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CNN tried to get into the heads of President Donald Trump’s supporters to understand why he has the backing of “white voters who have high incomes.”
In a segment on Tuesday’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” CNN reporter Elle Reeve reported on an outing with the president’s supporters at a dune buggy rally in Oregon. The unofficial event purported to pull the curtain back on a segment of pro-Trump voters and “what’s behind their support,” as host Chris Cuomo, perplexed by their approval, noted.
“Unofficial Trump events like this have been happening all over the country,” Reeve reported from Winchester Bay as dirt bikes, ATVs and dune buggies, many bearing Trump signage. participated.
“While Trump’s working class supporters have gotten a lot of attention, in 2016 a third of his voters made more than $100,000 a year. In fact support for Trump is particularly strong among white voters who have high incomes for their area, the ‘locally rich,’” Reeve added.
“I like alpha males. I think President Trump is an alpha male,” one male Trump supporter said as Reeve’s report focused on the reason the participants support the president and their responses to criticisms of him.
“Whenever I watch the news, it seems like they’re bagging on Trump, making it sound like nobody’s going to vote for him. I feel like we need to get together and show people, hey, there are people who are going to vote for him,” another man said.
“The people from the left who think we’re deplorable, think we’re deplorable. If hanging out with families, bringing your kids out, having a good time is deplorable, then I guess we’ll take it,” one rally participant told Reeve from his vehicle.
The reporter then went for a ride in a two-seat dune buggy with Trump supporter, Eric Nelson, who drive two hours to attend the event.
“Hopefully you heard her scream,” Nelson said of Reeve after taking her through the air in a jump that caused her to yell out.
“The reason we’re here to support Trump is because we believe that Trump will help us keep the money that we make and let us be able to work as hard as we want and not give our money away,” Nelson explained. “People like Nancy Pelosi can, you know, get her fundings through to give money to people who aren’t willing to work for it. I worked all my life, I had to work, put myself through college so I could get a job and do what I enjoy which is an activity like this and spend 15, $20,000 on toys because I choose to.”
“He really is for your hard working people,” another Trump supporter said from his pick-up truck. “Do I think he’s racist? No. I think he’s racist against lazy people.”
Reeve thought it important to note that the rally was made up of “mostly men.”
“That’s no surprise, given national polls. Men are much more likely to support Trump than women. And what these men said they liked about Trump was that he’s a guy who is just like them,” she reported.
“He can be crass,” one rider admitted. “But we didn’t hire him as a president. We hired him because he was a businessperson and that’s what America needed because our country was starting to tank.”
“But isn’t part of his job being like a moral leader?” Reeve asked a man wearing a stars and stripes jumpsuit.
“I don’t believe so,” he replied. “He says things that upsets people and we just don’t care and we think he’s helping all those people because they don’t fully understand what’s going on.”
Following the report, Cuomo told Reeve that the piece was “a great window into feel versus fact,” noting how it took place in the “blue state” of Oregon.
“They feel Trump is one of them even though he doesn’t check any of the boxes that the guy who was talking to you checked in his own life. You think that there is a swell of support even in a blue state like Oregon that the polls are not catching?” he asked Reeve.
She noted that there is “no evidence” of such a surge and that Oregon “is like many states in the rest of the country where a lot more liberal people are packed in the cities and out in the country people are a lot more conservative.”
Cuomo lingered on what he saw as a contradiction, asking about the “split” in the supporters’ minds about what they believe Trump can do for them “versus who he is and what he is about.”
“I think it’s a combination of both. I think they see part of their identity as being businessmen, as being successful, as being the product of hard work and the power of their own determination. And they think Donald Trump will protect that. They don’t like everything, they say, that he says, but they say that he’s real,” Reeve responded.
But the CNN host continued to disparage the president, and seemed to imply the rally-goers were ignorant for their support.
“It’s amazing, you know, especially for business owners, if they didn’t have the money behind them that Trump had, they would be out of business, you know? His bankruptcies were all rolled by his Pop, otherwise he would have never been able to stay in business,” said Cuomo, whose own father, the late Mario Cuomo, was the powerful Democratic governor of New York for three terms.
“It’s so funny that they reward in him what they would never respect in somebody who actually does what they do,” he added.
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