If He Could Do It Over Again, Clinton Strategist Says He'd 'Ask for a Faith Forum'

By Susan Jones | December 5, 2016 | 7:09am EST
Then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke to the National Baptist Convention in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Joel Benenson, Hillary Clinton's campaign strategist, says if he could do things differently in the final weeks of the campaign, he'd ask for a "faith forum" to compare Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump on religious grounds.

Berenson, appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press, was asked by host Chuck Todd, "If the election were the first Tuesday in January and you had another six weeks here, what`s one thing you would do differently in the last four weeks of the campaign?"

"I would do more states. I would hit more states more frequently," Benenson responded.

"I would probably ask for another debate, probably ask for a faith forum to hear Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both talk about their roots in faith and the strength of hers, which I think are dominant."

Clinton was born and raised in the Methodist church, something she mentioned frequently on the campaign trial.

She spoke in depth about her religion in September, at the National Baptist Convention in Kansas City, telling the religious gathering that her faith led her to a life of service.

Clinton said it was thanks to her church-going parents that she embraced "activist social justice faith -- the roll-up-your-sleeves and get-your-hands-dirty faith...I am grateful for the gift of personal salvation and for the great obligation of the social gospel. To use the gift of grace wisely. To reflect the love of God and follow the example of Jesus Christ to the greater good of God's beloved community. That's what led me to devote my life in the ways I could to serving others, especially children."

Throughout her campaign, Clinton made it clear that she would continue many of President Obama's "social justice" policies, which conservatives have sometimes criticized as threats to religious freedom.

Trump, on the other hand, mentioned his protestant religious background briefly, and only when asked about it on the campaign trail. His apparent unfamiliarity with the Bible emerged when Trump said "two Corinthians" instead of Second Corinthians in a speech at Liberty University in January.

But Trump campaigned on a promise to "protect Christianity" and religious freedom. Exit polls show he won the white evangelical vote, 81-16 percent.

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