President Trump Delivers Commencement Address at Liberty University

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14 May, 2017

"But the fact is no one has ever achieved anything significant without a chorus of critics standing on the sidelines explaining why it can't be done. The future belongs to the people who follow their heart no matter what the critics say", he said in his address.

"Following your convictions.means you must face criticism from those who lack courage to do what is right", he said.

Falwell said he would "absolutely not" do anything to students at Liberty if they booed Trump or turned their backs on him, like graduates did to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos during her commencement speech this week at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college.

After applause from the crowd, Trump said: "And we got it".

President Trump in a commencement address at Liberty University both went after his critics and emphasized the role faith plays in America. "And I just look forward to seeing you at the Coast Guard Academy, and at Liberty University", the President said, referring to the commencement address next week.

A writer at Liberty University's student paper stepped down later in the year, Politico reported, after Falwell censored a column that hit Trump over the head for his infamous Access Hollywood claims.

Drawing parallels to what was widely viewed as a longshot bid by Trump for the presidency, he urged the more than 18,000 graduates to fight for what they believe in and to "challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures".

"Treat the word "impossible" as nothing more than motivation".

"I've noticed a new hope and new optimism sweeping this country", Falwell said, calling on "our president's enemies" in the media and political establishment to "practice the tolerance they so often preach".

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The focus on the United States being a Christian nation, defending Christian values all over the world, played well with the crowd of 50,000 attendees.

"We are ending the sellout of American workers - and lifting the burdens on American industry, manufacturing, and businesses", the President said.

More than 6,100 graduates attended Liberty's ceremony, 68 percent of whom attended classes online and probably had never been to campus before this week.

Trump told graduates that "Nothing worth doing ever, ever, ever came easy".

"Having a sitting president make his first commencement address at your university is awesome", said junior John Wood. "Did we take risks?"

But the majority of his speech was devoted to lofty rhetoric about challenging a "broken system" and persevering in the "critics and doubters".

Seating on the lower west side of the stadium was almost full as guests took their places for President Donald Trump's commencement speech. "Embrace the label because it's the outsiders who change the world and who make a real and lasting difference".

"It is why our currency proudly declares, 'In God We Trust, '" Trump continued. Trump read out teams on the school's 2018 schedule, pausing at times for comic effect.

I want you to know that my administration is working every single day to create new opportunities and to reverse years of stagnant growth, falling wages, and disappearing jobs. I don't know about that. George H.W. Bush was the first.


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