This flub by frontrunner Donald Trump, made during at speech at Liberty University, might have him in hot water with evangelicals.
But Trump, who has eagerly targeted evangelicals — a key voting bloc in the first caucus state of Iowa — in his quest for the presidency, tripped over himself Monday as he attempted to quote from the Bible to connect with the crowd of students at one of the most prominent Christian universities in the country, and the largest in the world.
“Two Corinthians, 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame,” Trump said, drawing laughter from the crowd of students at Liberty University who knew Trump was attempting to refer to “Second Corinthians.”
Rookie mistake, Donald! Most of the crowd seemed to let it pass, however.
Trump was still able to draw applause from the crowd by reading the Bible verse, however: “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” the university’s “School Verse” which is prominently displayed on campus.
And several students who attended the rally didn’t fault Trump for the scriptural slip, instead giving him kudos for attempting to connect with his religious audience.
“I think the fact that he’s putting forth an effort to relate to us is something decent,” said Nacci Palloto, a sophomore at the university.
The Corinthians flub wasn’t Trump’s only hiccup.
Trump’s use of the word “hell” prompted some students to point to the university’s student code of conduct, “The Liberty Way,” which notes that any “obscene, profane or abusive language is punished with Reprimands and fines.”
Trump used the word in reference to the U.S. conflicts in the Middle East (wanting to “knock the hell out of” ISIS, or “we don’t know what the hell we’re doing”), sparking local reactions on Yik Yak, the anonymous commenting website.
“Mr. Trump, I’m afraid you need to put a quarter in the swear jar,” one commenter in the region posted.
Overall though, Trump seemed warmly received at the Christian university. Jerry Falwell Jr. gave him a glowing introduction and many in the audience appreciated Trump’s lack of “political correctness” and promises to project Christianity.
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Do you think Donald can still win over evangelicals?