U.S. Sen. James Lankford (Rep., Okla.), a Southern Baptist minister, seemed to put some distance between himself and President Donald J. Trump during a recent interview.
When asked how he reconciles his faith and support of the president with Mr. Trump’s conduct and language, the Republican senator characterized Mr. Trump as not a role model.
Sen. Lankford gave his stock answer to that question on “Face the Nation,” saying the president was not a role model for the nation’s youth, but he agreed with the president on some policies, including religious liberty and restrictions on abortion.
He said President Trump can pose “a bit of a conundrum sometimes.”
“I said very early on, in the campaign time period, when people asked me in 2016: ‘What are you looking for?’ I said, ‘Well, I always look for a president who can be a role model.’
“I don’t think that President Trump as a person is a role model for a lot of different youth.
“That’s just me personally. I don’t like the way that he tweets, some of the things that he says.
“His word choices at times are not my word choices.
“He comes across with more New York City swagger than I do from the Midwest--and definitely not the way that I’m raising my kids.”
Sen. Lankford once was a Southern Baptist youth camp leader.
“Saying that, there are policy areas that we agree on,” the junior senator from Oklahoma continued.
“And when we agree on those things, we work on those things together.
“But it’s also been a grand challenge to be able to say, for a person of faith, for a person who believes that there’s a right way to go on things, I wish he did and was more of a role model in those areas.”
Sen. Lankford appeared on “Face the Nation” with U.S. Sen. Christopher Coons (Dem., Del.) to discuss the weekly Senate prayer meeting they attend.
The senator from Oklahoma said during the 2016 presidential campaign that the race lacked a role model.
In a statement on his campaign’s Facebook page, he said Mr. Trump’s comments about groping and kissing women were “disgusting.”