Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. endorsed Donald Trump on Tuesday, giving the Republican presidential frontrunner an influential stamp of approval from one of the country’s best known evangelical leaders.
Falwell, the son of a famed Christian televangelist, has spoken glowingly about Trump and his endorsement does not come as a surprise. But coming just days before the Iowa caucuses, the support may help boost Trump among the state’s influential evangelical caucus goers.
In a statement, Falwell called Trump, “a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again.”
The endorsement, first reported by the Washington Post, comes as rival Ted Cruz is attacking Trump over his past comments on hot-button social issues like abortion. The Cruz campaign released it’s second ad attacking Trump on Monday, featuring a 1999 Meet the Press interview where Trump says he is “pro-choice in every respect.”
“It is truly an honor to receive Jerry’s endorsement,” Trump said in the statement. “Not only is he a high quality person, with a wonderful family, whom I have great respect for - I also consider him a very good friend and his support means so much to me.”
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com