For the first time in 15 years, major presidential runners-up , the GOP candidates, returned to Bob Jones University with the evangelical Christian school willing to change its perceptions, says The Wall Street Journal.
Doctor Ben Carson is the first Republican to appear at the University since 2000
Ben Carson undertook a question-and-answer session with Republican Sen. Tim Scott on Friday at Bob Jones University and things went just like in any other campaign event. Carson is the first Republican White House major candidate to make a public appearance on the evangelical Christian school’s campus since George W. Bush launched his South Carolina campaign here in 2000, according to the same source.
Reagan, Pat Buchanan and Bob Dole are some personalities that made public visits here. But Bob Jones University has a particular interesting story. The school didn’t admit unmarried black students until 1975, while Bob Jones III endorsed stoning gay people during a visit to the White House in 1980. His father, Bob Jones Jr., had a rage blackout in which he called the Catholic church a “Satanic cult” and said that the pope is the anti-Christ.
More candidates to visit the University in the near future
Even so, more GOP candidates made visits here or are planning one in the near future. Marco Rubio met with university bosses last year, while Ted Cruz is going on a “religious freedom” rally on the campus Saturday, says The Wall Street Journal.
The GOP candidates returning to Bob Jones University can only mean two things: the school has change its cultural vision and the Republican party has taken a small shift to the right. While Bush’s visit in 2000 surely was a puzzle for most Americans, now, with the school’s policy to embrace “the 21st century”, the GOP candidates’ presence here will only be seen as a casual campaign event.