"I think for myself": Trump voters voice their support despite Charlottesville comments

ATLANTA -- With the president under fire for remarks about Charlottesville, CBS News checked in with some Republicans who voted for him. Janelle Jones, Ellen Diehl and Lucretia Hughes say their support for President Trump has not lessened.

"I don't look at him as my pastor or my moral leader," said Jones. "I look at him as the leader as it relates to governmental issues."

"We are not looking for somebody charming," Diehl said. "We are looking for a man who knows how to turn things around and he's got a track record of turning things around."

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Janelle Jones, Ellen Diehl and Lucretia Hughes all voted for President Trump.

CBS News

When she saw the violence in Charlottesville, Diehl said, for her, "it wasn't necessarily a complete black-white issue. But I think the media is turning it into a black-white issue. It's definitely a left-right issue. But its left fringe and right fringe."

As for the Confederate monuments, Hughes said they are "history."

"I wasn't born back then you wasn't either," Hughes said. "So why is that affecting us? If anything we should grow and learn from it.  Just like Martin Luther King said, you don't judge people by the color of their skin. You base that on their character."

As for the criticisms Mr. Trump has faced about his reaction to racial tension, Hughes and Jones said that does not change their support.

"I think for myself. Period," Hughes said. "Nobody is going to tell me what to think or how to think. I am not gullible and I am not blind. It's my decision if I am going to support someone or not. Not go by what other people has to say and to me what I have seen and what I love, he is not going to lose my support any time soon."

"I have been a Republican before Donald Trump, I will be a Republican afterwards," Jones said. "I honestly don't think we will see this issue a racial divide addressed until we remove identity politics out of the political process."

These Republican women say if a president deserves blame for making racial tensions worse it's former President Obama, not Mr. Trump, and the identity politics they believe Democrats have practiced for the last eight years.

  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann was named CBS News Transportation correspondent in August 2011. He has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001, and is based in the Atlanta bureau.