Trump courts Black voters in Michigan church event

Trump courts Black voters in Michigan church event

/ 11:04 AM June 16, 2024

Trump courts Black voters in Michigan church event

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the “Turning Point: The People’s Convention” on June 15, 2024, at Huntington Place Convention Center in Detroit, Michigan. Agence France-Presse

DETROIT — Donald Trump met with Black voters Saturday as he courted a community that largely supported his rival Joe Biden four years ago but has seen  notable numbers of African Americans shift allegiance ahead of November’s presidential rematch.

But the Republican former president also attended another campaign event later in the day with a more right-leaning audience, a gathering of the controversial conservative group Turning Point Action.


Trump used his first appearance, at the 180 Church in Detroit, the largest city in the critical battleground state of Michigan, to suggest he may name a Black lawmaker, Byron Donalds, as his running mate — a strategy aimed at peeling minority support away from Biden in a tight race.


READ: Trump wins Michigan, Missouri, Idaho caucuses in dominant show of force

“Would you like to be VP?” he asked Donalds after acknowledging the 45-year-old congressman from Florida was on his vice presidential shortlist.

“I think he would,” the 78-year-old Trump said, turning to the cheering crowd of several hundred. “I tell you one thing, he’d be a good one. too.”

Trump’s roundtable with Black civic, religious and business leaders in Detroit came as his campaign announced a “Black Americans for Trump” coalition and suggested the Black community’s “landmark” gains under the Republican’s administration have retreated during the Biden presidency.

READ: Trump calls migrants ‘animals,’ intensifying focus on illegal immigration

Trump delivered the same message at the roundtable.


“We’ve done more for… the Black population than any president since Abraham Lincoln,” he said, citing what he called millions of people lifted out of poverty, an increase in Black home ownership, and passage of criminal justice reform during his four-year presidency.

“And crooked Joe Biden has done nothing for you except talk.”

The White House has been touting Biden’s accomplishments for Hispanic and Black communities on home ownership and economic opportunity, lowering child poverty, and expanding voting rights and health care.

Polling shows Trump has been making inroads with those groups, particularly younger voters increasingly disengaged from politics, and those who blame Biden over a surge in migrant crossings at the southern border.

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A May Ipsos Survey of Black Americans found that while Biden maintains a comfortable edge over Trump, his favorability is down seven points since 2022, while those certain to vote sank from 74 to 62 percent between elections.

TAGS: Donald Trump, US elections

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