Not An Enormous Trump Supporter, But Florida Man Will Vote For Him Anyway
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene in Orlando. We are here talking to voters ahead of tonight's presidential debate. The debate's not here, by the way. It's actually in Las Vegas. We're in Florida for our project Divided States. We're meeting four voters today. And tomorrow, we're going to ask them what they thought about the debate. Next up, Allen Sale. He lives in a large home in Lakeland. It's a city of 100,000 people in central Florida. Allen has photos of his two children on his wall.
ALLEN SALE: That's Ashley. She teaches young, special needs children. And Christopher is a professional baseball player.
GREENE: Chris is not just any old baseball player. He is actually a five-time All-Star with the Chicago White Sox. He's one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. And the White Sox have some well-known fans.
SALE: Barack Obama's favorite team, and he actually gave a shout-out to my son, so he can't be all bad.
GREENE: Allen likes Barack Obama as a baseball fan, but not as a president. We'll get to his politics in a minute. I began talking to him as a dad.
Your son is a pretty big deal, as they say.
SALE: (Laughter). We think so, yes.
GREENE: You must be a proud dad.
SALE: I am very proud, yes.
GREENE: Did he grew up in the house where you are right now?
SALE: Yes, he was born in this house.
GREENE: What's one memory that really sticks out when it comes to his learning baseball there?
SALE: Well, my wife heard he and I talking about how nice it would be to have a pitcher's mound in the backyard. And her family had a construction company at the time, and she had a couple of her guys bring a big mound of clay and built him a pitcher's mound in the backyard (laughter).
GREENE: You built a pitcher's mound in your backyard? Is it still there?
SALE: No. When he started high school, we stopped using it and then finally had it taken out.
GREENE: That is - that is a really cool thing.
GREENE: I know Donald Trump came to campaign in Lakeland. You know, you've been a Republican for a while. Did you go to the event?
SALE: I did not go to the event. I am going to vote for Donald Trump, but I would not consider myself an enormous supporter of his. I think he is the best choice available in what I would consider a weak field.
GREENE: So your - so your vote for Donald Trump is - is in - is largely a vote against Hillary Clinton, or are there some things you like about Trump?
SALE: When there were 21 candidates in the race, Donald Trump was probably in the 17 or 18 range.
GREENE: Well, is there anything positive you would say about Donald Trump?
SALE: I would say that I am in lockstep with him on immigration.
GREENE: OK, say more about that.
SALE: We're full. Our roads are overcrowded. Our schools are overcrowded. Our jails are overcrowded. Our hospital emergency rooms are overcrowded. And the wagon is full. And I'm pulling the wagon. And I'm tired of people coming here and jumping on the wagon and then complaining about not liking to be here.
GREENE: I wonder, I mean, are you - are you referring to people in the country illegally, or who exactly are you talking about?
SALE: I would start with the people that were here illegally, yes. And I would either get them legal or send them home. That is the law. If something's wrong with the law, let's change the law.
GREENE: So when you hear Donald Trump talk about something like a deportation force, does that resonate with you?
SALE: It does. It will make those people get legal. Is that too much to ask?
GREENE: And what about his critics who say that there's - there's some racism that's involved here?
SALE: I don't believe that. I think that's a word that is thrown out to the point that it no longer has any meaning. I presume that there are Russians, Europeans from wherever that are here illegally. I want them sent back, too.
GREENE: What do you hear from Donald Trump that convinces you that he would do what you're talking about more so than someone like Hillary Clinton, who also talks about things like comprehensive immigration reform?
SALE: I think it is more of a priority for him than it is for her. I think that she sees it as an opportunity for supporters, and he sees it more as an opportunity to comply with the law.
GREENE: I want to ask you about something that Donald Trump has been saying a lot this week - that he feels like this election is being rigged against him.
SALE: Well, I don't think one side is any more guilty of that than the other, and I don't think it amounts to a tinker's dam. I do think the media is biased. I think these WikiLeaks releases indicate that she has done things far more important than him telling dirty jokes to Billy Bush.
But I think him telling dirty jokes to Billy Bush has gotten 10-times the media play that Hillary Clinton selling access to the secretary of state's office has gotten. And I - not just because it's Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump or a Republican and a Democrat - if that was a Republican that had done that, I would still consider that far more important.
GREENE: Well, let - let me just focus on Donald Trump's behavior. I mean...
SALE: He says horrible things. When he was on that bus with Billy Bush and they played that recording back, it made my skin crawl. And I - and I think - and I think that that should be held against him. And I don't think apologizing is enough. That is a negative. It is - I'm no prude, and I've told dirty jokes, and I've told jokes I wouldn't say in the presence of my mother, but I've never said anything like that, even on my - on my worst day (laughter).
GREENE: Well, let me just ask you to step back. You've - you've been a Republican for - for a long time.
SALE: Twenty years.
GREENE: What's it like to be in an election where you are - a presidential election - going to the polls and voting for just the best-case scenario, but someone you really don't like that much?
SALE: It sucks.
SALE: It sucks. I was proud to vote for George W. Bush twice. I was proud to vote for Romney. I was proud to vote for McCain. This is not one I'm going to be bragging about in the future. This is the first presidential election cycle in my lifetime that I have not had a yard sign, a bumper sticker, a pin, a shirt, a hat. There is nothing on my property that would tell you who I'm going to vote for. I told somebody, you know, I like Star Trek, but I am not dressing like a Klingon and going to the convention, OK?
SALE: I - I'm going to vote for Donald Trump, but his yard sign is not going in my front yard.
GREENE: That's Allen Sale. He is one of four voters from the divided state of Florida we met this morning. They're going to be back tomorrow to talk about the final presidential debates. We're broadcasting from Florida, where we want to thank member station WUSF and also our hosts here at member station WMFE in Orlando. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.