Jerry Falwell Jr. reiterated his unyielding support for Donald Trump in a new interview, saying that he isn’t concerned with the president’s morality and isn’t sure what poor people actually contribute to society.
The Liberty University president spoke to the Washington Post on Tuesday, saying that he remains a staunch supporter of Donald Trump. Falwell and other Evangelical Christian leaders have been criticized for supporting a man for whom personal morality has never been a paramount concern, one who committed adultery and launches harsh attacks against perceived enemies.
When asked what about Donald Trump “exemplifies Christianity,” Falwell pivoted and praised Trump’s reputation as a business leader instead.
“What earns him my support is his business acumen,” he replied.
“Our country was so deep in debt and so mismanaged by career politicians that we needed someone who was not a career politician, but someone who’d been successful in business to run the country like a business. That’s the reason I supported him.”
When asked if it was hypocritical for Evangelical Christian leaders to support Trump despite his very public transgressions, Falwell said that should not be a concern for a president.
“When Jesus said we’re all sinners, he really meant all of us, everybody. I don’t think you can choose a president based on their personal behavior,” Falwell said, adding that Mitt Romney could be a good pick because of his upstanding nature, but American still don’t know what Romney could be hiding.
Falwell went on to criticize the poor in the interview, saying that their contributions paled in comparison to what the rich have contributed.
“Why have Americans been able to do more to help people in need around the world than any other country in history? It’s because of free enterprise, freedom, ingenuity, entrepreneurism and wealth,” he said.
“A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume. It’s just common sense to me.”
Falwell has been one of the most vocal of all Trump’s religious backers, often excusing Trump’s past and present bad behaviors and emphasizing how the two agree on policies, like stricter measures against immigration. In the interview, Falwell said that he believes it is a twisting of Jesus Christ’s teachings to love and accept all people when people push for the nation to be more loving and accepting.
Jerry Falwell Jr. has often generated controversy for his defenses of Trump, especially after attacking Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on moral grounds in the past. Falwell also defended Donald Trump’s much-criticized response to the violence in Charlottesville, where he refused to condemn white supremacists who attacked and killed counter-protesters. As the New York Post recalled, Trump even tweeted his support of Falwell after the religious leader went on Fox News to defend the president.