Trump Warns Catholic Voters Democrats Want Them 'Out of Business,' Says He 'Saved the Second Amendment'

President Donald Trump encouraged Catholic voters to support him at the polls this November because of his stances on reopening churches during the pandemic, gun control and abortion access.

During an interview with Catholic cable network EWTN on Tuesday, Trump suggested that Democrats aim to "put the churches out of business" with restrictions to curb transmission of the coronavirus. He later warned Catholic voters than an administration under presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would "take all of [their] rights away."

"I think they should open the churches," Trump said in the interview, referencing mandates in place across the country that regulate how places of worship hold services during the pandemic. "It's up to the governors, but I think, and I'm recommending it, you open the churches."

The president went on to say that people attending in-person church services will "know what to do" in terms of virus mitigation, despite virus outbreaks reported across the U.S. in connection to gatherings held at places of worship.

"I'm telling you, the Democrats want to put them out of business. They want to put churches out of business," Trump continued. "It's very unfair."

He also referenced abortion access and the Second Amendment, noting the connection between religious groups and anti-abortion—as well as gun ownership—advocacy. Discussing his staunch support for protecting people's rights to own firearms, the president said he "saved the Second Amendment."

"When it comes to pro-life, when it comes to all of the things...these people are going to take all of your rights away, including Second Amendment. 'Cause, you know, Catholics like their Second Amendment," Trump said. "If I wasn't here, you wouldn't have a Second Amendment."

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comments but did not receive a reply in time for publication.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during an August 4 news conference. In a recent interview with Catholic cable network EWTN, Trump suggested Democratic political leaders want to put churches "out of business" with coronavirus restrictions. Drew Angerer/Getty

More than 80 percent of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump during the 2016 election, but recent polling data shows Trump's favorability among Christian groups fell slightly between April and June. Surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center found his approval ratings fell in April from 55 percent and 52 percent among Christians and Catholics, respectively, to 49 percent and 41 percent in June.

The surveys' results still indicated a majority of white evangelical Protestants support Trump, with 72 percent of respondents who identified with the religious category saying they approved of his handling of the presidency. The figure represented a 6-point decrease from April's numbers.