Republican North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker called on Jerry Falwell Jr. to step down as president of Liberty University Thursday after a viral photo showed him vacationing on a yacht with his arm around a woman and his pants unzipped.
In response to the photo, Walker, a former pastor who once taught at the school, called Falwell’s behavior “appalling” in a tweet.
“I’m convinced Falwell should step down,” he wrote. “None of us are perfect, but students, faculty, alumni and @LUPraise deserve better.”
Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling.
As a Music Faculty Advisory Board Member and former instructor @LibertyU, I’m convinced Falwell should step down.
None of us are perfect, but students, faculty, alumni and @LUPraise deserve better.
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) August 6, 2020
Walker’s call is the most high-profile criticism of Falwell’s actions, Politico reported. Though he announced his retirement after his district was redrawn, he is the vice chair of the House Republican conference and has floated a possible senate candidate in 2022.
“I believe the best way we can continue to serve the people of North Carolina is as a United States Senator,” he said in a statement last year, The Hill reported.
Falwell’s photo drew wide condemnation given Liberty’s strict code of conduct, which forbids students from the consumption of media with lewd lyrics, sexual content and nudity, according to Politico. (RELATED: Jerry Falwell Calls Concerned Parent A ‘Dummy’ For Questioning Why Liberty University Remains Open)
Falwell apologized for the photo in a radio interview Wednesday, saying that he was sorry to “everyone” for the photo, though he said that it was merely the result of a “costume party” that was “just in good fun.”
“I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out,” he added.
Falwell has been president of the evangelical university since 2007 after he took over for his late father, Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr.
Liberty did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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