No love for The Donald

LIHUE — Many on Kauai believe Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is not the right choice to run the country.

“He doesn’t know a thing about being president,” said Robert Staton, a Lihue resident, said. “He doesn’t know a thing about the military and the Middle East, and the things he says about women and Mexicans wouldn’t go over well in other countries.”

Earlier this week, Trump won seven states as part of the Super Tuesday primaries, including Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and Virginia. His success has stunned many. Some people, like Staton, said they were not only surprised he is doing well — but that he decided to run in the first place.

“I think it was shocking to everyone,” the 59-year-old said.

When Trump announced his candidacy, Jessie Hebstrom, a student at Kauai Community College, said she thought it was a joke.

“I didn’t think Trump was serious,” the 18-year-old said.

Her friend, Kiara Spencer, said she sees a lot of Trump on Comedy Central.

“I’ll probably vote for Bernie Sanders,” the 20-year-old said.

Trevor Passmore, a Lihue resident, was also shocked to hear Trump was running for president and even more surprised he seems bound to win the Republican nomination.

“I didn’t think people would take him seriously,” Passmore, 17, said. “I’m surprised he has support from the Republican party.”

Staton believes Trump is dominating the polls because he has money.

Joil Southwell, meantime, also agreed Trump’s $4 billion prompted his presidential bid.

“I’m not surprised he wants to be president,” he said. “Being president is the greatest position in the world, and when you have as much money as he does, what else is there for you to achieve?”

His ego needs him to be president, said Southwell, who is visiting Kauai from Oregon with his wife.

“It’s his chance to say to the world ‘I can say whatever I want, and still be in the greatest position,’” he said.

Southwell, 73, was critical of Trump’s disparaging comments directed at FOX political reporter Megyn Kelly, attitude toward other Republican candidates and his ambition to build a wall on the Mexico border.

“How can you expect to govern the greatest country in the world with such vulgarity and despicable behavior?” he asked.

Cynthia, 68, added: “He’s too brash.” Watching Trump in the political arena is comical, she said.

Jean Morgan, a Kapaa resident, agreed.

“I went through an amusement period when he announced his candidacy, but then I saw he was serious, and could actually be president.”

While Morgan , 83, said she also takes exception to his behavior, there’s no telling what he’ll actually do if he becomes president.

“He’s all talk,” he said. “If he’s elected, I’ll support him, but I won’t root for him.”

But Trump is a better choice than Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, said Beth Duenow.

“Personally, I don’t like Clinton, and I’m not a fan of Trump, but I would choose him over her,” she said.

One of the reasons why Duenow, 57, said she doesn’t like Hillary Clinton is the controversy over the Democrat candidate allegedly using her private email account for official use while serving as Secretary of State.

“She should be in jail,” she said.

Duenow, who is visiting Kauai from Minnesota, said she doesn’t trust any of the candidates running for president.

“It’s slim pickens this year,” she said.


Jenna Carpenter, education reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or


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