As Donald Trump told a Wilmington, N.C., crowd on Tuesday afternoon that maybe “Second Amendment people” could prevent a President Hillary Clinton from nominating Supreme Court justices, a red-shirted man with white hair, seated behind the GOP nominee, dropped his jaw in stunned bafflement.
It was the look of disbelief heard ’round the world. And it seemed to indicate that, despite the campaign’s best efforts to deny Trump suggested armed violence, his own supporters had, indeed, heard it the way everyone else did.
CNN managed to find the white-bearded man—Darrell Vickers of Oak Island, N.C.—and on Wednesday afternoon he played defense for the Cheeto-colored candidate all while confessing he’d have physically punished Trump for making such a remark in public.
“I can’t believe he said it,” Vickers recalled of his initial reaction to Trump’s comments. “I was just absolutely taken aghast.”
The retired engineer said that he likely would’ve given Trump a southern-style punishment for his remark. “Had we had a chance to talk to him, I would have taken him to the shed,” he told anchor Brooke Baldwin. “Down here in the south, we don’t curse in front of women, we don’t drink liquor in front of the preacher, and we don’t make jokes like that in public.”
However, it wasn’t Trump’s dangerous rhetoric that drew Vickers’s ire, but rather the fact that his “joke” could be easily misinterpreted by the liberal media.
“We would have taken Mr. Trump to the shed and said, ‘Don’t say things like that because people will misconstrue it.’ But it was clear to my mind, and to the people around me, that he was trying to make a joke; and, unfortunately, people like some of the media—for instance, like, Huffington Post—will take that and screw that up and distort it.”
Pressed on the fact that he believes the comments were simply a “joke,” Vickers played the role of dismissive Trump surrogate: “Well, he wanted to make a point. And the point is that Hillary Clinton is going to cause us to have problems with the Second Amendment and with gun rights, etc., and it was clearly a joke, not something that I would have taken seriously. There’s no one that I know who would have taken that seriously.”
Ultimately, even though Vickers is convinced Trump made an off-color “joke” worthy of a whooping, he still concluded that “I believe he has the kind of integrity that we need in this country. He’s honest and I am convinced he has the moral fiber to lead this country.”