in their life, not just in their political endeavors.”
Added Huckabee: “It’s a matter of authenticity. If I say I’m a vegan but you look at me eating hamburgers and ribeye every night you’re going to say, ‘I don’t think this guy’s really a vegan.’”
According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, Donald Trump leads with 27.9 percent, followed by Cruz at 26.4 percent.
Another favorite of evangelicals, Ben Carson, is in fourth place with 8.9 percent of the vote.
The two past winners of Iowa’s GOP caucuses — Huckabee and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum — have yet to catch fire. Huckabee is in ninth place with 2.9 percent while Santorum is in 11th with 1.1 percent.