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Focus Group: Trump's Response to Orlando Strengthened Support

Image: Focus Group: Trump's Response to Orlando Strengthened Support
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Monday, 20 Jun 2016 05:30 PM

Donald Trump's bold response to the horrific massacre of 49 people in Orlando, Fla., by a gunman who pledged allegiance to ISIS bolstered the GOP presumptive nominee's support, a group of Newsmax viewers say.

In a discussion led by Newsmax TV host John Bachman, the group of five trusted viewers — all Trump supporters and all registered voters — also decried President Barack Obama continued defiance to call out the enemy as radical Islam.

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One group member, Kerry, a stalwart Trump supporter, praised Trump's response to the shootings as the work of radical Islamic terrorism, and for his renewed call for a temporary Muslim ban.

"Donald Trump is trying to identify the problem and show the American people that our current president doesn't get it," Kerry said. "He's trying to educate the American people that we've got an administration that is just not going to acknowledge the true problem."

She added, however, the media "distorts everything" — including a Trump tweet that seemed to accept congratulations for predicting the terror attack. 

"Nobody wants to receive congratulations after that many people were shot and killed," Kerry said. "It was a terrible tragedy, and for people to even say congratulations was wrong. And [Trump] wants this administration to come out and acknowledge what really is the problem, but no, he never meant it as congratulations to himself at all."

Asked about their reaction to Trump's response, four of the five Newsmax viewers said they were more enthusiastic about the GOP presumptive nominee, while Steve, a Republican who didn't support Trump in the primary — and was an admitted liberal in college — conceded "I'm more inclined to give him more support, I won't use the word 'enthusiastic' though."

Steve and Tom, a retired police detective who is a registered independent and plans on voting for Trump, both questioned, however, Trump's "tone" when he seemed to suggest Obama was somehow aiding ISIS. Trump later said he meant to that Obama was prioritizing America's enemies ahead of its allies

"I don't know if that was the choice of words I would've used," Tom said. "I would've used, 'You downplay our enemy. You called them the 'JV 'at one time and Mr. President, you also said we had them contained."

"So it's more [Obama's] message. Sometimes he does like elocution when he's trying to deliver a certain message, but I know what he's saying… But with that said, the president is downplaying this and he's hoping that it will go away. He's not being aggressive and that's where Donald Trump needs to focus on. 'Why aren't you being aggressive with people that are trying to kill us?'"

Steve agreed.

"I don't think the bombastic tone is necessary," he said. "Mr. Trump feels that it is to win the election. I disagree. The … majority of the American voters are looking for something a little more moderate in language. What he's saying is exactly what they want to hear, but he could modify the way he says it."

Viewers are most critical, however, of Obama's refusal to identify the enemy as radical Islamic terrorists.

"I'm just perplexed that he has such a difficult time,that he evades the questions" said Debi, a Trump supporter who's relatively new to politics, but who doesn't think the GOP is doing enough to support Trump.

"He skirts the question all the time… I don't think people are buying what he's selling anymore, to be quite honest."

Tami, the wife of a Protestant minister, said she, like Trump, feels the president is angrier at the real estate mogul more than he is at the terrorist gunman.

"Donald Trump shouldn't be an issue," she said. "You speak to what happened, you speak to what the problem is, you speak to those things and not speak to the person or other things like that"

Tami added that Obama's refusal to say "radical Islam" — even in his speech on why he won't say it — shows he's not "rightfully acknowledged who our enemy is."

"The language is very important," Steve agreed. "We go back to Fort Hood where [Obama] called it work place violence. That was no more work place violence than anything. That was strictly terrorism — Islamic terrorism. He can't say Islamic terrorist and then say we should let all of the Arabs and all of the Muslims into the country. He'd be contradicting himself. If he uses the phrase Islamic terrorist, then he's got to support limiting, until fully vetted, the entrance of these immigrants."

Hillary Clinton, Debi added, is the real "danger" in the presidential race.

"Their job is to protect the American people," she said, blasting Clinton's condemnation of Trump's call for a temporary ban on Muslims. "What she just said, which Obama says, is the antithesis of what their oath is to be, it's to protect the American people. We need to put a hold right now until we all understand what is going on. She's the danger. He's not the danger."

The roundtable was the first of four discussions Bachman led with the Newsmax community viewers that will be broadcast on Newsmax TV.

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Donald Trump's bold response to the horrific massacre of 49 people in Orlando, Fla., by a gunman who pledged allegiance to ISIS bolstered the GOP presumptive nominee's support, a group of Newsmax viewers say.\
donald trump, isis, orlando shooting, radical islam, focus group
Monday, 20 Jun 2016 05:30 PM
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