The leader of a prominent Catholic pro-life organization says he's endorsing former President Donald Trump to reclaim the nation's top office in 2024.
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, made the endorsement Monday in his personal capacity and not as an official spokesperson. He said he strategically decided do so a day before Trump is expected to announce his candidacy.
"I wanted to come out early because I wanted the timing here to be an expression of the fact this has always been my conviction, that he's the man for the job right now," Pavone told Newsmax on Monday.
"My support is not simply in reaction to his announcement, but that I've been advocating for him all along, since 2015, and that my conviction hasn't changed; it's only increased."
Saying he would not attend Trump's scheduled announcement event at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday, Pavone added that he planned be at the former president's Palm Beach, Florida, home later in the week for policy meetings.
Pavone was asked what he tells people who say they're Republicans, but hesitate to support Trump because of his personal actions and comments.
"The importance right not of literally saving the country really puts personality issues off the radar," Pavone told Newsmax. "I don't care what the personality is of a man that's going to save me from drowning, rescue me from a burning building, or do life-saving medical treatment on me. I really don't care.
"But there's another element, simply that you wouldn't have the Trump results without the personality."
In his released statement, Pavone praised Trump and his administration for leading "America to unprecedented heights in our economy, our security, our freedom, our respect for life, our judicial integrity, our role in fostering world peace, and our respect among nations."
"Speaking as a Catholic priest, I can say he has done more for the Church than any President," Pavone said in his statement. "He has urged the clergy to speak openly and boldly, and personally I have been more inspired and encouraged by him than by any Catholic leader.
"Many great men and women embrace and fight for his policies, are exemplary public servants, and have my profound respect. But only Trump is Trump. Many can say that they want to make America great again, but only he can say that he actually did it — and that's the best argument that he can do it again."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.