WASHINGTON — “A shotgun spray to kill a fly is not a good approach.”
That was Nicole Tribble’s description of Donald Trump’s plan to combat the Islamic State as she stopped to take a picture near the White House on Monday, the day after the second presidential debate.
“You need more of a surgeon approach to go in and get that out,” the tourist from Grand Prairie, Texas said. Her sentiment of an unfocused Trump was echoed by many of the visitors today to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The debate “was chaotic,” Avi Yadav, a 23-year-old from Richmond, Virginia, said. “Donald Trump was interrupting Hillary Clinton over and over again, saying nothing substantive, whereas Hillary was focused on the facts, laser-focused on the facts,” a slight modification of the famous quip from a campaigning Bill Clinton that he would “focus like a laser beam on the economy.”
Yadav was similarly unimpressed with the Republican nominee’s response to one of the town hall questioners asking how each candidate would address Islamophobia.
“What was his phrase?” Yadav said. “Extreme vetting. I don’t believe it. I think his form of extreme vetting is no vetting altogether — it’s just no one comes in.”
Tribble, too, felt that Trump’s response was inadequate because diversity is not something to be feared.
“What Trump is trying to do is he’s trying to put them all in one bucket,” she said. “He’s saying, ‘OK we have to ban you and if we don’t ban you, you have to work with us and you have to spy on each other.’ It doesn’t sound like he has been exposed, culturally.”
Others said the Sunday night debate, while laced with more personal attacks, rehashed many of the same topics from the first debate. Linda Miles, a veteran from Hammond, Indiana, wanted the candidates to instead lay out their vision for the country.
“They’re both poor candidates,” she said. “They talked about the same things that they talked about in the last debate, that they’ve been talking about for the past 16, 18 months. What are they going to do for our country? Get with the program. People want to hear what you’re going to do for this country,not what you’re going to do for someone else’s country.”
Tribble worried about the impact such a divisive campaign might have on her childre
“It was a little bit disappointing that we talk about the things that don’t matter. I didn’t think it was the proper forum to discuss those things,” she said. “It’s different now because I have three kids. When I was coming up I didn’t have to see this kind of stuff. The fact that they do is a little disheartening.”