Franklin Graham Thinks Everybody Can 'Agree With Some Things Donald Trump Said' at Fox News Debate
Even though billionaire businessman Donald Trump has been widely criticised for his misogynistic brashness during last Thursday's Fox News presidential debate, leading Evangelist Franklin Graham believes most Americans can "agree" with some of the remarks the Donald made during the primetime two-hour event.
In a post-debate interview with AL.com, Graham, the president of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, explained that he was excited to hear some of the 17 GOP candidates talk about their faith and God during the debates.
Though Graham, who prayed for a number of the participating candidates, refused to endorse any one candidate, he was asked give his thoughts about Trump's performance.
"[I] met him and talked to him. I think everybody who watched last night couldn't help but agree with some of the things he said," Graham asserted.
While Trump did not apologize or give in when questioned about his previous derogatory remarks toward women, the four times he filed for bankruptcy and whether he would support whoever the GOP nominee will be, the 69-year-old did speak out against Obamacare, reaffirm his pro-life stance, lambast the Iran nuclear deal, vow to strengthen the military and decry political correctness.
"He's not a politician. He says what he thinks. He's no dummy. He's worth a lot of money," Graham continued. "Whether he'll see this all the way through, who knows? He's a very smart man."
Although Trump was asked to comment a few times on policy issues, most of the Fox News moderators' line of questioning toward him dealt with his own controversial past.
Fox host Megyn Kelly questioned Trump about how he likes to refer to women he doesn't like as "fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals."
Trump tried to reason that he has only used those words to refer to comedian Rosie O'Donnell, to which Kelly replied, saying he has called other women names as well.
Kelly explained that Trump's Twitter page is filled with disparaging remarks toward women and added that he once told a contestant on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" that "it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees."
Of course, Trump did not admit that he was wrong to make such remarks.
"I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct," Trump replied. "I've been challenged by so many people, and I don't frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn't have time either."
"And frankly, what I say, and oftentimes it's fun, it's kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say," Trump added. "And honestly Megyn, if you don't like it, I'm sorry. I've been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But, I wouldn't do that."
In a CNN interview on Friday, Trump accused Kelly of unfairly questioning him and implied that she was menstruating, another comment that many have found offensive.
Trump's defense of his derogatory comments toward women could hurt his standing with women. President of the social conservative activist group Concerned Women for America, Penny Nance, argued Saturday that Trump was questioned fairly and that he will have a hard time convincing women to trust him.
"I attended Thursday night's debate. Megyn Kelly asked Trump a tough question and it deserved an answer. His tantrum was even more enlightening than his original remarks she questioned. He clearly isn't used to be called to task for his childish behavior. Does he have a problem with women?" Nance asked. "Three wives would suggest that yes, maybe there's a problem. The good news is that Kelly is a mother of toddlers and knows how to deal with petulance and tantrums.
"Every presidential election since 1964 has been carried by women," Nance continued. "Women don't like mean and we certainly won't vote for men or women we don't trust. Trump's biggest woman problem is how does he convince women to trust him to keep America safe?"
Despite Trump's brash remarks during the debate and CNN interview, an NBC News poll released Sunday night shows that Trump still has a commanding lead. Trump's support has even increased one percent to 23 percent, according to the poll.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had the largest polling increase from the debate. Cruz now sits in second place in the NBC poll with 13 percent thanks to a 7-percent rise since last week's polling.
Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina jumped from 2 percent of the vote to 8 percent after participating in Thursday's late afternoon debate featuring second-tier candidates.
Retired Neurosurgeon Ben Carson rose 3 percent in the polling and now sits in third place with 11 percent.
"There were several, a few, candidates, who had expressed their faith in God. That's encouraging," Graham said. "I think the Republicans have a strong field. These are strong individuals and capable people. The faith of some of them certainly came out."