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Following 'Stand back and stand by' comment, Georgia Trump supporters stay by his side

During Tuesday night's debate against former Vice President Joe Biden, President Donald Trump sidestepped a question on whether he would condemn white supremacists.

ATLANTA — Presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace asked President Donald Trump, "Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups?"

"Sure," Trump responded.

But instead of condemning any particular group, Trump then pushed back on the question. 

"I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing. I'm willing to do anything, I want to see peace," the president commented.

When Wallace followed up on whether the president would condemn white supremacist groups and right-wing militias, and the far-right group the Proud Boys, Trump sidestepped the issue.

"Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what --somebody has got to do something about Antifa and the left."

Samerra Dean of Sandy Springs is a Trump supporter. She talked with 11Alive at Vice President Mike Pence's stop in Cobb County Wednesday. 

RELATED: Trump's base calls his debate performance 'passionate' at Pence appearance

Dean, who is a Black woman, said focusing on Trump's comments on white supremacists and related groups is an old story and a left-wing attack.

"I have a list of videos that I've seen of him where he is speaking against white supremacy and the KKK," Dean said. "So I think last night, we cannot just focus on one interview. We have to follow a person."

During a speech in 2017, Trump said, "Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups."

The president made that comment from the White House following violent attacks in Charlottesville where one woman was killed. 

His speech from the White House though, came after he first received strong criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for initially saying there were "very fine people" on both sides during the violence in Charlottesville. 

RELATED: What prominent Georgia figures are saying about Trump's 'stand back and stand by' comment

On the 11Alive Facebook page, a mixed reaction following Trump's remarks on Tuesday during the debate. 

Brandy Chapa Tesar wrote, "Why would he condemn it. That's his base."

Cindi Campos said she heard condemnation, commenting, "I heard him immediately say 'sure,' but he was being talked over. He should have repeated himself, don't know why he didn't."

Jack Dripper wrote, "He said: Stand back and stand by...you can't denounce somebody and tell them to stand by in the same sentence."

Falling in line with Dean's view, Merry Harris wrote on Facebook, "He had already condemned them. Good Grief."

"I think that is an old story and I think going there just shows just some degree of desperation and to just trump, forgive the pun, trump up things for him," said Milt Thomas of Decatur. 

Thomas plans to vote for Trump and is Black. He said the comments on white supremacy during the debate didn't change his mind and he doubts they changed the minds of other voters.

"People who support Trump, they don't believe it and they also understand why it has been spun up and the people that don't like it are going to use it to validate where they stand," Thomas said. 

Atlanta City Councilmember Andre Dickens tweeted Wednesday morning, "Trump did not condemn the racists.  He told the racists standby." 

Several hours later, while retweeting Biden, Dickens added, "Joe (Biden) said plainly this is about equity and equality.  Trump couldn’t disavow white supremacy.  A vote for Trump means you agree with him and are a racist supporter."

Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., also took to Twitter, writing, "Denouncing white supremacy matters."

Emory University associate professor and political scientist Bernard Fraga, who focuses on voter turnout - especially in minority communities, said he doesn't see President Trump's comments flipping votes in November.

"I think voters for the most part, especially in the African American community already know if they're going to support Biden or Trump, but the decision is coming down to whether they're going to show up to vote or not," Fraga said. 

He added the Biden campaign will need to make a focused effort for the comments to make an impact on the election.

"It is really going to be up to the Biden campaign to link Donald Trump's rhetoric and what we heard last night to his failed policies for African-Americans and then stimulating turnout and then support for Biden as a result," Fraga said.