GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump raised eyebrows Wednesday when he asked people to identify if they were “Christian conservatives” at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The comment, which predictably fell short of being appropriate, came as Trump was applauding the support he received earlier in the day from Iowa Christian Conservatives for Trump — a organization of “650 faith leaders from around the Hawkeye State,” according to a press release.
“We have our Christian Conservatives for Trump today, and they're in the room. Let's go. That's what we want. That's beautiful,” the business mogul said.
“Raise your hands, Christian conservatives, everybody,” he added, and unsurprisingly, most of the hands in the convention center went up.
He then asked people who were other than Christian conservatives to identify themselves and seemed surprise that any hands went up at all.
“Raise your hand if you’re not a Christian conservative — I want to see this, right. That’s — oh, there’s a couple people, that’s all right,” he said waving them off.
Then appearing quite magnanimous, he added:
“I think we’ll keep them, right? Should we keep them in the room, yes? I think so.”
The foul-mouthed billionaire’s comments caused quite an outrage among voters.
TRUMP in IOWA: "Raise your hand if you're NOT a Christian conservative. I want to see that. There's a few of them. Should we keep them?"— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) September 28, 2016
Okkkaayyy https://t.co/CwZZPY4XqA— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 28, 2016
A bit worrying if you are agonistic, atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, Sikh, or even, God forbid, a liberal Christian. https://t.co/LNeVFORkFK— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) September 28, 2016
Where's Torquemada when you need him? https://t.co/QHviQWQxyL— David Simon (@AoDespair) September 28, 2016
@ABCPolitics I'm a Christian conservative and I'm NOT raising my hand to be anywhere near you.— iCARE Joyce Owen (@2016rejoice) September 28, 2016
Trump’s rhetoric is frequently nationalist and his policies have emphasized banning Muslims and illegal immigrants from the country.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations also bashed Trump for his new comment.
“Given Mr. Trump’s history of targeting religious and ethnic minorities, it is disturbing that he would single out non-Christians during his rally in Iowa. It is clear that his vision of America is one of division and exclusion, not unity and acceptance," said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper in a statement.