With polls showing Donald Trump receiving hardly any support among black voters, the Republican presidential nominee made a new pitch to them: “What the hell do you have to lose?”
Speaking to a nearly all-white crowd at a rally in Dimondale, Michigan, on Friday, Trump promised America’s more than 35 million African Americans a better life if they voted for him.
“Look how much African American communities are suffering under Democratic control.
“To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump?” he said.
“You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs … What the hell do you have to lose?”
Marlon Marshall, a senior member of the Democratic nominee’s campaign, criticised Trump as “painting the entire African American community as living in poverty with no jobs”.
African Americans have overwhelmingly identified as Democrats since the 1950s.
Almost no support
Trump’s presidential bid has seen black voter support for the Republican party sink to new lows.
Polls taken since last month’s party conventions show him with only 1 or 2 percent support among blacks.
Many cannot forget Trump’s insistence during the 2012 election that President Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, was foreign-born and therefore unqualified for the White House.
Obama provided his birth certificate, showing he was born in Hawaii.
“No group in America has been more harmed by Hillary Clinton’s policies than African Americans,” Trump said on Friday.
“If Hillary Clinton’s goal was to inflict pain on the African American community, she could not have done a better job. It’s a disgrace.”
After the speech, Clinton took to Twitter and wrote: “This is so ignorant it is staggering.”
Trump promised in the speech that if elected in November, he will receive “over 95 per cent of the African American vote” when he runs for re-election in 2020.
Here are some responses to Trump’s attempt to gain support from black voters in run-up to November’s election:
I'd love to chat with Trump about how black people are all "living in poverty" but I can't decide which of my houses we should meet at.
— George Wallace (@MrGeorgeWallace) August 19, 2016
'What do you have to lose?' To vote Trump? Black folks? Any people of color? Anyone? Your damn mind. https://t.co/NGYTT5aLtx
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) August 20, 2016
Trump does know that most black people aren't in poverty… Right?
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) August 19, 2016
Trump's "Black outreach" so tone-deaf & condescending, his "Hispanic outreach", (eating a taco bowl), suddenly not that bad & stupid.
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) August 19, 2016
In pitching himself to African American voters, Trump doesn't even MENTION the innocent African American lives lost to police brutality
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) August 17, 2016