ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos is having a difficult time understanding how it is that President Trump can keep such a strong grip on his voter base when the media keeps telling them how unpopular he is. To try to understand the dynamic better Stephanopoulos invited Ohio radio host Bill Cunningham on to Sunday’s episode of This Week and got a lot more than he bargained for when he asked Cunningham to explain the attraction to Trump. Cunningham immediately explained, in the strongest terms possible, that “real” America loved Donald Trump and the coastal elites were deluding themselves if they thought his popularity was slipping.
In my opinion, while liberals city dwellers may get upset at being told they don’t live in “real” America, Cunningham is spot on with his analysis. He’s particularly on-point when he explains that most Americans are very happy to see the President focusing his efforts on jobs and the economy.
It’s an epic interview, that needs to be seen to be appreciated:
George Stephanopoulos: And as we saw from our poll, the president is holding a pretty strong grip on his base. 96 percent of his voters say they’d vote for him again. I want to bring in a man who talks to a good chunk of those voters every day, Bill Cunningham of WLW Radio in Cincinnati. Broadcasts across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Solid Trump country. Mr. Cunningham, how do you explain this grip that the president maintains on those voters?
Bill Cunningham: You know, George, I think largely it’s emotional. Donald Trump is a rock star. And to give you some idea, we’re the middle of Trump country. I can walk or drive to Canada, Mexico, the Atlantic ocean, and the border of California, and never set foot in a Clinton state or a Clinton county.
In Cincinnati, also, “USA Today”, which is not exactly a conservative publication, sent out a bunch of reporters into Southern Ohio and Kentucky a few weeks ago the to get ready for a story today. And the first sentence of the story is, “Keep it up, President Trump.” I think there’s a disconnect among the real people who live in America and the coastal elites.
I can go weeks and weeks and never get a telephone call from anyone criticizing the Trumpster. We love Donald J. Trump.
George Stephanopoulos: So they love the fact that he’s a rock star, but what do they want him to keep up? What’s the most important thing they want him to get done for them right now?
Bill Cunningham: For real people, it’s about jobs, the economy, and immigration. Think about this, since he took office, about $2.5 trillion had been put into the American economy through the stock market. The regulation cutback, in one study, had saving American businesses about $86 billion just in one year. With immigration, Ohioans — Monroe, Ohio, has an MS-13 problem. Pike County, east of Cincinnati, has an MS-13 marijuana grow operation. If you cut down on illegal immigration, you cut down on criminal aliens and you cut down on heroin. Three thousands Ohioans are going to die this year from heroin overdoses. All of that’s not coming from Tennessee. It’s coming from Guadalajara.
So everywhere I look, whether it’s regulations, the stock market, energy — coal’s going to come back — infrastructure, I see successes everywhere. And so when I listen to the coastal elites talk about how Trump’s doing this and Trump’s doing that, I think about normal Americans like me and I’m darn proud to have him as our president.
George Stephanopoulos: Are you hearing any warning signs out there?
Bill Cunningham: You know, George, to be honest with you, no. Maybe it was — think about this idea. When Obama was in the White House, when Obama was attacked, his core supporters stood up as proud warriors and defended Obama. When we see Trump under withering attacks, morning, noon, and night from the mainstream media, from the front page “New York Times”, “Washington Post”, we want to harden our support for Trump because we know the alternative was Hillary Clinton? Are you kidding me? Hillary Clinton? We had nothing to do with her. In fact, there were counties in Ohio that voted 60 percent over what Romney won four years ago. This is the middle of Trump country and maybe we see things that bright, smart people in New York City don’t see.