Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump assured Christian conservatives Friday that he will fight for “our shared values” and warned that Hillary Clinton will push policies that ignore the “will of the people” and crush working families.
Mr. Trump’s appearance at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority Conference” here in Washington, D.C., comes as he looks to rebound from a rough week in which Republicans criticized him for making “racist” comments about a federal judge.
“I am with you 100 percent,” Mr. Trump told the hundreds gathered there.
The 69-year-old vowed to support pro-life policies, defend religious liberty and confront the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.
He promised to strengthen relations with Israel and appoint conservative judges and called for a “time out” on Syrian refugees coming into the United States.
“Hillary Clinton or as I call her ‘Crooked Hillary Clinton’ refuses to even say the words radical Islam,” he said. “This alone makes her unfit to be president. In fact, she wants a 500 percent increase in Syrian refugees to come into our county.”
The comments sparked cries of “stop the hate” from a few protesters that were escorted out of the event, as attendees chanted “USA! USA! USA!”
“Hillary will bring hundreds of thousands of refugees,” Mr. Trump continued. “Some of whom absolutely and openly support terrorism in our country. We don’t need that. We have enough problems.”
Mr. Trump, who describes himself as a Presbyterian Protestant, used a teleprompter — as he did earlier this week — as he continued to seek to assure Republicans that he can be a more disciplined candidate and avoid more self-inflicted wounds.
He also alluded to the controversy he recently ignited after calling a U.S. judge overseeing a case on Trump University biased because of the judge’s Mexican heritage.
“Freedom of any kind means that no one should be judged by their race or their color and the color of their skin,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump is trailing Mrs. Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, by a couple of percentage points, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls.
Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina also addressed the audience Friday, but she steered clear endorsing Mr. Trump.
Mrs. Fiorina sparred with Mr. Trump during the primary after he made controversial remarks about her face.
She pulled the plug on her campaign after disappointing showings in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
But she returned to the campaign trail briefly after Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas announced ahead of the Indiana primary that she would serve as his vice president.
It was part of a last-ditch effort to stop Mr. Trump from running away with the nomination, and it failed.