Donald Trump stands at the podium before the funeral Mass for Phyllis Schlafly on Sept. 10 in St. Louis. | AP Photo
Republican nominee Donald Trump on Saturday said the United States had “lost a true patriot” as he spoke at the funeral of longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly.
“We are here today to honor the life and legacy of a truly great American patriot,” Trump said, reading prepared remarks from the podium. “A movement has lost its hero. Believe me, Phyllis was there for me when it was not at all fashionable. Trust me.”
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Schlafly, a high-profile early supporter of the Religious Right movement, in addition to opposing the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, died from cancer on Monday. She was 92.
Schlafly threw her support to Trump early in his campaign. This past week, her latest book, titled “The Conservative Case for Trump,” was released. She argued that conservative Christians should support Trump’s candidacy and follow in the steps of leaders such as Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr.
“Her legacy will live on every time some underdog outmatched and outgunned, defies the odds, and delivers a win for the people,” Trump said at the funeral mass, which was held in St. Louis.
During his remarks, Trump mentioned the “rigged system” that Schlafly fought against by rooting for the underdogs.
“America has always been about the underdog and always been about defying the odds, the idea that so called little people or the little person that she loved so much, could beat the system, often times the rigged system, that the American grassroots is more powerful than all of the world’s the special interest put together, and that’s the way Phyllis felt.”
Trump said Schlafly was looking down at the service and urging them to continue her fight.
“I’m sure she’s telling us to keep up the fight, no doubt, no doubt about it,” he said. “We will never, ever let you down.”