FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — For supporters of Donald Trump gathered Wednesday at a campaign rally in Florida, the real lesson of the candidate's controversial comments about "Second Amendment people" taking action against Hillary Clinton was the media is "biased."
“Hillary wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” the Republican presidential nominee told supporters Tuesday. “If she gets to pick her judges, there’s nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know."
The remark immediately sparked outrage, prompting the Trump campaign to quickly issue a statement denying that the candidate insinuated gun owners might use force to prevent Clinton from appointing certain justices and decrying the "dishonest media" for its interpretation of the comments.
At the campaign rally Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, BuzzFeed News asked Trump's supporters when they thought the media had been unfair to their candidate.
Here’s what they had to say:
Annie Griffin, of Sunrise, Florida, said she's particularly bothered by media reports that Trump is racist. "I've been following him for years, and I know it's not true," said Griffin. "The media sucks. When Donald Trump says one thing that's wrong, they jump on it. And it's because he's standing up for us — they're scared of him."
Sandra Richardson, of Miami, said it's "laughable that the media tries to say that Russia is behind the Democratic National Committee leaks, and that they're in cahoots with Trump." The media is ignoring the story of Clinton selling American uranium to Russia, she said. "There's a slant and we all know it."
"I'm Hispanic and I think the media took out of context what he said about building the wall," said Tom Diaz, a Cuban-American. "He never said he hates Hispanics. What he said was taken to stir up labels. The media is biased, and they report issues in a way that favors the Democratic party."
Grace Su, of Tampa, runs her local branch of Asian-Americans for Trump. She said it was unfair the media accuses Trump of being "racist and divisive. I've met with him and I know what kind of person he is." The media has targeted Trump even more than other Republican candidates, Su said. "There's never been anyone that they've said so many nasty things about."
"At a lot of events, they won't turn the camera around to show the size of the crowd," said Robert Brass, a Trump supporter who was working to gather other Jewish attendees for a prayer at sundown. "The only time you get to see the crowd is when someone is thrown out." The media is hiding, Brass said, "that the rallies are hugely attended."
Robert Brantley, of Pompano, Florida, said he was bothered by the way the media had reported on Khizr Khan, the father of a deceased Muslim American soldier. "They've been beating that to death," Brantley said. "I know exactly what he said, and I don't think he said anything wrong. I talk like he does — I say things I shouldn't say."
Brantley said it's not that he doesn't want the media to report on Trump, but that "it should be equal. Half the news should be about Hillary, like that she hasn't had a press conference in hundreds of days."
Julia Perticone said she thinks the media's reporting on Trump has been "ignorant." "They say he's racist and has a bad temper," she said. "Really what they're worried about is being politically correct," Perticone said. While they nitpick Trump, she said, the media is ignoring much more serious issues with Clinton.
And Linda Schainberg, of Hollywood, Florida, said she is tired of the media reporting that Trump does not have women supporters. "It's totally false — I know a lot of well-educated women who all support him," Schainberg said. "I have my MBA, I have two grown children. It's something they made up, that women don't like him. It's not true."
Molly Hensley-Clancy is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Molly Hensley-Clancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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