Donald Trump has reached out to Catholic voters in a 15-minute interview with EWTN, the largest Catholic news network in the world.
Speaking to Raymond Arroyo, who hosts the network’s World Over programme, Trump spoke about his pro-life position and his concerns on religious liberty, and said Hillary Clinton should “do more than apologise” for senior Democrats’ remarks about Catholicism.
Asked about his recorded comments on groping, Trump said the stories were “all made up”. When asked again by Arroyo, Trump went on: “That was locker-room talk. And just one of those things. I have it had, I’ve said it, I’ve made my apologies.”
Asked whether he regretted the tone of his campaign, Trump replied: “Well, you know, I started with 17 people. And it was a very very nasty primary. And they were nasty to me. People think I was nasty, but they were nasty to me. And I ended up winning – I won 17, and it was actually 18 if you want to be exact.”
He then said: “You can’t go back, you have to look forward. This was a nasty campaign, and you know, people don’t mention, but they were nasty to me, I think in many cases they were nastier to me than I was to them.”
Arroyo asked Trump about his shift on life issues: in 1999, Trump said he was “very pro-choice” and supported partial-birth abortion, but today he describes himself as pro-life.
Trump said it was a “personal change”, and that there were several experiences which changed his mind. One was knowing a couple, one of whom was pro-life, one pro-choice. “And the baby is such a magnificent person, who I know.”
Arroyo then asked Trump about the HHS mandate, which would force some religious organisations to pay for contraception. The Little Sisters of the Poor and other organisations are challenging the mandate.
Trump said religious liberty was in “tremendous trouble”, and said he was especially concerned about the law preventing religious leaders from publicly endorsing him.
He also said he opposed Hillary Clinton’s proposal of allowing more Syrian refugees to enter America. “We’re not vetting them properly,” Trump told Arroyo. “We have no idea — are they ISIS? Are they not ISIS? Where are they coming from? Who they are? We’re taking them in by the tens of thousands right now, and Hillary Clinton wants to upgrade that by 550%. I would say to you it’s crazy to be doing this, and I will stop it immediately. We will not have radical Islamic terrorists coming into our country, and some of them will be radical Islamic terrorists.”