Michele Bachmann said Donald Trump longs for the time when “even my Jews would say merry Christmas.”
The Republican former representative spoke fondly of Trump’s “churched background” and “1950s sensibilities,” in a clip from a Saturday interview published by watchdog Right Wing Watch.
“He said, ‘When I was growing up, everyone said merry Christmas, even my Jews would say merry Christmas,’” Bachmann recounted Trump telling her. “‘It’s New York City, there’s [sic] a lot of Jews, and they would even say merry Christmas. Why can’t we even say merry Christmas anymore?’”
In the interview with evangelical radio host Jan Markell, who has been involved in Christian ministries that seek to convert Jews, Bachmann admitted she is not sure of the presumptive Republican nominee’s religious beliefs. .
“I’m not here to certify where he is on the Christian scale because I honestly don’t know,” said Bachmann, who serves on Trump’s evangelical advisory board, “but I will say he’s very much 1950s common sense, he believes in a lot of things we believe in.”
The Minnesota Republican conceded Trump had not been her first choice candidate, but said he was the only option left to defeat Hillary Clinton and implied God may have chosen him to do so.
“What I kept thinking to, Jan,” she said, addressing the radio host, “was the Book of Daniel, and the Book of the Daniel, the essence of the book is that the most high God lifts up who he will and takes down who he will.”
Listen to the interview here:
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Josefin Dolsten is a news fellow at the Forward. She writes about politics and culture, and edits the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.