FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Supporters of Donald Trump told PJM the GOP nominee should not retract any of his past statements, despite last week’s expression of “regret” from the candidate for instances in which he didn’t “choose the right words.”
“Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that and believe it or not, I regret it and I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues,” Trump recently told supporters in North Carolina.
Most of the attendees who spoke with PJM during the Trump campaign rally at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center said he does not need to apologize for any of his statements.
PJM asked Trump’s supporters if there are any specific statements Trump should retract.
“No, that’s what you need, you need someone that will not beat around the bush in politics, just tell it like it is,” Mike from Spotsylvania said. “Trump doesn’t care who he offends and if he offends some people, fine; if he doesn’t, oh well.”
Krista from Fredericksburg shared a similar view. “I think he’s fine. I think he’s doing great.”
Chris, a member of “Bikers for Trump” from South Carolina, echoed Krista.
“It’s the nature of a man to misspeak sometimes and say things he regrets. His actions will speak louder than his words once he’s in office,” he said.
Charlie from Fredericksburg also said there is nothing Trump should retract.
“No, he’s a New Yorker. He’s going to tell it like it is. I like it. I love it and I think the people love it. I know sometimes he gets overboard but basically he’s telling the truth. He’s got his ducks in line. He knows what he’s talking about,” he said.
A woman attending the rally with her son expressed a less optimistic view of Trump’s campaign and his statement about having regrets.
“Not to be rude, but it’s a little late. He’s said way too many things to many different people, so he might have made an effort but a little bit too late,” said the woman, who declined to be identified.
Jefferson Porter, a bishop, was also asked if there’s a specific statement Trump should retract to help his campaign.
“One of things that attracts me to the type of person Mr. Trump is, number one, if you noticed throughout the primaries, he pretty much was very open and candid and would just shoot straightforward and straight from the hip,” Porter said. “As you see now, he’s really going in general election mode so he’s really taking a light stance and even apologizing for some of the things he has said. And I believe Mr. Trump, he is a man of integrity, he’s a man of vision, he’s a man who will bring the change we need for this time.”
Michael from Fredericksburg said the only statements Trump should consider taking back are his comments against the Iraq war.
“Just on the Iraq war. It wasn’t unnecessary and we had it in the bag before we basically pulled the same crap we did in Vietnam — dump our ally and leave them to die. We didn’t lose Vietnam and we didn’t lose Iraq. We shat on our victory and betrayed our allies,” he said.
Steve from Front Royal said Trump should “probably” retract statements he has made about banning Muslim immigration to the United States.
“He didn’t really say that, but that’s what the press took and went crazy with it so that’s one, probably,” he said.
Greg from Fredericksburg declined to answer.
“That’s a good question. I basically agree with most of what he has said, so I am the wrong person to ask about that,” he said.