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Franklin Graham: Donald Trump a 'Political Phenomenon' Who Is Shaking Up Both Parties - And It's Not a Bad Thing

( [email protected] ) Mar 21, 2016 11:59 AM EDT
Donald Trump is a "political phenomenon" who is effectively shaking up both the Republican and Democratic parties - and it's not necessarily a bad thing, according to the Rev. Franklin Graham.
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Salt Lake City, Utah March 18, 2016. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Donald Trump is a "political phenomenon" who is effectively shaking up both the Republican and Democratic parties - and it's not necessarily a bad thing, according to the Rev. Franklin Graham.

While the evangelist, who is the son of Billy Graham, has not endorsed any particular candidate, he recently took to Facebook to offer his thoughts on Trump after protesters failed to stop the GOP frontrunner from speaking in Arizona.

He wrote: "Do you believe protesters are blocking the road to his rally to stop people from getting there today? There are those who passionately support him and others who are adamantly against him. He's a political phenomenon like our country hasn't seen before. I don't think America has ever had a presidential candidate opposed by both establishments, Republican and Democratic, as well as the sitting president."

Graham, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, went on to suggest that seasoned politicians could learn a thing or two from the controversial businessman.

"I just hope that as a result of this unforgettable campaign season, politicians on all sides will get the message loud and clear that Americans are tired of the status quo and the corruption that has gripped Washington," he wrote. "Join me in praying for the 2016 elections and for the future of this nation."

Graham, who recently topped the "Top 100 Christian Leaders in America" list, has previously expressed disillusionment with political parties and political correctness, and regularly offers his opinion regarding current issues of interest to social conservatives.

Earlier this year, he praised Trump, who is favored to win the Arizona Republican primary on Tuesday, for "shaking up" the political process and voiced support for some of the businessman's more controversial positions, such as his call to ban Muslims from the U.S.

"Washington has become so corrupt and off-focus," he lamented. "We have some great individuals running for president in 2016. My advice to them? Stop taking cheap shots at each other and get back to telling the American people what you can do for this country and how you're going to do it. It is my prayer that God will give us a president who will look to Him for wisdom and direction as he or she leads this great nation."

Last week, he urged Christians to vote, even if it means choosing between Trump and Hillary Clinton: "I don't care who wins and who's out there, you have to vote," he told CBN. "And I'm not going to tell people who to vote for, I'm not going to do that - let God tell you who to vote for."

He added, "You may have to hold your nose, you may have to decide which is the least heathen of the two heathens...There is a left movement within the evangelical community that are telling people, 'If so-and-so wins or this person wins don't vote.' I'm just saying, I don't care who wins and who's out there, you have to vote."

Meanwhile, a Reuters tracking poll released Friday shows Trump with 49.7 percent support among Republicans nationwide. Texas Senator Ted. Cruz is second with 21.5 percent, followed by Ohio Governor John Kasich with 12.3 percent.