Christian radio host Eric Metaxas crossed swords with CNN host Chris Cuomo in a contentious Friday night “Cuomo Prime Time” debate over Christian support for President Donald Trump.
The interview comes as Christian support for the president again became a topic of national discussion after Christianity Today Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli published an editorial Thursday calling for the president’s removal for attempting “to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents.”
Cuomo kicked off the interview by directly asking Metaxas why a “person of faith” would support someone like the president.
Well, it’s like my pilot has tattoos and he’s on his fourth wife but he’s an amazing pilot. I would prefer a pilot who has been married for 30 years to the same woman. Sometimes things are complicated and I think that in this day and age, we’ve had such a dramatic choice. I mean, look, the day Hillary Clinton was chosen as the standard-bearer for the party and Trump was chosen, most people had a tough choice. It was not, you know, it was not Ronald Reagan and Mondale or whatever it was. It was a tough choice for everybody. So you had to think hard about what matters. And I think that given the track record of Hillary Clinton, a lot of people, like myself, were scared to death at the thought of a Clinton presidency.
When asked why, Metaxas noted the leftward shift of the Democratic Party over the past few decades: “It’s not the party that we grew up with, it’s not the party that it was in FDR’s day. It has gone so far left that in a way, if you want somebody who let’s say respects the Constitution and is going to appoint originalist judges, not conservative, originalist judges who will call balls and strikes, your only hope is to have a president with the GOP.”
Cuomo pressed back by bringing up Christian opposition to former President Bill Clinton based on moral grounds. Now “it’s just getting your judges and political positions,” he said.
Metaxas insisted that “you’re making a mistake” by making it “that transactional.”
“Any time anyone votes for anyone, there are aspects to it that are like that,” he said. “We mostly vote self-interest, but somebody who really cares about America doesn’t just vote self-interest. He votes for what’s good for America. And so when you care about religious liberty, you can say I care about myself, I care about my religious liberty or you can say, no, I care about the concept of religious liberty and I care about everyone’s religious liberty.”
After a lengthy discussion about the concept of religious liberty and abortion, Cuomo brought things back to Trump: “Why get behind a man who makes a mockery of your faith?” asked the CNN host. (RELATED: Christians, Conservatives Punch Back At ‘Christianity Today’ After Anti-Trump Stand)
“Most people I know don’t think he makes a mockery of our faith,” said Metaxas as the two continued to duke things out.