After tumultuous week, checking in with Chicago Trump supporters

CHICAGO -- President Trump’s poll numbers are at historic lows and he’s been criticized by high ranking members of his own party, Democrats and the business community.

So what do the president’s supporters think?

WGN News spoke with nearly two dozen people in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the far southwest side. Many current and retired police and firefighters live in the neighborhood. It’s one of the few politically conservative pockets of Chicago, a city dominated by Democrats. In fact, Trump won nearly 70 percent of the vote in three Mount Greenwood precincts in the 2016 election.

Many of the Trump supporters WGN News spoke with had opinions about this week but only a couple of them would tell us on camera

“I’m for smaller government and I believed he was going to be for smaller government,” said Tim Raddatz, a retired firefighter who voted for Trump.

This week, the Trump has seen some of his support erode in national polls after his widely criticized response to the deadly protests in Virginia in which he appeared to equate the neo-Nazis and white supremacist with the people protesting against them.

“I don’t think he necessarily handled it correctly, but I don’t think what he’s saying is wrong,” Raddatz said. “There’s definitely two sides to a problem. I think the anti-protesters are as combative if not more combative often times than protesters are.”

77-year-old James Jennings, a retired firefighter says he voted for Trump because he wanted someone to change the culture of Washington.

“I’ve seen a lot of things in my time,” he says. “We needed a change in Washington. … We just need to have things change so that they think about working for us. We’re not working for them - he congress, the senate the president.”

The military veteran says was repulsed by the white supremacists in Virginia

“It was just awful to see these people going against each other,” Jennings says. “Especially the white supremacist. I was a marine, so this to me was wrong.”

Jennings says he thinks the president still has his support, but should have responded better.

“I used to say when he was running, ‘Please shut your mouth. Don’t say that. We’re supporting you, but let’s not be too stupid.”)

One other theme that emerged in talking to supporters today is that the media have generally painted a negative picture and are biased in their coverage of the president. The fact that the president points that out on a regular basis only strengthens his bonds with his supporters.