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A CNN analyst clashed with a GOP strategist about Trump's focus on religion in his campaign

Matt Gorman stated that numerous well-liked politicians have a strong following similar to Barack Obama, a point that his fellow analysts promptly contradicted.

CNN political commentator Karen Finney and former senior advisor to Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) Matt Gorman debated Donald Trump’s talked about Trump's focus on Christianity in his campaigning, and both analysts held their ground.

On CNN This Morning, Kasie Hunt reported on a New York Times report discussing evangelical Trump supporters and the focus on Christianity at his rallies, titled, “Church of Trump: How He’s Infusing Christianity Into His Movement.”

“This is something that we are seeing increasingly on the campaign trail, but also just kind of in our zeitgeist, in the way that the former president is reaching out to Christian voters … what do you see here in the these crowds in the way that Trump is doing this?” Hunt said after watching footage of Trump voters at rallies. “It is actually different from what he did in 2020 and 2016.”

Gorman argued many popular politicians have a “cult of personality” around them like Barack Obama, something his fellow analysts quickly disagreed with.

“We need a shot of Karen’s face,” Hunt said about Finney as she shook her head over Gorman’s comparison.

Gorman argued a certain amount of “secular deification” is normal in a primary process and the general election will look much different.

“They think he’s fighting for them, and it’s become part of identity, and I think he’s understood that. The second thing I would say is what’s frightening about it is as we’ve seen he’s also using very violent rhetoric, and it makes many people feel less safe,” Finney said, accusing Trump of “perverting the word of God and Jesus” with his combative rhetoric.

Hunt played footage of Trump declaring at a rally that election day will be Christian Visibility Day after mocking President Joe Biden over the Easter holiday falling on the same day as Transgender Visibility Day.

Gorman argued evangelical voters are used to Trump at this point and it’s a “winning” strategy to lean in on.

“When you get to a general election, that choice will fuse. I don’t think you’re going to see Biden evangelical voters in Iowa suddenly gaining steam here,” he said.

“Yeah, but they could not vote for him,” Finney said.

“He’s not going to lose any votes off that,” Gorman said.

“So you think suburban women, let’s go back to them, are comfortable with Donald Trump comparing —” Finney shot back before Gorman tried jumping back in.

“No, no, no, let me finish — are comfortable with him comparing, literally saying, I’m your God,” Finney said. She earlier referenced an ad depicting Trump as a Messiah-like figure.

“After almost a decade of this, that’s going to break it?” Gorman asked.

“It’s not just that. What that shows is someone who will do anything to win, who has no boundaries, who has no sense of decency, who has no sense of what’s appropriate, what’s not appropriate. He will do anything to win, if it means comparing himself God, that’s what he’ll do,” Finney said.

Gorman stuck by his position as Finney told him he was missing her central point that Trump could be losing evangelical voters by pushing his rhetoric too far.

“I feel like we’ve been having the same conversation for a decade. Like, again, we talk about meanness. This is the same sort of thing that Hillary Clinton talked about,” Gorman said. “I just wonder, suddenly in the year 2024, after Donald Trump’s been on this for a decade that people are going to wake up and be like, now he’s too mean. You know what, I was going to vote for him but that one thing, no.”

She said, "That's not the point I'm making. You're not addressing my main argument, but it's fine."

Watch the video on CNN's website.

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