PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While Hillary Clinton won Rhode Island and Massachusetts Tuesday night, Trump did much better with local voters than expected.
One analysis shows Rhode Island is one of eight states with a double-digit shift to the Republican candidate this year over Mitt Romney in 2012.
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Reaction to Donald Trump’s astounding victory was mixed.
“I think that people realize that Hillary Clinton is corrupt,” said Rhode Island GOP Chairman Brandon Bell. “She’s dishonest, and people are really not interested in that these days. They’d rather have crude over corrupt and I think Donald Trump will do a really great job as president.”
“I thought his campaign was awful in so many ways, and I think he is clearly unfit to be president, and doesn’t have the temperament to do it, but many of his supporters have raised issues which are real,” Congressman David Cicilline reacted. “I think we do it at our peril if we don’t respond to those issues, it doesn’t matter what party you are, we need to solve these problems for Rhode Islanders, and for Americans all across this country.”
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung said he believes voters cast their ballots for Trump because they want to see our country move in a different direction.
“He ran a great campaign where he grabbed a lot of the people across America that were just feeling left out, left out and just had the door shut on them by their government and not feel like their voices were being listened to,” Fung said. “He tapped into that anger, tapped into that frustration.”
Fung also said he’s frustrated that Clinton did not deliver a concession speech as soon as Trump reached 270 electoral votes.
Rep. Joe Trillo, Trump’s honorary Rhode Island chair, said he felt the win stemmed from average, middle-class people who felt like the country was slipping away from them.
“He gets what needs to be done. He’s negotiated all his life. And politics is a lot of negotiation,” Trillo said. “I think you’re going to see him surround himself with good people and bring the country together as best it can.”
Gov. Gina Raimondo said she’s never met the president-elect but is ready to work with him whenever that opportunity first appears.
“Obviously I’m disappointed. I was a big Hillary supporter,” she said. “But like everybody else, I got up today, got the kids off to school, I’m at work, and now we’ve got to come together. As I’ve always said, the next president – and it’s now President-Elect Trump – the number one job is to bring America together and make Washington work for the people. And my job’s the same.”
Several other elected officials released statements in response to Trump’s victory.
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse:
“Like many Rhode Islanders, I am stunned and disappointed by the election outcome, but to paraphrase Mr. Trump, I pledge to work with him if he’s willing to work with us. I also pledge to work to assure that the teachings of science and the dignity of all people are not lost in a Trump presidency. Finally, I am grateful to Secretary Clinton for her dedicated service to our country, her steadfast faith in the American people, and the extraordinary grace of her last campaign act.”
Congressman Jim Langevin:
“I want to thank Hillary Clinton for her lifetime of service to this country. As a First Lady, as a U.S. Senator, as Secretary of State, and as a candidate for President, she has been the ultimate public servant and I remain so proud to support her. Her vision for our nation is one that I share, and as I return to Washington, I will remember the ideals and values she fought for, and do my best to carry that torch in Congress.
“While this is clearly not the outcome I had hoped for, if Hillary has taught us one thing, it’s that we should never give up and never stop fighting for what is right. Now, more than ever, we need people in government and in our communities who will champion progressive causes and represent the voices of the marginalized. There are many Americans waking up today feeling disappointment and fear; people who are unsure of where they fit in. Let us remind them – remind every American – that this is where they fit in. The United States is still the land of hope and opportunity, and we must each do our part to heal the wounds we felt so deeply in this election cycle.
“It is clear from the results of last night’s election that voters are tired of partisan gridlock in Washington. They are frustrated, and they have reason to be. I hope that this moment in our nation’s history can be a turning point and we can get back to the work of legislating. Addressing the challenges we face and creating common sense solutions for the good of the American people requires reaching across the aisle, communicating, cooperating, and building consensus. I have always tried to work in a bipartisan way, and I will continue to do so, knowing that it is perhaps more important than ever that we find common ground. Our new President has a herculean task ahead of him. As he said last night, it is going to take all of us, working together, to move this country forward, and I remain committed to being a proactive and constructive advocate for Rhode Islanders and Americans across the country.”
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza:
“After receiving the results of last night’s election, many of us are faced with a range of emotions and questions. Many of us worked tirelessly on local and national campaigns to advance an agenda that builds equity and opportunity for all Americans. Many of us were anticipating the results of the Presidential election to shatter a glass ceiling and bring Secretary Clinton into presidential office. While I am disappointed about last night’s results, it has only reinforced my resolve to work collaboratively to put our city, our state and our country on the right path for all of our citizens.”
“These results, and the current state of our nation, present a new opportunity and responsibility for cities to play a much larger role in shaping our democracy. As the mayor of Providence, I commit to doubling down on my efforts to advance a society that is inclusive, compassionate, and forward-thinking. I take this responsibility seriously and will address the challenges we face head-on and hope that I can count on our City and the entire State of Rhode Island to do the same.”
Congressman Joe Kennedy III:
“Yesterday I visited polls across Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In the midst of an election dominated by discord and division, there was one overwhelming sentiment at every local stop I made: pride.
“Pride in a sacred civic tradition, which endures regardless of who is disappointed or defeated. Pride in a country that doesn’t hand us progress but makes us fight for it. Pride in the awesome power entrusted in each of us with every ballot, campaign, and election cycle.
“For those of us who fell short, we wake up this morning with disappointment and uncertainty. But we also wake up grateful. For the service of Secretary Hillary Clinton, whose career is a testament to the fact that trailblazing does not come easily or go quickly. For the countless American families and communities who rallied by her side for a fairer, kinder world. And for the opportunity this country gives each of us today — to pick ourselves up, fight better, listen harder, and do more.
“I congratulate President-elect Trump on his win. On January 20, he will take the reins of a country divided, impassioned, headstrong, hurting, hopeful and resilient. Together, may we work day and night to heal and march on.”
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