Prominent evangelical leaders James Dobson and Tony Perkins have officially endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and urged Christians nationwide to join them in voting for the billionaire businessman.
Perkins, the head of the conservative group Family Research Council, took the stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on the last night of the gathering Thursday night to endorse Trump.
“Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party, and I will be voting for Donald Trump in November, and I will urge my fellow Americans to do the same,” Perkins said, The Hill reports.
“Donald Trump has committed to upholding and protecting the first freedom and therefore our ability as citizens to unite our nation once again under God. Let us go forth from here and do that work.”
Perkins added that Trump has demonstrated his commitment to religious conservative values by his promise to appoint conservative judges, his support for the GOP platform, and the selection of his running mate, social conservative Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Meanwhile, Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family and Family Talk radio, issued his support of the billionaire real estate mogul in a statement on Thursday.
“I have decided to endorse Donald J. Trump for President of the United States, not only because of my great concern about Hillary Clinton,” Dobson said. “I am supporting Mr. Trump primarily because I believe he is the most capable candidate to lead the United States of America in this complicated hour.”
The 80-year-old speaker and author, who made headlines last month when he said that that Trump was led to accept Christ and “really made a commitment,” added that he is “very enthusiastic” that Trump chose Pence as his running mate, and that he is “heartened” by Trump’s commitments to “appoint conservative Supreme Court justices, preserve religious liberty, rebuild the military, and defend the sanctity of human life.” Dobson revealed his decision was also influenced by Trump’s children, and their positive relationship with their father.
Both Perkins and Dobson previously endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who made waves after refusing to endorse Trump during his address to the RNC on Wednesday night. Cruz his decision by stating that he could not endorse a man who verbally attacked his wife and father.
Other evangelical leaders who have backed Trump include Pastor Robert Jeffress, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, David Lane, the founder of the American Renewal Project, and conservative radio host Eric Metaxas, among others.
Nearly 80% of white evangelicals support Trump, according to a Pew Research Center surveyconducted in June.