Donald Trump didn’t talk about George W. Bush or 9/11 on Monday night in Anderson, South Carolina — but his supporters did.
“I like that he speaks his mind," Rachael Caswell, who took the afternoon off from work to go see Donald Trump, told NBC News while she waited to enter the event. “Although he does overstep himself once in a while.”
Caswell was referencing Trump’s comments about George W. Bush and the September 11th attacks. But despite the fact that Caswell thinks that “rehashing it and bringing it up is a bit pointless” she also feels that “it should be brought up” because we’re still dealing with the ramifications of Bush’s decisions in the Middle East.
Another South Carolinian told NBC News that he has no qualms with what Trump said “because it’s the truth” and that open borders are a problem that need to be dealt with. Attending the event with his wife, he asked rhetorically “who do you think comes through the border?”
Still others defended Bush.
"It’s over and done with," Sean Napiorkowski explained. A former George W. Bush supporter herself, she thought he did “a good job” facing tough and unprecedented decisions.
“He just stated the fact that nine months into office, this was the president at the time of a catastrophic event,” Jeff from South Carolina chimed in. “I don’t think anyone with common sense would blame President Bush for that. But I do think if it happens on your watch, it’s up to you to solve the problem. I do think he solved it very well, but I must admit, going into Iraq was a mistake. And I didn’t know it at the time. I supported that decision and I was wrong.”
Trump, he points out, was “against it” from the start.
And while Napiorkowski may have supported Bush, Trump’s comments about the former president aren’t going to stop her from supporting him.
"We’re not a great country like we used to be,” she said as her daughter, Alexa, nodded in agreement. A military family, they agreed that “we gotta get stronger, and ... Trump can do that for us.”
Trump frequently frames his pitch for the presidency with the famous promise that he’ll make America Great Again. That’s the focus for many of the South Carolinians who flocked to see him speak Monday night, many looking to hear how he’ll bring back jobs and secure the border.
Napiorkowski echoed what many Trump supporters have said — both in Anderson, and nationally: "He says things out loud that we are all thinking. He’s not an attorney, he’s just a citizen. A rich citizen."