GREER, S.C. - As she's working the counter at a hole-in-the-wall hot dog stand named Rosie's in upstate South Carolina, Tracy Hooker isn't interested in debating the merits of Donald Trump's proposal to temporarily block Muslims from coming into the United States.
She knows some people think it's bigoted. That others argue it's impractical, legally dubious or both. And that every other Republican running for president has, in some way or another, rejected the idea the plan is even worth talking about.
That's why she says Trump is "my guy."
He's the only one who gets it.
"Think about it. You don't know what you've got here. You've got no clue," she said of the Muslim tourists, immigrants, and refugees Trump wants to temporarily bar from coming to the U.S.
"You don't know if they like us. You don't know if they hate us," said Hooker, 47, of Greer. "You don't know why they're here."
To Hooker and the dozens of Trump supporters interviewed in the past week by the Associated Press in the first-to-vote states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, the near universal condemnation of the billionaire's plan is simply baffling.
In the wake of the attacks in Paris and shootings in San Bernardino, they say only Trump is taking on what they believe is a clear and present danger to America and its citizens.
"When you're in war, you have to take steps that are not American to protect yourself and defend the country," said Margaret Shontz, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, as she arrived at a Trump campaign stop in Des Moines on Friday.
Iowa's Dale Witmer, 90, a registered Republican and World War II veteran who likes Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, embraced the Muslim ban as a "great idea." He said he was taken aback by the backlash: "I don't know how to comprehend that."
Dan Edwards, a 53-year-old retired banker from Van Meter, Iowa, who brought his family to Trump's town hall in Des Moines on Friday, said Trump's words were taken out of context.
"I think it's been made into something it wasn't meant to be. I think basically what he's doing is saying, 'OK, wait a minute. Refugees, we need to make sure we know what we're looking for and to make sure everything is in place,' " Edwards said.
Trump made the proposal a week ago, calling for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on."