2 years ago
Bhargav Arimilli
Mercury Staff
Catherine Nanagas
Mercury Staff

Concern spreads over candidate’s comments about women, autism

Comments made by Donald Trump over the course of his presidential campaign about autism and women have caused members of the public, including students at UTD, to express their concern over his presidency.


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Recently, 11 Republican Party candidates gathered at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. on Sept. 16 to discuss topics such as the nuclear deal with Iran, undocumented immigrants and Planned Parenthood.

Though 11 candidates participated in the debate, most of the media’s attention was focused on Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson. In particular, Trump received backlash for his assertion that there was a link between the use of vaccines and the prevalence of autism.

“I think that was incredibly shortsighted and closed-minded,” Andrew Swanson, a finance and marketing freshman, said. “It was uninformed, to sum it up.”

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, interrupted Trump during his speech to point out that there was no medical evidence to support his claims.

Trump also came under scrutiny for his comments towards Fiorina in a Rolling Stone article, criticizing her appearance and the fact that she is a woman.

Tessa McGlynn, president of College Democrats, said she believes that Trump’s comments towards women are indicative of a larger problem.

“I was totally with Carly,” she said. “I hate to say that as a Democrat, but women do hear (the way) he’s talked about Megyn Kelly, or just the way he’s talked about women in general. I think Republicans are silently consenting (to) this, as he’s still leading in the polls.”

Madi Bixler, a management sophomore, said she believes Trump’s comments did not portray his greater image and campaign in a professional manner.

“I do support Trump, but if you’re going to be answering questions (in a debate), let’s keep the foul play to a minimum,” she said. “He didn’t have to throw her under the bus like that.”

According to NBC News, despite the fact that over 33 percent of Republican voters agree that Fiorina won the debate, Trump continues to top the polls. A recent poll conducted by Suffolk University shows that Trump is still at the forefront of the race for the Republican nomination with 23 percent of voter support. Carson and Fiorina trail behind with 13 percent each.

In spite of these numbers, McGlynn said she believes Trump will soon lose his standing.

“Everyone thought (Trump’s campaign) was a little amusing at first,” she said. “There was definitely an entertainment factor, but the more he spews his painful rhetoric, the less funny it is.”

Swanson echoed McGlynn’s sentiments towards Trump, noting that his campaign gained traction because of how radical his platform was at the time it was introduced.

“Now that (his presidency) is becoming more and more of a possibility and now that his ideas are becoming more and more extreme, it’s turning into a frightening thought,” Swanson said.

Bixler said she believes in Trump as a candidate, but feels that he may be losing his grip within the Republican Party.

“I think he has great policies (and) I totally support his views on immigration and on a lot of other things,” she said. “However, the way he’s gone about (promoting his policies) has been unprofessional. Looking at the statistics, he may drop out and end up running as an independent.”