Meet the pastor running for president

2024 Republican presidential candidate Ryan Binkley announces his White House bid, April 23, 2023.
2024 Republican presidential candidate Ryan Binkley announces his White House bid, April 23, 2023. | Binkley for President

Ryan Binkley is a Texas pastor who is one of several candidates vying for the Republican nomination for president.

While he lacks the name identification of other GOP candidates, he remains optimistic about his ability to make the stage for the first Republican presidential primary debate in August, acknowledging that “it’s going to be difficult.”

Binkley, who serves alongside his wife as co-pastor of the nondenominational Create Church based in Richardson, Texas, and is the president and CEO of the banking firm Generational Group, starts off as a clear underdog in his quest to secure the Republican nomination for president.

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The RealClearPolitics average of polls measuring voter support for declared candidates shows former President Donald Trump as the clear frontrunner and does not even include Binkley’s name.

Requirements for participation in the first GOP presidential debate, scheduled to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23, include attaining at least 1% support in either three national polls or two national polls and one poll from two of the first four states to hold presidential primaries or caucuses, secure a minimum of 40,000 individual donors with at least 200 per state or territory in at least 20 states or territories, and sign a pledge vowing to support the eventual Republican presidential nominee.

Candidates must meet the requirements no later than 48 hours before the debate, which will air on Fox News.

Binkley shared his personal faith background and vision for the United States in an interview with The Christian Post. Below are excerpts from that conversation.

CP: Do you plan to make the debate stage in August? If not, how do you plan to make your pitch to voters?

Binkley: We do plan on making the debate stage in August.

We are going to be pushing every day until then, and we believe we have a strategy to get there, and it’s going to take everything to just fall in line. But really, our strategy besides that debate stage is to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire.

So, we have a strong Iowa and New Hampshire strategy and we are going to New Hampshire next week as well. We’re going to be going there every week, along with Iowa, and making our case to the voters that it’s time to grow our party, it’s time for us to come out of the division we’re in.

CP: What is your message to those currently supporting other candidates? Why should they choose you?

Binkley: I really believe I can help our country understand what it’s going to take to prune and grow our economy and … get our debt-to-GDP ratio that we have, which is an unhealthy balance right now, get it in place so we can be prepared to grow for the future. Our country is really falling behind. You may know that China’s loaning money to countries everywhere from Latin America to Europe, [and] Africa and we’re borrowing money. So we have to make some significant changes in our country financially.

So I’m putting us on a … next-generation action plan because if we don’t get our budget in line for the next generation, they could be facing a huge financial collapse or possible very weak economic foundation. So, we have to get it ready for them.

The next thing I’m really focusing on is … an absolute transformation of healthcare by bringing competition to healthcare exchanges, Big Pharma as well as hospital providers. Right now, we’ve had healthcare inflation 40% higher than regular inflation. And the Republican Party never really addresses healthcare reform, so we’ve left that alone for decades and I have a really strong plan. Right now, … Big Pharma is a huge problem with our healthcare economy. We have, I think, misaligned our patent laws for Big Pharma.

We’ve spent 250% more than every other developed country on our pharmaceutical drugs. We have to fix that. We can no longer let them take advantage of our laws here. And so, this is what we want to do and create free competition [within health service] exchanges and really price visibility. 

Right now, when somebody goes to the doctor, they don’t know what things cost. We have no idea so the customers aren’t shopping anymore. So, we have to just bring price visibility, competition back and we’ll restore our healthcare plans. So these are two big economic issues.

But if we don’t tackle healthcare and our budget, we will never be able to balance the budget.

It’s time for the Republican Party to lead with a Security and Dignity Act that really secures the border once and for all — from California to Texas — but also helps solve the immigration crisis and the opioid crisis we have coming through our southern border.

We have so many problems that we’ve never come up with a solution that Democrats, independents and Republicans can agree on. And so I really want to come up with a bipartisan plan that solves this problem once and for all. I’m [also] going to [create an] education and urban renewal program.

The big thing that we’re seeing now is that we’re falling behind in education, not just in suburban areas, but urban areas are going through a critical phase right now. Minorities in urban America, at the eighth-grade level, only one out of six are reading at the eighth-grade reading level and that has to be fixed. It’s not great in the suburbs. Even regardless of race, probably 60% of kids are reading at the eighth-grade reading level. We have fallen so far behind. We’re not even in the top 20 in education anymore.

So we need to have a revival in education. So we’re implementing a program that we’re calling SAVE, which is Serving and Volunteering in Education and we want to do a couple things. First of all, on the education side, we want to start a movement of college students, a volunteer movement, think of the Peace Corps in the '70s, how active that was?

We want to bring in hundreds of thousands of college students to be able to volunteer five hours a week, 10 hours a week, with third graders, fifth graders, teaching them how to read, write and do math. I believe this, that young people today need mentors, they need tutors. We need to do this through after-school programs.

I’m actually calling on private America … some of the greatest community centers that I’ve seen, I’ve seen in Chicago, I’ve seen some in Dallas, they’re volunteer-based, they are private, they’re not government funded.

Our country doesn’t have any more money.

We are running a trillion-and-a-half dollar deficit every year, but private America, it’s time for us to own our city. So I’m really engaging us to not only solve the education problem but also bridge the gap between the poor and the middle class.

Right now, we have to give a strong reason for those that are at a poverty level in America, particularly urban America, to see that the Republican platform is a meaningful platform for them. And what I’m recommending we do is go back and build into these community centers vocational training.

We haven’t had a focus on this in America in decades, and it’s time for us to teach another generation and really start a work movement in America.

We need to be teaching in every city … people how to be craftsmen again, how to weld or how to be a plumber or an electrician, teach them a job where they can have a living wage. Not everybody’s supposed to go to college.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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