As the president’s remarks about the National Anthem continue to cause debate and division in the country, some Donald Trump supporters admittedly are having reservations about their vote. CNN spoke with several Trump backers about the discussion surrounding players who choose to protest police brutality by taking a knee during the National Anthem, and while many found the peaceful demonstration to be disrespectful, most respected an athlete’s choice to do it.
“I’m a son and a grandson of veterans and I was always taught that I might not like what you say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it, and that’s what the First Amendments about, and that’s what this country is about. Do I like them taking a knee during the National Anthem? Personally, no, but that’s their choice and their way to protest” panelist and high school teacher Jordan Jacquay said.
— CNN (@CNN) September 26, 2017
The group of five–three men and two women–were divided when asked if they still supported the president. While the women maintained they’re satisfied with their vote, the men admitted to having reservations and even regret over their decision. Payton Isner said because Trump is a businessman, he’ assumed he’d be able to get the travel ban passed and it “wouldn’t be so divisive” along with a healthcare repeal and replace. Mark O’Brien’s regret kicked in a bit sooner.
“I think it was the day after inauguration day,” O’Brien said. “When he was so concerned about the crowds or lack their of. I was like ‘Is that, that important? You’re the president. Let’s move forward’ That probably started my ‘what have I done?’ ”
O’Brien said his reservation became crystallized when Trump refused to call out the alt-right and KKK members who recently marched in protest of the removal of a Confederate statue.
“What I had a concern about, why in the world, and I live a few hours away from Charlottesville, Virginia, he couldn’t call the Neo-nazis and white supremacists? Why couldn’t he call them sons of b–ches? That’s a huge concern of mine, meaning what is really going on in that man’s mind?”
When the CNN moderator asked Isner why Trump had harsher language for NFL players exercising their First Amendment right than white supremacists in Charlottesville, Isner simply said he too was “baffled.”
Baffled? Really? *Jay Z voice* Okay.