Donald Trump on Sunday said he will not apologize to Ben Carson for a comment he made about his religion earlier in the weekend.
“I didn’t say anything bad about it,” Trump said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
“I would certainly give an apology if I said something bad about it, but I didn’t – all I said was ‘I don’t know about it,’” the presidential candidate said.
At a rally in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday, the Republican front-runner brought attention to his lack of knowledge about Seventh-day Adventists.
“I’m Presbyterian,” Trump said. “Boy, that’s down the middle of the road folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about. I just don’t know about.”
Seventh-day Adventists are a Protestant sect that believe in the imminent return of Christ and observe Sabbath on Saturday.
Carson, who is a twice-baptized Seventh-day Adventist, took offense to Trump’s comment and said he should apologize, just like Carson apologized when he made a comment about Trump’s faith.
Trump denied that bringing up Carson’s faith was an effort to gain support from Evangelicals, who he says are supporting him already.
“I think nationwide I am beating Ben with the Evangelicals,” Trump said.
In a new Quinnipiac University poll, Carson has pulled ahead of Trump in Iowa with 28% of support from likely Republican caucus voters. Trump received 20%. In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll, Trump holds his lead with 25%, while Carson comes in second with 22%.
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that aired on Sunday, Trump said he doesn’t like to talk about other people’s faith, but he has a “great relationship with Christianity.”
He added that the reason Carson is winning in Iowa is because his Super PAC is running his campaign for him.
“Ben doesn’t even go to Iowa that much,” Trump said. “And he’s doing well in Iowa?”