Beliefs Politics

10 faith facts about GOP front-runners in Fox News’ main debate

Ten Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidates, (L-R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Ohio Governor John Kasich, debate at the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Brian Snyder *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-GOP-DEBATE, originally transmitted on Jan. 14, 2016.
Ten Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidates, (L-R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Ohio Governor John Kasich, debate at the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Ten Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidates, (L-R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Ohio Governor John Kasich, debate at the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

(RNS) Many of the top 10 Republican presidential contenders gave God a nod during the Fox News televised 2016 election debate Thursday (Aug.6).

The concluding question asked about how God might give them a word on how to deal in the Oval Office if elected.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said, “I’m blessed to receive a word form God every day” through the Bible.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said God doesn’t give him a Do List but he “calls me to live by his will.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich believes the Lord wants America “to succeed and to lead.”

But Florida Senator Marco Rubio has a zinger for his benedictory comment: “God has blessed with our party with some very good candidates” — not so the Democrats. 

Earlier in the debated, several wove God into their comments on other questions.

Ben Carson said God is fair about his expectations for tithing so the tax code should be more fair, too. And former Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist pastor, said no court decision could alter his view that personhood begins at conception and all the Constitutional rights that go with it: “The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being.”

Of course, all the candidates have a background of religious life and remarks. So Religion News Service has created an ongoing series to help you keep track.

In our “5 faith facts” series, RNS highlights the religious background and faith-related remarks for every announced candidate — including the seven GOP folks relegated to the second-tier candidates’ dinner-and-drive-time debate, which precedes the 9 p.m. Eastern main event.

Here — in the order to which Fox News has ranked them — are some of the candidates’ more memorable remarks on faith, drawn from the RNS series:

Real estate magnate Donald Trump:

“I do get sent a lot of Bibles and I like that. I think that’s great.”

Former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush:

“Irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling … we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker:

“I don’t know” whether Obama is a Christian.

Former Arkansas Gov. (and Baptist pastor) Mike Huckabee:

“Spiritual convictions should certainly be reflected in one’s worldview, approaches to problems, and perspective.”

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson:

“Even when I don’t operate, I pray because I feel that God is the ultimate source of all wisdom.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz:

“We can turn our country around, but only if the body of Christ rises up.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio:

“Faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul:

“I am a Christian but not always a good one.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:

“No rights are given to you by government. All our rights are given to you by God.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich:

“God is with me wherever I happen to be.”

In case you think any of the candidates that Fox News consigned to the minor leagues will break out of the pack, here are links to the five faith facts on:

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former HP head Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.

YS/MG END GROSSMAN

About the author

Cathy Lynn Grossman

Cathy Lynn Grossman specializes in stories drawn from research and statistics on religion, spirituality and ethics. She also writes frequently on biomedical ethics and end-of-life-issues

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