Former Trump fan looks back at historic announcement with regret - Just days from the presidential election, a fervent Donald Trump supporter present at his campaign kickoff is looking back at that June 2015 day with a pang of regret.
You might not know Lori Goldberg Burch of Jersey City, N.J., but you could have heard her voice. Her howls of approval punctuated Trump’s announcement speech in Trump Tower, leading to brief repartee between them.
“Somebody accused me of this being a set up, that he was talking to me and that we rehearsed our banter back and forth,” she recalled in a Friday interview. “It wasn’t staged at all. You know, it’s the way I felt. I really thought that he could do good for us. … I had the ultimate respect for him when I was there.”
On June 17, 2015, a day after the announcement, the Hollywood Reporter reported that Extra Mile Casting hired background actors to bulk up the crowd. Yahoo News looked into the issue and ended up speaking to Burch, who works as an actor and standup comedian. She said she was not hired that day and truly believed Trump was a great candidate.
“I definitely have full knowledge of actors being paid, I just don’t want to name any. Extra Mile went and hired at least 100 actors that day,” she said. Extra Mile Casting did not return requests for comment, but Yahoo News reported Friday that one of Trump’s advisers at the time admitted that their team had hired people to help pack the hall.
Reporters gather to cover Donald Trump’s announcement at Trump Tower in New York on June 16, 2015. (Photo: Michael Walsh/Yahoo News)
Burch was holding a yellow sign that read, “Trump Makes History 6/16/15.” Few could have expected how prophetic that sign would turn out to be when the real estate tycoon descended the escalator in Manhattan’s Trump Tower with “Rockin’ in the Free World” blaring from the speakers.
Yahoo News interviewed Burch last year to hear why she was so enraptured with Trump’s potential as a political figure. On Friday, we asked how she feels to have witnessed and been part of history in the making.
“To be quite honest, now I feel ashamed knowing the type of man I was so for,” she said. “Yes, I am. I’m ashamed that I thought this man could do well for our country, because now I don’t understand how this man got this far.”
Burch began to have second thoughts when she heard his vulgar talk about women. She said that his comments about groping women in an “Access Hollywood” video from 2005 were beyond the pale. In the video, which leaked in October, Trump boasted that his celebrity status allowed him to have his way with women.
“That’s disheartening for me as a woman and as the mother of a son,” she said. “You should never feel that way, whether it’s in private or on the record. Because it’s not something we want our boys to grow up thinking, they can treat women that way.”
Ivanka Trump introduces her father at his campaign kickoff. (Photo: Michael Walsh/Yahoo News)
For years, Trump had ingratiated himself to millions of television viewers with “The Apprentice,” and stirred up support among many American conservatives with his penchant for political theater.
Burch, a longtime Republican who worked for Richard Nixon in her youth, was impressed with the carefully crafted image Trump projected through reality television: that of an expert businessman and a loving father.
“I thought this man did a great job because his kids were so well spoken and nobody got a handout. They worked hard, and I thought he was a great businessman, and that’s what our country needed. I never thought he had the temperament of a 2-year-old,” she said.
When Trump got political, she also liked what he had to say about illegal immigration and prioritizing U.S interests. She believes it’s not any one person’s responsibility to “take care of the world” but that you should “take care of yourself so that you can give back.”
“I thought this is what we need,” she said of Trump. “We don’t need these people to kowtow to foreigners. We need somebody to be strong and to make us great again, even though I don’t think we’re that broken as a country.”
Next Tuesday, voters will decide whether Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton will be the next person to occupy the Oval Office. But Burch won’t be choosing either of them: She said she will write-in Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Blog : Charapay