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Trump speaks at ‘Black Voices for Trump’ launch


In his pursuit to broaden his base ahead of 2020, President Donald Trump on Friday launched a “Black Voices for Trump” coalition — an effort to coalesce what is usually a dedicated Democratic-leaning voting bloc around his re-election campaign.

“With your help, we’re going to travel all across the country to every community, urban, rural, suburban, and we’re going to campaign for every last African-American vote in 2020,” Trump told the predominantly black audience.

“We’ve done more for African Americans in three years than the broken Washington establishment has done in more than 30 years,” Trump continued. “We’ve created 6.7 million new jobs since the election…Last month, the African American unemployment rate reached the lowest level ever recorded in the history of our country.”

The effort follows the launch of four other coalitions earlier this year: “Latinos for Trump,” “Women for Trump,” “Workers for Trump” and newly-created “Veterans for Trump.”

Trump’s outreach to the African American community comes as Trump tries to make inroads with this key demographic by shifting the focus to what campaign officials say are the positive aspects of his record, such as the First Step Act, portrayed as a significant stride in criminal justice reform signed into law late last year, low unemployment rates, which have remained below 4% overall and below 6% for African Americans in recent months, according to an October survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and investments in historically black colleges (Trump recently stopped at the HBCU Benedict College to deliver a speech for a criminal justice forum).

Throughout his 2016 campaign, Trump sought to get the black vote behind his candidacy with the line: “What do you have to lose by trying something new?”

President launches ‘Black Voices for Trump’ campaign in Atlanta

Donald Trump launched his “Black Voices for Trump” campaign to win votes for his re-election on Friday in Atlanta, addressing a few hundred supporters in the city considered the cradle of the US civil rights movement.

Atlanta is also the home of the civil rights era activist and Democratic congressman John Lewis, whom Trump once dismissed as “all talk”.

“The Republican party was the original home for African Americans,” Trump told the small gathering. “And now you’re returning.”

Donning “Blacks for Trump” shirts, some wearing giant red Make America Great Again hats, and holding signs telling people to text “Woke” to a certain number to get more information about the campaign, the crowd booed when the president referred to the Democratic party.

ATLANTA — President Trump took credit for improving African-Americans’ lives with more jobs and safer communities and called on them to abandon their traditional support for Democratic candidates at the launch of his initiative to win black voters here Friday.

About 375 black supporters, some who flew in from around the country, cheered and chanted “four more years” at the “Black Voices for Trump” event in downtown Atlanta. Many wore “Blacks for Trump” T-shirts and some wore hats with the logo “Black Lives MAGA.”

The president told the crowd that African-Americans had historically low unemployment thanks to tax cuts, reduced federal regulations, tax breaks to spur investment in urban areas and renegotiated trade agreements.

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Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Herman Cain, a Georgia businessman who ran for president in 2012, took the stage before Mr. Trump.

Turning out the black vote is a focus for both major parties for 2020. Black turnout was about 60% nationwide in 2016, down from a record high of almost 67% in 2012, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

Mr. Trump’s effort faces challenges. Black voters overwhelmingly vote Democratic and have done so for decades. Many in the African-American community feel the president has been insensitive to their concerns, said Andra Gillespie, an Emory University political-science professor.

His push to win over black voters “is going to be very, very difficult to do,” Prof. Gillespie said. “He wants to talk about low African-American unemployment, but he forgets that is more than offset by the racially charged rhetoric. At the end of the day, African-Americans are going to almost unanimously vote against Donald Trump. ”

The nation − and may be even the world − is watching as President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence descend on Atlanta for a high-dollar fundraiser and effort to court black Republicans Friday.

Trump is slated to collect about $3.5 million in Atlanta via Georgia Trump Victory, a collective effort between the RNC, Trump campaign and U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s campaign. More than 300 were expected to attend the fundraiser, and some of the attendees represent the president’s initiative to attract more African American supporters, Black Voices for Trump

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President Donald Trump delivers the opening remarks at the launch party for the “Black Voices for Trump” coalition at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The coalition is designed to activate and engage black Republican voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump is expected to address his administration’s accomplishments for African Americans during his tenure, including record low unemployment and passage of the First Step Act to address criminal justice reform.

Trump faces an uphill battle if he hopes to connect with black voters ahead of the 2020 election. Republicans historically have struggled to connect with black voters since the Civil Rights era.

In 2016, Trump managed to garner 8% of the black vote, higher than Mitt Romney’s 6% in the 2012 presidential election.

According to a Pew Research Center poll in 2018, 84% of African Americans identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with the 8% that identify more with Republicans. Of those, only 3% are registered Republican voters.

Vice President Mike Pence and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson are also slated to address the audience.

From the looks of social media, Trump’s initiative and the fundraiser had done just that. Some took to Twitter to express their fervor for the president’s 2020 campaign and explain why they support the president. Jermaine Enoch, a business man from Powder Springs, plans to vote for Trump, because of his track record of getting results.

“ I’m a Trump supporter, because Trump is a business man and he gets results,” Enoch said via a video posted on Twitter by Georgia Republicans. “I’ve believed in him from the first time I worked for him during the first campaign…I love him.”

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