Jerry Falwell Jr’s closeness to Donald Trump has not moved Liberty University insiders enough to loosen their purse strings.
Liberty University’s head Jerry Falwell Jr has emerged as one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters and defenders. Towards the end of last week, for instance, the president of the private Christian university bashed the centrist evangelical publication Christianity Today over an anti-Trump editorial.
But if campaign donations, however tiny, are any indication, Liberty U insiders are not as enthusiastic about Trump as the university’s president. During the 2020 election cycle, insiders at Liberty gave zero to the Trump campaign while donating to nearly ten Democratic presidential candidates. While Falwell cannot tell Liberty staff who to donate to, the revelations are bad optics given his closeness to Trump.
According to campaign financing nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, insiders at Liberty University have donated to nine Democratic presidential candidates but nothing to Trump. Some of these candidates have already dropped out of the race.
The U.S. president can, however, take consolation in the fact that the donations are relatively tiny given the size of the organization. Currently, Liberty has an enrolment of over 100,000 and a student/professor ratio of 24:1 for residential undergraduate and 8:1 for residential graduate. According to the latest data, Liberty insiders favored Cory Booker the most, contributing $151 to his campaign. Bernie Sanders was second at $96.
Another consolation for Trump is that his party featured as a top recipient of donations from the private Christian university. This was courtesy of the $150 that individuals at Liberty University donated to the Republican National Committee.
The report by the Center for Responsive Politics is coming days after Falwell criticized Christianity Today over an anti-Trump editorial. The editorial called for President Donald to be “removed from office” either by impeachment or via the ballot box.
In his bashing of the publication that was started by the late Rev. Billy Graham, Falwell Jr accused Christianity Today of being a mouthpiece of the “liberal evangelicals.” The Christian publication has since then published another editorial explaining the stance. That too has generated controversy.