Evangelist Franklin Graham says Trump "might be" his 2012 pick

Christian evangelist Franklin Graham on ABC's "This Week," April 23, 2011.
Christian evangelist Franklin Graham on ABC's "This Week," April 23, 2011.

Prominent Christian evangelist Franklin Graham said on Sunday that Donald Trump might just be his candidate of choice in the 2012 presidential election, should the billionaire business magnate decide to enter the race.

In a Sunday appearance on ABC's "This Week," Franklin declined to support any one candidate outright, but said he found Trump to be increasingly appealing.

"When I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, well, this has got to be a joke," Graham told ABC's Christiane Amanpour. "But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, you know? Maybe the guy's right."

"So, he might be your candidate of choice?" Amanpour asked.

"Sure, yes, sure," Graham responded.

When asked if he shared Trump's take on the "birther" issue, Graham declined to directly question President Obama's American citizenship, but said he thought Mr. Obama "has some issues to deal with here."

"He can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly," Graham said, echoing a line many Republicans have adopted recently in addressing the "birther" question. "I was born in a hospital in Ashville, North Carolina, and I know that my records are there. You can probably even go and find out what room my mother was in when I was born."

"I don't know why he can't produce that," Graham continued. "So, I'm not -- I don't know, but it's an issue that looks like he could answer pretty quickly."

Graham, the son of prominent Christian evangelist Billy Graham, heads Samaritan's Purse, a Christian humanitarian organization, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, an organization that aims to spread the gospel of Christianity. Graham has raised controversy in recent years by espousing right-wing viewpoints about Islam and President Obama, who he has claimed was "born a Muslim."

The Reverend has also spent time with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, with whom he traveled to Haiti on a Christian relief mission last year. Graham told Amanpour that while he admired Palin, he did not think she would run for president.

"I don't think she likes politics," Graham said, of the former vice presidential candidate. "I think she likes speaking on the issues, and I agree with many of the issues that she brings up, but I believe -- I don't see her as running for president." 

When asked if he would support her if she did run, Graham said "It depends on who the other candidates are."