ATLANTA — Red State Gathering attendees were shocked to find out this morning that businessman Donald Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, was disinvited from speaking at the event Saturday night at the College Football Hall of Fame.
While attendees were disappointed that Red State’s Erick Erickson canceled Trump’s speaking slot others did not care or were disappointed with Trump for his remarks about Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly.
“This is Erick Erickson’s gig. He started this. It’s his decision. I was at first upset that [Trump] got canceled over a remark that I thought wasn’t that big of a deal, because I really thought she was spewing blood from her eyes, ears, nose and everything else,” Judy Crawford told The Daily Caller Saturday. “I used to like Megyn Kelly, but I’m beginning to think not so much.”
However, Crawford explained that after reading more about the story and hearing from Erickson’s sister, who Crawford says is a friend, changed her mind some.
“There were death threats against [Erickson]. I think this is ridiculous. I can tell you those are not conservatives doing those death threats and those nasty comments. So I would say I wanted to hear Trump. I had three friends cancel on me tonight to go to this thing, and I told them this was never about Trump. This is about Red State Gathering.”
Erickson told TheDC that, while he did receive death threats and threats of violence over the Trump speech cancellation, they “aren’t serious” and “they’re just pissed off people.”
John Beisner of Georgia said he found the whole situation not interesting in one sense but admires Erickson for the decision he made.
“It’s no doubt a difficult decision for someone in his position, but at least he did it with his principles in mind. So I think that was probably good,” Beisner said. “I wish Trump didn’t get as far off as he did with his comments to bring it to this kind of a point, because I certainly would have liked to have heard from him to see what he has to say, but I’m not going to miss him at this point.”
Although Florida resident Sherrie Billings says she is not a Trump supporter she believes he was treated unfairly.
“I think the whole thing is somewhat ridiculous. We’re big girls. Do we have to make a big deal out of this? We have so many more important things to talk about than whether somebody gets mad at a question that they get asked,” she said, noting that Erickson should have allowed Trump to speak.
“If people didn’t want to hear him, they didn’t have to go.” She added, “I hate to defend him. I just thinks it’s wrong the way the whole thing is taking place.”
Peri Similien, a resident of Mableton, Ga. and Trump supporter, told TheDC that he was disappointed by Erickson’s move to disinvite Trump.
“At the end of the day, this event is way bigger than Erick Erickson and he has to know this and a lot of people are here because of Trump. Regardless of how you may feel or what have you, a lot of people are here because of him,” he said. “Let him speak and people will make their own choice as to whether they support him or not–period.”
However, Jacqueline Nicholson, a resident of Florida is now questioning her previous support of the New York business mogul.
“I was for Donald Trump and I was very disappointed in his behavior. I still think he’s a great leader,” she said, adding that her opinion of Trump has diminished since his remarks about Kelly.