Trump receives suprise response at major speech

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Offline the leveller

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Trump receives suprise response at major speech
« on: January 20, 2016, 10:43:21 AM »

Donald Trump received rousing cheers and applause when he spoke to a record crowd of evangelical Christian students at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he appeared to connect with a key demographic in his campaign to secure the Iowa caucus vote on February 1. Some polls show him leading Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, an Evangelical who has pitched himself as the natural choice among his co-religionists. Trump was treading on ground that had allegedly been claimed by Cruz, who launched his campaign at the evangelical Christian university.


Trump has made pitches before to conservative Christians, having proclaimed his pro-life Protestant values while aligning himself with evangelicals on core issues such as Obamacare and gun rights. On January 18, Trump got cheers when he referred the university’s “School Verse.” Trump said, “Two Corinthians, 3:17, that's the whole ballgame. … Is that the one? Is that the one you like? I think that's the one you like,”as members of the crowd gave him kudos for connecting with Christians. Trump read the verse from the New Testament, in which St. Paul writes: "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."


In ranking his favorite books, he chuckled when he listed his own bestseller, “The Art of the Deal” but said it is “a deep, deep second to the Bible. The Bible is the best. The Bible blows it away.”


University president Jerry Falwell, Jr. introduced Trump to the crowd. While the university makes a practice of not endorsing candidates, Falwell warmly praised Trump who he counts as a friend. While the university has hosted other candidates, such as Cruz and even Sen. Bernie Sanders – an agnostic and Democrat of socialist leanings – Falwell has not offered them such a lengthy or warm introduction. Falwell’s father and namesake, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., was not only a renowned evangelical preacher and founder of Liberty University, he was also a key ally in aiding Ronald Reagan reach a landslide victory in the 1980 presidential race.


Jerry Falwell Jr. glowingly compared Trump to his influential father, saying "Donald Trump is a breath of fresh air." Falwell added that he believes "the American public is finally ready to elect a candidate who is not a career politician but rather who has succeeded in real life." Acknowledging that the assembly fell on the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Falwell said Trump's speech was an opportunity for the outspoken New Yorker "to recognize and honor Dr. King." Falwell praised not only his business acumen but his generosity too. Falwell compared Trump to his father and to Martin Luther King Jr., who also “spoke the truth, no matter how unpopular.” Falwell said Trump “cannot be bought—he is not a puppet on a string like many other candidates.” Saying that Trump would be a great president, Falwell said, “In my opinion, Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others, as Jesus taught in the great commandment.”


Expressing confidence in Trump, Falwell acknowledged that so-called “values voters” have been duped by other candidates. He said, “For decades, conservatives and evangelicals have chosen the political candidates who have told us what we wanted to hear on social, religious, and political issues, only to be betrayed by these same candidates after they were elected.”


 For his part, Trump made little reference to Dr. King. "It's an honor in terms of Martin Luther King," Trump said. "We're dedicating the record to the late, great Martin Luther King."


Trump appealed to the overflow audience, and reached the strongest applause when he said, "We're going to protect Christianity. I don't have to be politically correct."  Trump said that he wants to “knock the hell” out of the Islamic State, which has been slaughtering Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq. He condemned the Obama administration’s policy, saying "we don't know what the hell we're doing."


Trump touched on a sore point among many evangelical Christians who denounce political correctness exercised by politicians and elsewhere, “If I'm president, you're going to see ‘Merry Christmas’ in department stores, believe me.” As to predicting the results of his policies as president, Trump said, “If I'm president, you'll say, ‘Please, Mr. President, we're winning too much. I can't stand it. Can't we have a loss?’ And I’ll say, ‘No, we're going to keep winning.’”


And Trump is poised to win the primary races in Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa, the evangelical Christian vote is crucial to his success where he is nearly neck-to-neck with Cruz. According to Real Clear Politics, Trump is slightly leading Cruz in Iowa at 27.8 percent to 26.7 percent. But in New Hampshire the gap is much wider. There Trump is pegged at 30.5 percent as opposed to Cruz who trails in fourth place among the other Republican contenders. In New Hampshire, Sen. Marco Rubio garnered 12.5 percent of Republican support, while John Kasich had 11.8, Cruz had 11.3, and NJ Gov. Chris Christie came in with 8.5.






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