Driving back to my hotel outside Des Moines following a Hillary Clinton event Wednesday morning, I thought I’d get a brief reprieve from politics by tuning into 98.3 FM The Vibe, Des Moines’ “new hip hop classics” radio station. But after bopping along in my seat to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex,” I heard a surprising voice during the subsequent commercial break. “I’m Donald Trump, candidate for president, and I approve this message,” the Republican front-runner said over soaring strings.
A Trump ad on a rap station seemed like an unusual pairing, but Iowa caucus season pushes candidates to reach out to unexpected voters. The rest of the radio ad, however, sounded very much out of place. Immediately following Trump’s statement, a narrator jumped in to introduce approving comments from Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, who compared Trump to his late father, Jerry Falwell Sr., a controversial crusader for the religious right. “Dad explained that when he walked into the voting booth,” Falwell says in the ad, “he wasn’t electing a Sunday school teacher or a pastor, or even a president who shared his theological beliefs. He was electing the president of the United States to lead a nation. Matthew 7:16 tells us, by their fruits, you shall know them. Donald Trump’s life has borne fruit.”
“In my opinion,” Falwell says at the ad’s close, “Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others, as Jesus taught in the great commandment.”
You can listen to the full ad here.
After the commercial break, the station returned to its programming with the posthumous 1998 hit “Changes” by 2Pac. “I see no changes, all I see is racist faces,” Tupac rapped, “misplaced hate makes disgrace to races.”