Trump turns to God as he plummets 8pc in the latest Republican polls
Published 22/09/2015 | 02:30
Donald Trump says he's asked God for forgiveness after all.
In an interview released yesterday by the Christian Broadcasting Network's 'The Brody File,' the billionaire reversed himself from a statement he'd made earlier this summer that troubled many Christian conservatives.
"Do you believe that it's important to ask God for forgiveness?" David Brody asked Trump in an interview recorded in California on the eve of last week's candidate debate.
"Well, I do," Mr Trump said. "I think it's great. I consider communion to be a very important thing. You know, when I go to church and I take communion I consider that asking for forgiveness in my own way. And I do think it's a great thing and I think it's an important thing and it makes you feel good."
During a July event in Iowa, he had said he'd never asked God for forgiveness for his sins, a central tenet of Christian faith.
A Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll of likely Republican participants in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses showed that more than a third were troubled by what Mr Trump had said about not asking for forgiveness.
He was among eight Republican candidates who spoke Saturday evening in Iowa at the Faith & Freedom Coalition dinner, a gathering of social conservatives. He made no mention of asking for forgiveness during his 20-minute appearance there, but he cozied up to the crowd in other ways.
"I brought my Bible," he said. "I also brought my confirmation picture."
Later in the speech, he won applause for wishing that Manhattan storefronts displayed the word "Christmas" as much as they did in years past.
"I want Christmas to be used," he said. "I want people to be able to celebrate Christmas."
Earlier Mr Trump and Republican rival Ben carson stoked the flames of a row about Muslims in America, as Hillary Clinton warned all sides to beware of lighting fires "that can get out of control".
Mr Trump and Mr Carson both used appearances on the Sunday chat shows to harden their stances - as a new poll showed that Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the Republican race, was soaring in the ratings, overtaking Mr Carson and eating away at Mr Trump's support.
Mr Carson, a neurosurgeon who has never been elected to any political office, told NBC News that a Muslim should never be president, because Islam is not "consistent with the constitution."
"I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation - I absolutely would not agree with that," he said.
Islam has been a hot subject of the presidential campaign this week, and Mr Trump has been criticised for failing to take issue with a man on Thursday who, at an event in New Hampshire, said: "We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims. When can we get rid of them?"
Asked on Sunday whether he believed Muslims were a problem, the combative billionaire said: "We can say no, and you can be politically correct, and say everything's wonderful. But I haven't seen people from Sweden going back and leaving after the bombing of the World Trade Center, so we have a problem.
"And at the same time, we have fabulous Muslims living here and they have done fantastically well.
"But certainly if I were to say 'Oh no, not at all,' then people would not believe me".
Mr Trump's support in a CNN/ORC poll has fallen from 32pc earlier this month to 24pc now, while Mrs Fiorina is now in second place.
Mr Trump dismissively said on Sunday that Mrs Fiorina "has a good pitter patter, but if you listen to her for more than five minutes straight you get a headache".
And Mrs Clinton warned of the dangers of the rhetoric coming from the Republican side, and described Mr Trump's failure to correct the audience member as "appalling".
"He is fuelling a whole level of paranoia and prejudice about all kinds of people," she said.
"And when you light those fires, you better recognise that they can get out of control. And he should start dampening them down and putting them out."