Ohio Voter Would Like A Female President Just Not Hillary Clinton
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the divided states of America. We're hearing voters with very different views this morning. We'll bring them together after this weekend's presidential debate. We met one voter near the end of a cul-de-sac. When we arrived, Linda Caudill had just been talking with a handyman who was working on a roof.
LINDA CAUDILL: Hey.
INSKEEP: Hey there.
CAUDILL: How are you?
CAUDILL: I got squirrels in my soffit (laughter). How are you?
INSKEEP: Doing OK - I'm Steve.
Squirrels had been sneaking into her attic.
So you got squirrels up in there, huh?
CAUDILL: Yeah. I had a new roof put on last year. And they left an opening.
INSKEEP: But it is a breathtaking house. She led us through the interior filled with artwork and Civil War memorabilia and floor-to-ceiling windows. It's quiet except for planes overhead.
CAUDILL: When you all flew in, you flew right over my house. And when I travel, I actually can see my pool.
INSKEEP: We had a talk while sitting on the porch overlooking that pool. Linda Caudill is in her mid-60s and divorced. In this Ohio River city where people live up and down the hillsides and up and down the economic scale, Caudill has done well. She retired after a long career selling insurance. She first applied to do that back in the 1970s.
CAUDILL: Women were still trying to break into the glass ceiling. And they said, we don't have any women agents. And we don't want any.
INSKEEP: She finally got a chance with Allstate and came to own four branches. She thinks her gender helped - that on financial matters, customers found it easier to trust a woman.
CAUDILL: After 20 years, I actually had the largest agency in Greater Cincinnati.
INSKEEP: So what do you think of the woman who's trying to break the ultimate glass ceiling?
CAUDILL: I have no problem with a woman for president. I just don't want that woman for president.
INSKEEP: What she's heard about Hillary Clinton is decades' worth of stories - some of them on the news, others on the internet - suggesting Clinton is one woman who can't be trusted. It's a common view among Republicans, which Caudill has been since voting for Richard Nixon. She owns guns. She's Catholic and opposes abortion. She says she sold her business partly because of the taxes.
Do you remember the moment in which you became interested in Donald Trump?
CAUDILL: Yes - when he announced that he was going to run last June.
INSKEEP: His initial speech?
INSKEEP: The one that people criticized - and he lost corporate endorsements because he said things about Mexicans.
INSKEEP: You said?
CAUDILL: I said, this is just what we need. This is exactly what we need. I think a lot of the things that he wants to fix and a lot of the things that I think is wrong with our country starts with that border. We have a terrific heroin problem - and especially here in Greater Cincinnati. And I have a nephew who overdosed and almost died due to heroin.
And it's coming across the border. We also have illegals coming across the border that are taking jobs, which then puts low-income whites and low-income blacks on welfare.
INSKEEP: Many studies dismiss the idea that people here illegally reduce the number of jobs available for citizens. But Caudill thinks she's seen evidence right here.
CAUDILL: When I had the roof put on, I think they were all illegals.
INSKEEP: The roof on this house we're sitting...
CAUDILL: Yeah. When they put the roof on, they were all illegals. I asked the guy who put the roof on, the foreman - I asked him if they were illegals. He never did give me an answer. Well, I think they were all illegal to be honest with you.
INSKEEP: What made you think that in the first place? They were Latino? Were they speaking Spanish?
CAUDILL: They didn't speak English. None of them did.
INSKEEP: Linda Caudill feels so strongly that, for a time, she volunteered for the Donald Trump campaign. When she attends a Trump rally - and she has attended eight - she hears a man who addresses her concerns.
CAUDILL: The only people who say anything to me about his tone are when I'm on social media, and I'm talking to liberal people. They will get on me about his tone. Or when I'm at an establishment GOP meeting, the establishment people always want to button him up, you know? - the snobbier Republican people.
If I'm at a country club fundraiser or something, they will do that. And I always say to them, look, for seven years, you bitched and moaned and groaned and complained. You finally have someone who has your voice, who sticks up against the media, who sticks up against the administration. And now you want him to be quiet? You can't have it both ways.
INSKEEP: I have talked with Trump supporters who said, I support Trump, but that thing about banning Muslims from traveling to the United States - I can't handle that. Or I support Trump, but he's a little extreme sometimes. Or why did he have to mention Rosie O'Donnell in the middle of a presidential debate? I mean, they're people who will say they are disturbed by specific things.
CAUDILL: I think Rosie O'Donnell is a pig. But that's just my opinion (laughter). So, I mean, I've seen her on TV. She's awful. She says some of the most god-awful stuff. So I think she gets what she deserves.
INSKEEP: Linda Caudill says Trump has made hardly any statements that she would change. In fact, she wishes Trump supporters would find the courage to say more. She says many are afraid. To show them they're not alone, she's been joining friends on Cincinnati streets, holding up signs for Donald Trump.
CAUDILL: Listen to the noise. They're all Trump people. They love us today (laughter). This is wonderful.
INSKEEP: When she did this on Wednesday, some people who honked in support also used words.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Hillary sucks.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: God bless America. [Expletive] Hillary.
INSKEEP: We are meeting very different voters in this divided state of Ohio. And on Monday, after the second presidential debate, we'll bring them all back. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.