Speed Reads

Republican National Convention

Jerry Falwell Jr. endorses Donald Trump with 'yo mamma' joke

At Thursday's Republican National Convention, one of the first speakers was Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, who started out noting that his father, Jerry Falwell, had spoken at Ronald Reagan's 1980 convention. He also nodded to his father with a "yo mamma" joke about Hillary Clinton, repeating a fantasy Falwell Sr. related to CNN about being interviewed by Chelsea Clinton on the biggest threats to America. His dad listed three, Falwell Jr. said: "Osama, Obama, and yo mamma," and since Osama bin Laden is dead and President Obama has just six months left in office, the only thing left is "is to tell Chelsea's mama, you're fired. And the only way to do that is to elect Donald Trump and Mike Pence president and vice president of the United States."

Falwell also touted Trump's support for repealing the "Johnson Amendment," a 1954 change to the tax code that prohibits churches and other tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations from "directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office," at threat of losing their tax-exempt status. Trump got a plank inserted in the GOP platform calling for overturning the Johnson Amendment, and he mentions that in a leaked draft of his acceptance speech, saying he is "going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans."

"Trust me, the repeal of the Johnson Amendment will create a huge revolution for conservative Christians and for free speech," Falwell said, saying that liberal arts colleges "have in effect become Democratic voter indoctrination camps." Electing Clinton, said the Liberty University president, could be a "fatal blow to our Republic," and "if you are a conservative, a decision not to vote or to vote for a third-party candidate is a de facto vote for Hillary Clinton." Falwell said he truly believes "Mr. Trump is America's blue-collar billionaire," and urged delegates, "We must unite behind Donald Trump and Mike Pence." You can watch his entire speech at PBS NewHour and read more about the Johnson Amendment at Time.