Evangelical leader fails to explain why Trump gets a pass but ‘character matters’ for Bill Clinton

Ralph Reed is the founder of the hard-right Evangelical organization called the Faith and Freedom Coalition. He is also an avid supporter of Donald Trump. However, back during the Clinton presidency, Mr. Reed was not nearly as amicable to bad behavior as he has been with the current president.

During an interview on Fox News, host Bill Hemmer asked Reed about the continued backing of Trump by evangelical Christians and their leaders, despite his rather un-Christlike behavior. Hemmer also recalled Reed’s past criticisms of former President Bill Clinton.

“My criticism of Bill Clinton in the nineties wasn’t based on his personal behavior,” Reed replied. “It was based on his public policies and it was based on the fact that he engaged in obstruction of justice, perjury and suborning perjury.”

“That is completely different than suggesting, as [Mayor Pete Buttigieg] does, that somehow those of us of faith who are involved with influencing public policy, based on our biblical principles, have to rummage through the bedrooms and the closets of every single person who runs for office,” he added.

However, Reed’s own words, per the New York Times in 1998, contradict what he is saying today. During the Clinton era, he definitely was talking about leadership with regards to character when he said:

”Character matters, and the American people are hungry for that message. We care about the conduct of our leaders, and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character.”

Reed, in all his religious piety, also defended Trump up after the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, saying Trump’s conduct was not charting very high on his “the hierarchy of concerns.” He instead was concerned with Trump’s stances on abortion and who he would put into the courts.

Pete Buttigieg, who has painted himself as a liberal gay Christian, says that “the hypocrisy is unbelievable.”

“Even on the version of Christianity that you hear from the religious right, which is about sexual ethics, I can’t believe that somebody who was caught writing hush-money checks to adult-film actresses is somebody they should be lifting up as the kind of person you want to be leading this nation,” he told MSNBC in April.

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