GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump touted his faith at Liberty University on Monday, telling the conservative college that Christians have to ban together because their religion “is under siege.”
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”2 Corinthians 3:17 (KJV)
“We’re going to protect Christianity,” he said. “If you look at what’s going on throughout the world…Christianity is under siege.” Trump pointed to targeting of Christians by terrorist groups in Syria and urged Christians to work together to use their “power” within the United States to enact change.
Donald Trump Speaks at Liberty University on MLK Day
He added that “I’m a Protestant. I’m very proud of it, Presbyterian to be exact. …[but] bad things are happening, very bad things are happening.” The speech comes on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Trump dedicated what he called a record-breaking crowd to the late civil rights leader.
The speech could give Trump a chance to strengthen his outreach to evangelical voters, whom he said he’s doing “great with” in Iowa. He noted that he’s heading to the early-voting state, as well as New Hampshire, after his speech on Monday.
“I want to win Iowa,” he said. “Then we’re just going to clean the table.” Trump is narrowly leading in Iowa ahead of the state’s Feb. 1 caucus, according to Real Clear Politics
Trump got a warm introduction from Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty
. While he noted the college doesn’t endorse presidential candidates, Falwell said that Trump is a “breath of fresh air,” “loves this country” and wants “more than anything to make America great again.”
He added that if he’s elected president “you’re going to see Merry Christmas in department stores. …I have friends who aren’t Christian — they like to say Merry Christmas.”
Starbucks was the latest store to spark anger from evangelicals, who argued that the company’s largely blank red holiday cup was part of a war against Christmas.