SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE’S BACKING OF “THE DONALD” A BLOW TO TED CRUZ’S CAMPAIGN
Eager to buttress his bona fides among social conservatives, GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump formally rolled out the endorsement of Jerry Falwell, Jr. this week.
Falwell – the eldest son of the famous Reverend Jerry Falwell – is chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, a school which was established by his late father in 1971. Falwell has run the school since his father’s death in 2007 – turning it into the largest, private non-profit university in America.
“I see a lot of parallels between my father and Donald Trump,” Falwell said. “Like Mr. Trump, Dad would speak his mind … Dad explained that when he walked into the voting booth, he wasn’t electing a Sunday school teacher, or a pastor, or even a President who shared his theological beliefs. He was electing a President of the United States to lead a nation.”
Trump said he was “honored” to receive Falwell’s backing.
“Not only is he a high quality person, with a wonderful family, whom I have great respect for – I also consider him a very good friend and his support means so much to me,” Trump said.
Falwell’s endorsement is a shot across the bow of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas – who launched his 2016 presidential campaign with a speech at Liberty University.
Cruz and Trump are competing ferociously for the votes of social conservatives in Iowa – which holds its first-in-the-nation caucus on February 1 – and South Carolina, which holds its “First in the South” primary on February 20.