One year into the presidency of Donald Trump, Chris Perugino, 69, of Luzerne County, Pa., said she is experiencing a new feeling in life.
“More trust. Self-satisfaction,” Perugino described, ” If I endured the last eight years, I have hope for the next years.”
Perugino is one of the Pennsylvania voters who the state Republican in a presidential election for the first time since 1988. She said her top political concerns are immigration, national security and stable military spending, and she doesn’t think much of the many criticisms leveled against Trump.
“He needs to keep his mouth shut a little bit, but I believe that’s his strategy, to keep things going and stir up the pot,” she said. “He’s on the crude side … I don’t condone it, its not nice, but what the hell, it’s life.”
Perugino regularly follows White House news and watches the Trump administration’s daily press briefings. But she said the media is biased and casually dismissed en mass all the criticisms of the past year as frivolous.
“There is so much garbage being slung at him,” she said. “I find it not only obnoxious but laughable. Everything can’t be wrong every single day.”
Trump delegate Lauren Casper, of Philadelphia, has supported him since the primary. She said his first year has been unquestionably a success based on economic improvements.
“The president’s record speaks for itself. Unemployment is at an all-time low, the stock market has hit record numbers, companies all across the country are hiring more employees and giving their current employees bonuses and pay raises,” Casper said. “This is why we elected him—to change the status quo and implement a true ‘America First’ agenda. President Trump has exceeded my expectations and I continue to support the work of his administration.”
Aldridk Gessa-Lang, of Philadelphia, a Cuban immigrant and conservative who supported Ted Cruz in the primary, said she’d give Trump’s first year a C+ or B-, but said she thinks most attacks on him are unmerited.
“I don’t think he’s a racist, white supremacist, bigot or xenophobe—based on the fact that I have not read, listened or watched any legitimate evidence which shows that he is any of those things,” she said. “The media obsession with Trump trashing is really out of control.”
Gessa-Lang praised Trump for sticking to campaign goals on immigration and foreign policy through his agency appointments and others steps she supports like repealing the Obama policy on Cuba and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
But he needs to lead and unite the GOP to be truly successful, she said.
“Reagan had to deal with worse political odds and still managed some amazing accomplishments,” she said. “Regardless, it’s only been a year—so it wouldn’t be fair to pass full judgment on Trump at this time.”
For voters like Perugino, the nation continues to be in safe hands. And she will be continuing to tune out the national media as long as they focus on the daily Trump scandal cycle.
“I don’t think it’s his intention to treat anyone poorly and I don’t believe he’s a racist,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be every single day, evil is there. The media has to see a ray of sunshine, other than their own deplorable selves.”