How Is President Trump Doing? 2 Trump Voters Weigh In
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
President Trump says he may pick a nominee for FBI director before he goes overseas on Friday, while the investigation into Russian election interference gets hotter and the fight to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act continues and the effort to revamp the tax code grinds on. Let's check in now with some people who voted for Donald Trump. How's he doing? And how would they like to see these battles play out? Kevin Eisbrenner joins us now from Livonia, Mich.
KEVIN EISBRENNER: Hello.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And Rena Tolson is from Columbia, Md., and she's here in the studios with us.
RENA TOLSON: Good morning.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, let's start with this week's banner headline story. How do you think the president handled the firing of James Comey? Rena, let's start with you.
TOLSON: I think he handled it pretty well. It seemed pretty diplomatic and step by step, following a process that seemed to already be in place.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. Kevin, do you think he did the right thing?
EISBRENNER: As far as firing Comey, yeah. I'd say that was the right thing to do. That's his prerogative. You know, they keep trying to tie it to this Russian collusion.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The investigation that's going on right now in the FBI, in the Senate...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...And in the House.
EISBRENNER: You know, the investigation really starts out with Flynn because he could have been compromised as national security adviser, yes. Look - they've got to definitely look into that. Now, feel free to look into the collusion part, too, but I doubt very much they're going to find anything that affected the election. So - but, hey, if they want to - if the FBI wants to investigate it, go right ahead, you know. I have no problem with that.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Investigations do take time. Rena, speaking of Russia, you've just heard Kevin's opinion there. I'm curious to know what you think about the investigation.
TOLSON: Sure. And I think, like Kevin said, everything is subject to investigation. But I think to say that the Trump campaign was in collusion and the campaign was part of this, that's way out there. That's really (laughter) way out there.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Do you...
EISBRENNER: And as a side note...
EISBRENNER: ...I really think that if Putin was interested in interfering in Washington, then Ovechkin and the Capitals would have had a different outcome in Game 7 against the Penguins, you know. How well does he know Putin? I don't know. I didn't see any interference there.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, let's talk about the things that the president promised on the campaign trail - building the border wall, affordable health care, bringing back jobs. There's a lot there, but I'd like to know where you think he's done well and where you'd still like to see him do more. Let's start with you, Rena.
TOLSON: Well, I think he's done well for jobs. Obviously, the statistics out there are showing that jobs are on the rise. I think the border wall - he's getting a lot of opposition there. But I think his stance on trying to move forward with illegal people coming into the country - we see that those statistics are down, so I think he's making progress there. So I think that those two things are definitely part of what he's wanting to move forward. And that seems to be getting support in moving forward.
I think that health care is just a mess, and he's obviously trying to move something forward on that. And I think that everyone needs to be behind the president and working together to get this taken care of for the people. Whether it's eradicating Obamacare or making something new, the people are suffering, and we need to be united and be behind the president to help the people. And so I think he's really trying to move that forward. So I'd give him a lot of progress points on that.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, Kevin, do you think that the GOP health care bill, as passed, really does the best for the majority of Americans?
EISBRENNER: You know, I think it's a slight improvement. I don't think it's the answer, though. I really don't. I don't think it's going to help everybody across the board - no. And that's why my belief is keep the government out of health care. The government, really, anything they get involved in, for the most part, in my opinion, they don't do a good job at it. You know, my daughter had to go get an Obamacare policy, and it saved her bacon, you know, with some things going on. She got a policy. But then, for every story of my daughter, there's 50 where people went the opposite way. It really screwed them over.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So just let me clarify this - your daughter was helped by a policy under the Obamacare legislation?
EISBRENNER: Right. She was in between jobs, and instead of having to pay the penalty, she figured she could put those dollars to use and get herself a policy. You know, it helped her out in that situation. You know, for somebody in her age bracket, in her situation, it worked.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, Rena, just one more question on health care - I'd like to bring it back to President Trump. Do you think he has a clear vision for what health care reform entails?
TOLSON: I think as a business person, he has a clear vision in terms of the final outcome. I don't know necessarily if the first round is the best solution, but something has to be done. And Obamacare, great in its idea - maybe President Obama had a vision as well, but we didn't get there.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Kevin, I'm going to ask you a different question. The president has given a lot of interviews this week, and in many, he's contradicted himself. In one with The Economist, he claimed to have invented an economic term that was coined in the 19th century. Many of his critics say - and even in The Economist article it said - that he's erratic and that he lacks knowledge. Does that worry you when you look at his words and they don't necessarily match up with other statements that he's given at different times?
EISBRENNER: You know, that's one - that's why, you know - they say how do you grade him on 1 to 10? And I say maybe 7.5. That's one of the little things there that - you know, that and his Twitter, I wish he would stop a little bit of that, you know, the reactionary part and, you know, talk to his advisers because sometimes just shooting from the hip, you end up shooting yourself in the foot.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And you?
TOLSON: I think that there's a overanalysis (laughter) of all of that and that he...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You think this is all inside-the-Beltway obsession. It's just the journalists and the pundits talking to each other and the...
TOLSON: If you really talk to people outside of all of it, they really don't care, and they're turning it off. And what they really care about is the big-picture things and how it affects them, you know, how it affects their day to day. And we're all caught up in - is he contradicting himself? Look, we contradict ourselves every day. We say one thing. We do another. The next day comes, and we feel differently about it. And I understand that we put the president in this position where he has to be perfect or be consistent. I understand that. But at some level, we need to be a little bit more gracious.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Kevin Eisbrenner and Rena Tolson, thanks so much for coming in.
EISBRENNER: Well, thank you.
TOLSON: You're welcome. Thanks for having us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.