By Dave Andrusko
As we have for going on two weeks, we are re-posting a story that ran the equivalent number of days prior to the 2016 elections to give you a sense of where we were then and where we are today. The following ran October 31, 2016, eight days before the November 8th election, under the headline, “Donald Trump explains to EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo his journey to becoming Pro-Life, denounces Clinton campaign’s anti-Catholic bigotry.”
You can watch the exclusive interview Donald Trump gave to Eternal World Television Network (EWTN) host Raymond Arroyo here.
You can also real the full transcript at the National Catholic Register.
Here are a few highlights of a genuinely fascinating interview which aired on the Oct. 27, 2016, episode of EWTN’s “The World Over.” For single-issue pro-lifers, the first query that Trump responded to was to reiterate that he would nominate pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.
For newcomers, or those who haven’t heard Trump talk about his pro-life conversion, Trump tells Arroyo that there wasn’t a moment that changed his thinking and his heart on abortion.
Well, there are a number of moments, but one was a couple that I know very, very well — and you had a strong pro-life [person] and you had a strong pro-choice [person], and they argued over [the pregnancy]. … The mother was pregnant. They argued over the child. One, I won’t get into specifics. …But one wanted to abort. And the other said, “We can’t do that. We’re not going to do that.” Anyway, they had the baby. It was a long time ago. And the baby is such a magnificent person, who I know, a magnificent person. And the person that was actually pro-choice is now pro-life because of it, and it had a big effect on me. But I’ve seen other examples similar to that; but I’ve seen other examples, so …
Arroyo interjects, “So, it was a personal change for you?” and Trump responds
It is a personal change. And, you know, Ronald Reagan made that personal change, too. Many people have made the personal change. I mean, some make the personal change the other way, also. … But I made the personal change, and I’m very happy with it.
As you would anticipate from the host of an ETWN program, Arroyo asks Trump a series of questions about freedom of religious expression, which has been under constant attack from the Obama Administration and which many fear would be even worse under a President Hillary Clinton.
Trump agrees the federal government has been “intrusive” and that “Obama has been a disaster, in terms of religious liberty.”
Arroyo, citing recent reports from the federal government, notes that premiums for ObamaCare will go up an average of a whopping 25% next year (in some places many multiples of that 25%). He asks,
“Given that and this religious objection to the Obamacare mandate, what are you going to do as president?”
Obamacare is killing our country. It’s killing our jobs. It’s a disaster. I’ve been saying it for a long time. I’ve been talking about it for a long time, before it was even approved. …[Y]ou have to repeal and replace Obamacare.
As an influential host for programs on the largest Catholic cable and satellite network in the world, Arroyo not surprisingly asked about WikiLeak revelations that Clinton campaign staff made many disparaging remarks about people of faith:
Arroyo: You mentioned emails. These WikiLeak revelations have offended a lot of evangelicals and Catholics.
Arroyo: Now, these were members of Hillary Clinton’s staff, John Podesta, her communications director, and they said things like this. They suggested that they needed to plant seeds of rebellion in the Catholic Church to somehow change the teaching to accommodate their political agenda.
Trump: Terrible. Sure.
Arroyo: They said it was a backward, Middle Aged dictatorship. Now, that’s her staff.
Trump: It’s her.
Arroyo: Is she guilty of that? Should she apologize?
Trump: It’s her. It’s her. She should apologize. I think she has to do more than apologize. You know, that’s her thinking. That’s her staff. Frankly, if any Catholic votes for Hillary Clinton, you know, I would say, if I were a Catholic, I wouldn’t be talking to them anymore. She’s been terrible in what she said and her thoughts towards Catholics and to evangelicals. She was mocking evangelicals, also. So, you’d say, why would an evangelical or a Catholic — and almost, you could say, anybody of faith, but in particular, because they were mentioned, evangelicals and Catholics — why would they vote for Hillary Clinton? And how could they vote for Hillary Clinton? But that’s her speaking, believe me.
Arroyo: Well, if it’s her staff. Do you think it reveals a mindset in the administration?
Trump: Well, it’s her staff, but I think it’s her.
Arroyo: Is that what you’re suggesting … or in her campaign, rather?
Trump: Yeah, sure; I mean, this is the top person in her campaign. I think it reveals her, yes.