Donald Trump thinks he can win reelection by picking off black voter support, because I guess he believes black voters like myself are so colossally stupid that "Send her back" is okay because it deals with those blacks and not "the good ones" or something.
Which is the point. Donald Trump thinks we should be grateful to him. The implied "I could make it a lot worse for you" remains, well, implied.
Critics may find the timing of the outreach outrageous. But the campaign hopes that if it can shave just a few points off Democrats’ overwhelming support among blacks, it can boost voter turnout in eight or so key states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — each of which Trump won by less than one percentage point.
The campaign’s pitch to African Americans is simple: Ignore the president’s words and instead focus on his policies, like the state of the economy and the low unemployment rate, the passage of criminal justice reform or the creation of Opportunity Zones, which are meant to bolster investment in underserved or poorer cities.
When Trump took office in January 2017, the unemployment rate among blacks was 7.7 percent. Friday’s jobs report pegged it at 6 percent for July.
“Do I think some of his verbal formulations are in artful? Yeah,” said Ken Blackwell, the former mayor of Cincinnati, former Ohio Secretary of State and a top Trump transition official. “But for me, as a domestic policy adviser during the Trump transition, it has been all about the agenda, a set of results and tomorrow. You have to believe his policy agenda flies in the face of the false narrative of the racist-in-charge.”
But for others, the Trump rhetoric cannot be divorced from his record, and critics argue he must take responsibility for that as president. A recent Quinnipiac University National Poll, released on July 30, showed that 80 percent of African American voters surveyed considered Trump racist.
“The idea is that, because of his agenda, his comments on Charlottesville, Baltimore or shithole countries do not matter,” said Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and the first African American to serve in that role. “Or that you can say the most racist things in the world, but hey, I got a tax cut. Or you can disparage my homeland, but the unemployment rate is going down.”
“I certainly think we should expect more from our political leaders,” Steele said. “I would think they would expect more from us.”
Trump has regularly defended himself by saying “I am the least racist person there is anywhere in the world.” He told reporters recently that scores of African Americans have been calling the White House to thank him for his work. “What I’ve done for African Americans, no president, I would say, has done,” Trump said this week from the White House lawn, as he left Washington for an event in Jamestown, Va., that all of the state’s black lawmakers boycotted.
Republicans have struggled for decades to make inroads with African American voters. Trump earned just 8 percent of the black vote in 2016, while Democrat Hillary Clinton won 89 percent. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney performed even worse in 2012, earning just 6 percent of the African American vote against President Barack Obama.
President George W. Bush did the best in recent years. He earned 11 percent of the African American vote in 2004, up from 8 percent in 2000, by appealing to conservative, religious voters.
Granted, going from 8 to 11% of black voters in a state like Georgia or NC or Michigan might be the couple thousand votes he needs to win, true. But I think it's going to be a lot more likely that he goes from 8% to zero.