Donald Trump lamented the passing of far-right activist Phyllis Schlafly in a statement on Monday, thanking her for sharing his commitment to an “America First” agenda.
In an interesting choice of words, the GOP nominee also called Schlafly “a champion for women.” She was known as a social conservative crusader who led the movement to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, painted feminists as aggressive “men” in disguise, and claimed that “virtuous women” never experienced workplace sexual harassment.
“Phyllis Schlafly is a conservative icon who led millions to action, reshaped the conservative movement, and fearlessly battled globalism and the ‘kingmakers’ on behalf of America’s workers and families,” the statement read. “I was honored to spend time with her during this campaign as she waged one more great battle for national sovereignty. I was able to speak with her by phone only a few weeks ago, and she sounded as resilient as ever. Our deepest prayers go to to her family and all her loved ones. She was a patriot, a champion for women, and a symbol of strength. She fought every day right to the end for America First. Her legacy will live on in the movement she led and the millions she inspired.”
Schlafly, who promoted English-only education and warned of an immigrant “invasion” changing American values, endorsed Trump in March. She said that he had the “courage and the energy” to “do what the grassroots wants him to do.”
Her endorsement inspired deep divisions in the Eagle Forum, the conservative group she founded in 1972. Some of Schlafly’s own children told the press that they disagreed with her support for Trump, and Eagle Forum’s president of 23 years, Cathie Adams, said that the group had “no respect for that man.”