President Obama has invoked Jesus more than his predecessor, despite the major role Christianity played in George W. Bush’s policies, Politico reports. Obama has mentioned his faith in recent speeches in Cairo, at Notre Dame, and at Georgetown, to name a few instances. Though he was backed by evangelicals, “I don’t recall a single example of Bush as president ever saying ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ,’” said a conservative Christian activist.
In fact, Bush used those names just a “handful” of times in the first year of his presidency, Politico notes, and only on occasions like Christian holidays. For Obama, citing Jesus may be politically savvy: Christian references may help him connect with voters in a country where 83% of people believe in God. It also may fight the perception, still wrongly held by 11% of Americans, that the president is a Muslim.