Dual citizen Georganne Burke was born in Syracuse, New York, and has spent the last thirty years in Ontario, during which time she's worked for the Conservative Party of Canada and for Ontario's Progressive Conservatives. She told Metro Morning why she voted for Donald Trump last week by absentee ballot.
Questions and answers have been condensed
Matt Galloway: Why did Donald Trump get your vote?
Georganne Burke: I was originally a Marco Rubio supporter. It did take me a while to come around to Trump. The fact is, I will take someone like Donald Trump, whose policies and advisers are much more in line with my views, than someone like Hillary Clinton, who is surrounded by people with whom I very passionately disagree, who in fact is dishonest and has a major cloud hanging over her head with the email scandal, Benghazi and a number of other issues.
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MG: What is it that Donald Trump has said that resonates most with you?
GB: It isn't simply 'make America great again' — I don't fall for slogans. He understands that the U.S. has been weakened, and made to be far less of a player in the world by this previous administration. He understands that the world is not as safe a place when the United States is like this. He also understands that the United States can't be strong without a good, strong economy. The third thing, which I think is crucially important, is education. The city schools are a disaster and he's trying to offer opportunities for American students no matter where they come from to find education that is going to propel them forward.
MG: What in his history would give you any sense that he would have a commitment to the working class in the United States?
Despite his upper-class upbringing, he is really in his heart a blue-collar guy.
GB: I think the interesting thing about Donald Trump is something he said in a video 30 years ago. He said 'I'm not very popular among rich people. I'm more well-liked by the taxi drivers and the people who work on my construction sites.' That's because despite his upper-class upbringing, he is really in his heart a blue-collar guy. You have to be able to connect with real people. I believe he does that.
MG: He's talked about throwing Hillary Clinton in jail, he's called Mexicans rapists, he's called for Muslims to be banned from the United States. Is there anything he could say that would give you pause?
GB: He's said lots of things to give me pause. I didn't come around to Trump on day one, I was skeptical of him. But I've watched him for a year and a half. I think we need to acknowledge that we're dealing with two different cultures. Canadians tend to comment on this election from a Canadian perspective. Believe it or not, we are two different peoples with a common language. The American culture is a reality-show culture, and that's what this election is. When he gets down to the serious business of government, just like when he got down to the serious business of being a developer, he didn't play games, he paid attention, he surrounded himself by good, competent people.
Believe it or not, we are two different peoples with a common language.
MG: You voted for him after this tape came out of him bragging about sexual assault, talking about women in incredibly vulgar terms. Did that have any effect on your support?
GB: His language did not. I've heard way worse. I've been in politics for most of my life, and I can assure you that I've heard worse from sitting politicians in meetings. I have four brothers, three sons and a husband, and I work with men, because I'm in a man's business. I honestly believe most men don't feel this way, but I think they talk that way sometimes. I don't like it, and I'll speak out if I'm offended, but it isn't enough to make me say a person is a bad person.