On Sunday’s broadcast of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said he did not think of President Donald Trump as “a role model for a lot of different youth.”
Partial transcript as follows:
BRENNAN: We’re on the verge of this impeachment trial. And during the- the Clinton impeachment, we often heard from Republicans that criticism and the call for an American president to be a moral leader. And we heard about moral failings. These days you will quietly hear criticism of the president from Republicans, but you don’t hear that loud criticism in the way we did 20 years ago. What has changed?
LANKFORD: Yeah. There- I’m not sure anything has changed. I think there is still this ongoing conversation about policy and about responsible leadership and about role models. I- I said very early on in the campaign time period when people asked me in 2016, what are you looking for? I said well, I always look for a president who can be a role model. I don’t think that President Trump as a person is a role model for a lot of different youth, that’s just me personally. I don’t like the way that he tweets, some of the things that he says, his word choices at times are not my word choices. He comes across with more New York City swagger than I do from the Midwest and definitely not the way that I’m raising my kids.
Saying that, there are policy areas that we agree on and when we agree on those things we work on those things together. But it’s also been a grand challenge to be able to say, for a person of faith, for a person who believes that there is a right way to go on things I- I wish that he did. And he was more of a role model in those areas. Now, saying all that, on the area of life where I’m very passionate about, on the issues of abortion, for instance. He’s been tenaciously pro-life. He’s focused on putting people around him that are very focused on religious liberty, not honoring a particular faith, but honoring any person of any faith to go be able to live and practice that faith and to have respect for that. That’s helpful for any person of faith. And to be able to say, give me the space to be able to live my faith and to be able to put people into the administration that will also allow that and encourage that. So for people of faith, it’s a bit of a conundrum at times that I look at some of the moral decisions that he’s made and go, I disagree with that. But he’s also been very, very protective of areas like life and very protective of areas of religious liberty to be able to allow people to be able to live their faith out. And at the end of the day, what we’re really looking for in an administration is folks that allow us to be able to live our principles.
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