4 Ohio Voters Comment On The Candidates' Debate Performance

Oct 10, 2016
Originally published on October 10, 2016 7:59 am
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep in Cincinnati in Ohio, which is one of the divided states of America. We met voters in this state before last night's debate, and now they're back. They're in the studios of WVXU here in Cincinnati - Katie Rooney, mother of three, Republican, voting for Hillary Clinton - also Marty Surella, a retired plumber, Democrat, leaning toward Donald Trump. Cincinnati pastor Ennis Tait favors Secretary Clinton. And longtime insurance business owner Linda Caudill favors Trump. Good morning to all of you guys.

MARTY SURELLA: Good morning.

LINDA CAUDILL: Good Morning.

KATIE ROONEY: Good morning.

ENNIS TAIT: Morning.

INSKEEP: Let's hear some of the debate, and then we'll talk about it. Donald Trump was asked in this clip of tape about his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: Hundreds of thousands...

MARTHA RADDATZ: And why did it morph into that?

GOP PRES CAND: Excuse me.

RADDATZ: No, did you...

GOP PRES CAND: Excuse me.

RADDATZ: No, answer the question.

GOP PRES CAND: Why don't you interrupt her?

RADDATZ: I do.

GOP PRES CAND: You interrupt me all the time. Why don't you interrupt her?

RADDATZ: Would you please explain whether or not the Muslim ban still stands?

GOP PRES CAND: It's called extreme vetting. We are going to areas like Syria, where they're coming in by the tens of thousands because of Barack Obama. And Hillary Clinton wants to allow a 550 percent increase over Obama.

INSKEEP: Moderator Martha Raddatz put a related question to Hillary Clinton.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RADDATZ: We know you want tougher vetting. That's not a perfect system. So why take the risk of having those refugees come into the country?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, I will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us. But there are a lot of refugees, women and children. Think of that picture we all saw of that 4-year-old boy with the blood on his forehead because he'd been bombed by the Russian and Syrian air forces. There are children suffering in this catastrophic war, largely, I believe, because of Russian aggression. And we need to do our part.

INSKEEP: Let me start with you, Linda Caudill. What did you think when you heard that?

CAUDILL: My personal feeling is I don't know how we can know, at this point, who we can let in and who we can't let in. The country is having an issue right now with some of the Syrians who have come in, who the government has said that they've been vetted and, apparently, they haven't been vetted. I don't know what the vetting process is that they're using, but...

INSKEEP: We'll note there, I guess, the FBI director has said it's impossible to know for sure...

CAUDILL: Exactly.

INSKEEP: ...With some people. At the same time, the Obama administration has insisted there is a lot of vetting going on of refugees. Ennis Tait, what about you?

TAIT: Each administration has their own view of what the vetting process is about. But I believe that we do have to be very careful, that America is that place where people come to get free. And so if there are people who are trying to get to America, there's some issue or some scenario that they're trying to run away from. And I think we should be prepared to receive those people.

INSKEEP: Should be prepared to receive them. Marty Surella of the Cleveland area, how about you?

SURELLA: I think the screening process needs to be pretty strict.

INSKEEP: Did Hillary Clinton satisfy you that it was going to be strict enough...

SURELLA: No.

INSKEEP: ...If she's president of the United States?

SURELLA: No, she did not.

INSKEEP: Even though she said we're not going to let in people if they're...

SURELLA: Well, she said that. But I know - I need to know the screening process. What's the criteria by which they're going to be allowed in the country?

INSKEEP: You were leaning toward Donald Trump. Are you leaning further after hearing that exchange?

SURELLA: It - last night didn't move the needle.

INSKEEP: OK, how about you, Katie Rooney?

ROONEY: I feel like we are a country founded by immigrants. And what's mostly concerning to me is that somewhere along the way, we've lost that vision. And it depends on who you're speaking to on who they think should be allowed in this country, who they want to be allowed in this country. And I can assure you that all those years ago, that there was a community of Native Americans who may not have been so happy to have our founding fathers emigrate.

INSKEEP: What, though, did you think when you heard Trump say, look, we're just going to be safe here. We've got to be - we've got to be careful about who we let in the country. Do you feel some sympathy for that, even as a Clinton voter? You've got three kids. You want to look after them.

ROONEY: Yes, of course, I want to be safe too. You know, listen, maybe I have a little bit more faith in humanity. Maybe I have a little bit more faith in our government and trust that perhaps there are things that are happening that I'm not privy to.

INSKEEP: Linda, you're shaking your head - Linda Caudill.

CAUDILL: Well, when my ancestors came here, they willingly assimilated to the culture here. They learned the language. If you look at what's going on in Europe, the immigrants that have gone in there are not assimilating to those cultures. And you can just look at what's happening on the Internet. You can see that there's crime and things going on.

INSKEEP: OK, much more to discuss with our panel of voters. And we are bringing them back throughout the program.

I want to bring in a voice, though, from Washington, D.C. NPR's Scott Detrow is helping us to check some of the facts in last night's debate. Scott, good morning.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: Donald Trump made a number of statements that you could ask about involving refugees and involving terrorism. He made a statement that people in the San Bernardino attack in California saw the bombs in an apartment before that attack. Let's listen.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

GOP PRES CAND: When they see hatred going on, they have to report it. As an example, in San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people.

INSKEEP: That's the fact we want to check. Scott, did many people see the bombs before the attacks?

DETROW: No. And this is a claim that came up during the Republican primary too, and it has been disproven. There have been no reports that neighbors were aware that this was being planned, let alone that people were aware of it and didn't go to the police. PolitiFact rated this as false in January, when it came up at a Republican debate. At the time, they wrote that the most that was reported is that a neighbor of a neighbor of one of the shooters' mother said there was suspicious activity.

INSKEEP: Donald Trump made another statement, that Hillary Clinton wants a 550 percent increase in the number of refugees, which sounds like a huge increase. And it's not one that she denied. Does she, in fact, want that much of an increase?

DETROW: She does. But this is one of those situations where their percentage is technically accurate, but it doesn't tell the full story. The Obama administration has said it wants to accept 10,000 refugees over the course of a year. Over the last year, they've taken in about 12,000. And Hillary Clinton has said that the U.S. needs to do its part to help refugees and that she wants to take in up to 65,000 refugees, with full screening for security reasons. So...

INSKEEP: So that's 550 percent more, OK.

DETROW: That's right, yeah. But 65,000 is not the massive number that a 550 percent increase may imply.

INSKEEP: Oh, compared to the millions that have gone to Europe, for example.

DETROW: That's right.

INSKEEP: Scott, thanks very much.

DETROW: Thank you.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's Scott Detrow. We're hearing him throughout this morning, checking the facts from last night's debate. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.