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Young GOP: One is for Donald Trump. The other isn't. Can she be convinced?

Left to right: Claire Chiara and Mary Perez
Left to right: Claire Chiara and Mary Perez

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With the conventions now behind us, the campaign for President begins in earnest. 

Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine are still in Pennsylvania, appearing at a series of events today in what is expected to be a critical state in the campaign.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, is out West. He's set to hold a town hall and a rally in Colorado. 

The point of the conventions is to unite the parties in support of the nominees and convince the unconvinced, but that doesn't mean there aren't holdouts. 

Throughout the election cycle, Take Two has checked in with young Republicans Mary Perez and Claire Chiara. They both study political science at USC and UC Berkeley respectively. Mary Perez and Claire Chiara. They both study political science at USC and UC Berkeley respectively. 

Claire and Mary feel differently about the man chosen to lead their party, however. Claire was one of California's youngest delegates for Donald Trump. Mary is a proud member of the "Never Trump" movement.

They both joined Take Two to make their cases. 

The transcript has been edited for clarity. 


A Martinez: I want to start with your reactions. Hillary Clinton is officially the nominee for the Democratic party. What is your three-word reaction? 

Claire: Stale, uninteresting and unexciting.

A Martinez: Wow, you managed to contain it in three words. I'm very impressed by that. Mary? 

Mary: Typical, nauseating, just flat-out there she goes again. 

A Martinez: That's over three words! That's over three words. Mary, why that reaction?

Mary: Hillary just goes in with the same rhetoric that she's moving the country forward. In light of all the scandals that she's been through, 
it's just so hard to watch someone go up there on stage to be our potential president, and to put down Donald Trump too. It's just like, okay, we've heard the same thing from you. 

A Martinez: Let's get to the GOP nominee. Claire, you were there at the convention last week. You saw Donald Trump speak. How are you feeling about him today?

Claire: I thought that his closing remarks, his acceptance speech on the last night of the convention were a fantastic turning point in the Republican party's history, showing that our party is unified. We are the Republicans; we have our Republican nominee, we want to beat Hillary Clinton in November. Despite some of the differences that people felt arriving on Monday, by the end of the week when Trump gave a very compelling speech, I think he encouraged people to recognize this is the time to come together and focus on defeating the party that doesn't represent us, rather than nit-picking the candidates within the party that do. 

A Martinez: Mary. Mary, Mary, Mary. We have checked in with you a lot through this election process. Each time, you have been staunchly against Donald Trump. You have not waivered once. Are you at least feeling better about Donald Trump today than maybe a few months ago? 

I'll say this: I think Mike Pence was a good choice for him, but no, I still have not waivered, and I'm a purist. 

A Martinez: Really? Why not? 

Mary: Because Trump is not a conservative. And yes, I understand that he's better than Hillary. Anything is better than Hillary. I'm hashtag never, ever Hillary. The way I see it is that my vote in California is purely symbolic. There is a slight part of me that is rooting for Trump in the sense that I hope that he does beat Hillary in November because I do not want him to win the election. 

A Martinez: But wouldn't you have to vote for him, though? 

Mary: No, not necessarily. When I cast my vote for Donald Trump, I am saying that he is going to be the brand and the face of the new Republican Party. And if he loses the election, in 2020, how am I going to defend myself saying, 'well, everything that Donald Trump stands for is going to be the platform of the Republican Party?' 

He just came out with his comment about NATO, how he's going to abandon his NATO alliances and the only way that he would support them is if they paid us in cash. What type of foreign policy is that? 

Claire: I'm very surprised by that because I think your position that it's symbolic to be a Republican voting in California dictates that you should take your vote even more seriously. Often in California, Republicans feel disenfranchised by the Democrat large majority, and so, in this instance, you are choosing to self-select and disenfranchise yourself, and I'm surprised that some who's as passionate about politics and passionate about what the Republican Party means to you would let that happen. I don't think that any voter, regardless of party, should be discouraged from participating in elections just based on the fact that their candidate might not win in their region. 

Press the blue play button above to hear more from the conversation. 

Click the audio link below that to hear the full, uncut recording.