Iowa evangelical leader has to remind Donald Trump that he didn’t endorse him

Donald Trump on stage speaking behind a Trump podium in Nevada

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

Another Donald Trump unforced error.

Perhaps Donald Trump is too focused on getting protesters thrown out of his rallies instead of paying attention to the words that are streaming from his mouth. Or at least keeping straight the names of people who have endorsed him.

Unfortunately for the billionaire businessman who has been hemorrhaging potential Republican presidential delegates to Ted Cruz lately, Trump made an unforced error on Tuesday, touting the endorsement of Iowa evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats.

The problem is that Trump meant to say the name of Jerry Falwell Jr., one of the most recognizable religious figures in the country and the president of Liberty University. Vander Plaats—the president and CEO of Family Leader, a pro-life religious organization based in Iowa—has already endorsed Cruz, who also happened to win the Iowa caucus.

As CNN noted, Trump said while at a rally in Rome, New York, “We’ve had so many great endorsements, with Gov. [Chris] Christie and with Sarah Palin and with everybody, Vander Plaats, our friend Bob Vander Plaats from Liberty University.”

The campaign later confirmed Trump had meant to say the name of Falwell.

And if Trump had any doubts, Vander Plaats was quick to confirm his non-endorsement on Twitter.

Trump, of course, should have remembered, considering he had a public spat with Vander Plaats after he gave Cruz his endorsement. This was what Trump tweeted in January.

Vander Plaats responded thusly.

Luckily, Falwell on Tuesday was the forgiving type, as he took to Twitter.

But it could be worse for Trump. At least he’s gaining some traction among college students for his build-a-great-wall idea.

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.