Old Bridge, N.J. Residents Weigh In On Hope For Change Under Trump

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork)President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office next week, and he is already making headlines on and off social media.

So what do his supporters think about him months after the election? CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke with voters in Middlesex County, New Jersey on Thursday.

The town of Old Bridge, located in the eastern part of Middlesex County, strongly voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. But in the last election, many working-class Democrats flipped.

How do they feel post-election with all the tweets, allegations and noise? Robert Zawada of Millstone Township said it did not waver his support for Trump at all.

“I’m just getting tired of all the negativity,” Zawada said. “I’ve supported all of my presidents whether I voted for them or not.”

At the Bridge-Way Diner off Route 9 in Old Bridge, Zawada, 68, talked with Charles DeSaro about politics over breakfast. DeSaro also spoke highly of Trump.

“I think his style is great. I think that’s what this country needs — a forward type of person,” DeSaro said. “He’s a New Yorker. He’s got that New York state of mind. That’s what you need.”

Rich Bruno of Old Bridge, also in his 60s, said Trump was different from most politicians.

“His rhetoric is refreshing, because he’s not politically correct, and as far as anything, I look at him as a man who didn’t need the job, didn’t want the job — except wants to make a difference,” he said.

Bruno was not particularly worried about Trump’s dealings with Russia.

“It affects me very little,” he said. “Obviously if there was any hard proof that there was anything going on with him in Russia, I would be very disappointed. However, the fact that nobody can prove anything, and it’s just rhetoric, and it’s just, you know, people making statements, I think he’s a true American and I don’t think he’s disloyal to this country. I think he cares about this country.”

“Unless something really comes out, I do believe he is telling the truth,” added Zawada.

Added waitress Kathryn Murphy: “I think if we focus too much on that. We are taking attention off from what really needs to be done.”

Baker asked Murphy what she hopes to see change in New Jersey under Trump.

“First of all, taxes – especially here in New Jersey – are way too high,” she said.

Baker also asked Alexander Stavrou of Old Bridge, who is a millennial, what he hoped the Trump administration would do.

“Hopefully create more jobs,” he said.

Immigration was a major issue for Murphy.

“Immigrants — I think they need to come into this country legally the way most do,” she said. “I work really hard, and I don’t want to work really hard for somebody that comes in here just to to take from me. I have no problem with immigrants who come in legal work and want to make the county better just like I do.”

For some here in Old Bridge, Trump’s attitude is like a good strong cup of coffee. For others, it’s a bitter sip. But many still anticipated an improvement.

“I think he says too much sometimes comes across wrong way, which is not good, but I’m kind of looking past that right now,” another man said. “I want to just see, you know, action and results.”

And the diner denizens advised that Trump’s cabinet picks should not be dismissed just as wealthy men.

“It makes me very confident that these are successful men that have accumulated wealth by their own work and efforts, and that should be lauded and commended,” said Mike Toto of Freehold.

“You want to know what’s going to go on, and he does, straight up – boop!” said waitress Karen Kartis. “Medicine – take it. Peel the Band-Aid off, whatever, and then we’ll see what happens. Can’t be any worse than what we’ve going on already; what we had for the past eight years.”

Trump vows to repeal Obamacare and replace it in the same instance. Baker asked him whether he thought the plan was part of Trump’s style of saying grand things about what might be a longer process.

“Absolutely, but all officials talk same way,” DeSaro said. “That’s politics. He’s becoming a politician.”

“He claims he can do it with just an hour a day,” added Zawarda. “Like to see that, but not so sure that can happen. I hope things don’t get worse.”

Indeed, time will tell.

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