Trump And Supporters Say They're Serious About Winning

Aug 15, 2015

Donald Trump. File photo.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

One thing is clear as throngs of people wind down Alumni Drive on the way up to Winnacunnet High School in Hampton: these folks are not coming out just for the Donald Trump spectacle. They really want him to be president.

  Many of the 2,000 people here say they trust Trump, a business executive and reality TV star, because he speaks his mind. And despite the candidate's disparaging remarks about Fox Anchor Megyn Kelly regarding his alleged misogyny -- both men and women here seemed unfazed.

"What I’ve heard so far it’s been taken out of context," says Amy Donahue, who manages a convenience store in Hampton. "A lot of us say things we don’t mean."

Nevertheless, when Trump finally took to the stage, an hour after doors closed, he did do a little damage control. "You watch," he told the crowd. "I will help women's health issues more than anybody, including on the Democratic side. You watch, you watch."  

Trump’s speech was the usual mix of boastful and funny. He criticized current international policies and harassed a long-winded supporter during Q and A.  Briefly, Trump attacked Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul, each of whom has openly criticized him.   

That’s something Trump supporter and history teacher James Donahue says doesn’t faze him. "I think at the end of the day they are just looking for some publicity, attacking him," Donahue says. "And they're just so far off. I mean, the line here today? There's no way other candidates would have a line like this." 

Trump understands his appeal. Political correctness, he says, "takes too much time."

"There's a tremendous silent majority that politicians have taken advantage of," he said. "They are largely incompetent except when it comes to getting reelected. And look - who knows it better than me? I've contributed to everybody." 

In the end, Trump made sure everyone knew he’s serious about being the next president. He recalled a phone call. "It's the summer of Trump - you know, they are calling it the summer of Trump," he said. "But if this all happens and I don't win, I consider it a total waste of time." 

Most of this crowd seemed to agree.