Jimmy Carter jokes crowd size is bigger at his Liberty commencement speech than Trump's

Former President Carter gave the commencement address at Liberty University on Saturday, where he cracked a lighthearted joke about the crowd size being larger than President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE's last year.

"This is a wonderful crowd," Carter started. "Jerry told me it's even bigger, I hate to say this, than it was last year. I don't know if President Trump would admit that or not."

Trump gave his first commencement address as president at the Christian college last year, which university president Jerry Falwell Jr. described as the "best commencement speech" in the school's history.

According to Falwell Jr., there were more than 50,000 people in attendance for Trump's 2017 speech. 


Carter did not say the total number in attendance on Saturday but said there were more than 20,000 graduates alone, not including family and friends who attended the commencement. 

Carter's joke comes after former White House press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerBiden administration competency doubts increase Overnight Defense & National Security — Iron Dome funding clears House Sean Spicer, Russ Vought sue Biden over Naval Board removal MORE famously claimed after Trump's inauguration that he had the "largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period."

The joke appeared to be the only reference to Trump during his speech.

Carter's commencement focused on Christianity, human rights, equality and justice. He called on the graduating class to use their education to make a difference and to go out into the world and be truthful and kind.

"We decide whether we tell the truth or benefit from telling lies. We're the ones who decide, do I hate or am I filled with love? We're the ones who decide, do I only think about myself, or do I care for others? We ourselves make these decisions and no one else. There are no limits to our ambition," he said.

Carter, 93, is the third president who has hosted Liberty University's commencement speech.