Sen. Ted Cruz is alienating evangelicals in South Carolina, while Donald Trump is attracting voters’ support because of his plain-spoken honesty, Hogan Gidley, a former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party, said Feb. 15.
“I talked to several pastors over the last few days being back home … and a lot of them had some really unflattering things to say about Ted Cruz,” said Gidley, who was also the top advisor in former Arkansas Gov. Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2016 campaign,
Gidley was speaking with Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125.
He said he felt that Trump, the GOP frontrunner, had “struck a nerve” with South Carolina voters because of his candid approach to campaigning. That style succeeds, be said, because;
What South Carolinians like is honesty. They want you to be the same all the time. They don’t like a lot of deviation and that’s why I think Donald Trump has risen so much here and also nationally is because, we don’t have to agree on everything — we just want you to be honest with us. And he struck a nerve in that way.
In contrast, “Ted Cruz has some problems with Evangelicals, it’s not a lock for him,” said Gidley.
I talked to several pastors over the last few days being back home … and a lot of them had some really unflattering things to say about Ted Cruz and chief among them was, you know he parades himself as the paragon of Christian virtue, yet, through the Iowa caucus process we find out he didn’t tithe, okay. Then we find out he lied and stole and cheated Ben Carson out of votes. And then on the debate stage, when he had the chance to apologize, he blamed CNN for it and said it was their fault, when in actuality the Cruz campaign is the one who changed the actual words from CNN to be pushed out. Now, we’re finding out about push polls here in South Carolina attacking Rubio and also Trump, uncorroborated, from the Cruz campaign. But we’re hearing rumors of that stuff, now. These are the types of things that evangelicals can’t abide by. Bearing false witness against someone like Ben Carson. They don’t like that and that’s unsettling for them. So, the pastors I’ve spoken with, mega-church pastors and also some more traditional church pastors have a serious problem with some of the things Ted Cruz has done and some of the things Ted Cruz has said behind the scenes because the public personae does not match the private action and that’s disconcerting for evangelicals.
Gidley says he hasn’t seen a Cruz ground game similar to what he built in Iowa.
Also, Gidley sees scheduled visits by George W. Bush to the state on behalf of his brother Jeb this week as positive for Jeb, but not likely to help Jeb’s numbers too much. Gidley believes that whoever can take second in South Carolina, assuming a Trump win, will get a significant boost going into the “SEC primary” next month.
Though Cruz is thought to be the strongest candidate among evangelicals, a poll last week indicated that Trump was leading him among evangelicals in South Carolina by 10 points.
The full interview with Gidley can be heard below. Breitbart News Daily airs from 6AM-9AM EST on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125.