"Politically correct just isn't working (in the United States)," proclaimed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as he delivered the convocation address to incoming students, young evangelicals and guests at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., today (Jan. 18). It was the university's first 2016 convocation as students return to campus.
"We will make America great again, greater than ever before. We will win, and win a lot," said Trump, who told the university crowd he was doing so well in polls because voters do not have confidence in the other candidates.
He also quickly promised to protect Christianity, citing 2 Corinthians 3:17 "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
This convocation is North America's largest weekly gathering of Christian students, and each year it plays host to more than 80 guest speakers of national significance from every sphere of society, according to the university.
Trump, who immediately did away with teleprompters and spoke from just a sheet of paper, hit many major topics, such as:
- Illegal immigration: He said it is one of the most important things to talk about, and that the United States cannot take chances.
- ISIS: He said it reflects the greatest Trojan horse ever, and must be stopped.
- Second amendment: "It is very good and will be totally protected if I'm elected."
- Super PACS: He said these groups are running politicians and must be gotten rid of to get a clear vision of what's really going on in America.
- Common core: "It's very bad, and children should be educated locally."
- Military: "It is the least prepared it's been in generations. We will build it up again so no one wants to mess with us. We are protecting countries so rich, but they are paying us peanuts."
- Border Issues: He said he would build a safe zone.
- Health care: He said he would repeal "Obamacare."
- U.S. Veterans: "They must be taken care of. In many cases, they are treated worse than illegal immigrants."
- Protection of America: "We're going to run it like a business, but a business with heart."
As reported on Jan. 6 by The Gospel Herald, today's convocation will be Trump's second appearance at what has been called "the Protestant Notre Dame." Trump, who identifies as a Presbyterian, spoke at a convocation in September 2012 along with former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.
Liberty University is hosting voter registration on-campus today as well as showing the "Let Freedom Ring" Martin Luther King documentary this evening.
The high-energy candidate said he was thrilled about breaking the attendance record on campus for such gatherings, and dedicated it in the honor to Martin Luther King. He compared Liberty University to a great rocket ship, whose students will "have amazing futures."
Trump began his address by referencing various polls that have him leading the Republican campaign by 33 percent to 44 percent. "I wanna' win in Iowa," he said. "We've done great with Evangelicals and the Tea Party."
Trump promised to "clean the table" in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Referencing that Christians comprise 70 percent to 75 percent within the United States, Trump encouraged Christians to unify. "We don't ban together, like other religions in other parts of the world. We have the power of Christians. We can do it."
"America is going in the wrong direction. We have to stop it, and stop it fast," Trump said, while also stating that he started a movement to take back America.
He said being politically correct "takes too much time," and that "a lot of it is just wrong."
Trump said Christians who before had been called the "silent majority" have now become the "noisy majority."
As the author of best-selling business book "The Art of the Deal," Trump said current American leaders are "incompetent" in negotiations, and that he does not hold it against leaders of countries, such as Mexico and Japan, to cut lop-sided deals with the United States, if "they can get away with it."
"Everyone's ripping us off," declared Trump, pointing to the loss of 10 million jobs and 50,000 manufacturing facilities to other countries.
Trump told the students to key to success is to "never, ever give up." He said people with drive and "stick-to-it-iveness" win.