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Trump finishes 4th at Liberty University despite Falwell endorsement

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Donald Trump reportedly placed fourth in the precinct for Liberty University in Virginia despite an endorsement from Jerry Falwell Jr., the school’s president.  

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took first with 44 percent support in Liberty’s precinct and 513 votes, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at 33 percent, Ben Carson at 14 percent and Trump at 8 percent.

{mosads}Trump saw more support in neighboring precincts.

Falwell’s January endorsement of Trump sparked controversy, with alumni privately voicing frustration at the decision.

The student body president and vice president also publicly backed Rubio ahead of voting on Tuesday.

Cruz launched his White House bid last year at the evangelical school, which also saw visits from Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The chairman of Liberty University’s executive committee decried Falwell’s endorsement of Trump for a story published on Super Tuesday.

“Donald Trump is the only candidate who has dealt almost exclusively in the politics of personal insult,” Mark DeMoss, who sits on the school’s board, told The Washington Post.

He referred to controversy from over the weekend when Trump failed to directly disavow former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke in an interview.

“I’ve been concerned for Liberty University for a couple of months now, and I’ve held my tongue,” DeMoss said.

“I think a lot of what we’ve seen from Donald Trump will prove to be difficult to explain by evangelicals who have backed him,” he continued. “Watching last weekend’s escapades about the KKK, I don’t see how an evangelical backer can feel good about that.”

Falwell told the Post that he found the objections to his endorsement “puzzling” and disappointing.

“Any time you support a candidate, and you’re an official at a university, you just have to accept the fact that a large percentage of the community is not going to agree with you,” Falwell said.

“I think our community is mature enough that they understand that all the administrators and faculty have their own personal political views.”

Tags 2016 GOP primary Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Liberty University Marco Rubio Ted Cruz Virginia

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