Fewer than three months before the November election, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has appeared to shift his focus this week, giving several speeches that included direct appeals to black voters.
During a campaign rally in Dimondale, Michigan, on Friday in which the real-estate mogul urged African-Americans to vote for him, Trump asked rhetorically, “What the hell do you have to lose?”
But critics noted that Trump chose to address black voters there in Dimondale — and at another rally in West Bend, Wisconsin, earlier in the week — in communities that are overwhelmingly white.
According to the US Census Bureau, West Bend is in a Wisconsin county that is roughly 95% white. Dimondale, in Michigan’s Eaton County, is 88% white.
When questioned about the disparity in a CNN interview, former US congressman and Trump senior adviser Jack Kingston suggested Trump should have had “a backdrop with a burning car” instead.
The billionaire’s latest outreach, in which he prefaced his plea for minority votes by reciting inaccurate statistics on unemployment, has been criticised as callous.
The Trump campaign has generally avoided reaching out to black citizens directly. The New York businessman’s campaign received three invitations to address the National Urban League, according to The New York Times. The campaign ignored the first two and declined the third.
Invitations from the National Association of Black Journalists and the NAACP were also declined.
Watch the video of Jack Kingston’s “burning car” remark below:
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