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Trump Urges African-American Voters to 'Try Something New'

  • VOA News

People cheer as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks on a stage during a campaign event in Dimondale, Mich., Aug. 19, 2016.

People cheer as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks on a stage during a campaign event in Dimondale, Mich., Aug. 19, 2016.

Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump tried to woo African-American voters away from Hillary Clinton Friday, saying Democrats like Clinton take the African-American vote for granted.

At a speech in Dimondale, Michigan, Trump used the city of Detroit – about 150 kilometers east of Dimondale – as an example of how Democrats have neglected urban areas.

"Look at how much African-American communities have suffered under Democratic control," Trump said. He claimed that 40 percent of Detroiters live in poverty and half of the city is unemployed. He said the only way things will change is a change in leadership.

"To those hurting, I say: What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump?" he asked. "You're living in poverty, your schools are no good. You have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed, what the hell do you have to lose?"

Trump placed much of the blame for economic woes on free trade deals, a common theme in his campaign speeches.

FILE - Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort walks around the convention floor before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

FILE - Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort walks around the convention floor before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

​He also accused Clinton of wanting to give jobs to refugees rather than black youths, who Trump said "have become refugees in their own country."

Criticizes comment

Clinton responded by retweeting an excerpt from Trump’s speech with the comment, "This is so ignorant it’s staggering."

Polls suggest Trump has a lot of ground to make up with black voters, as his support in that demographic often hovers in the single digits. But Trump promised Friday that if he’s elected, by the end of his first term, "I guarantee you I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote."

Earlier Friday, Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, resigned, the campaign said in a statement.

Manafort's role was diminished this week when Trump hired a new campaign chief executive officer and campaign manager to try to help the nominee reverse falling poll numbers that have deeply worried Republican party leaders.

Manafort also has been the subject of extensive news coverage over his work for pro-Russia former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich that allegedly involved overseeing millions of dollars in secret payments. Manafort denied that he received any off-the-books cash payments.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, right, help to unload supplies for flood victims during a tour of the flood damaged area in Gonzales, Louisiana, Aug. 19, 2016.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, right, help to unload supplies for flood victims during a tour of the flood damaged area in Gonzales, Louisiana, Aug. 19, 2016.

The campaign said Manafort offered his resignation and Trump accepted it, thanking him for his help during the Republican convention and calling him a "true professional."

Trump in flood-hit Louisiana

Trump visited flooded parts of the U.S. Southern state of Louisiana earlier Friday. Trump and his running mate Mike Pence drove through flood-ravaged areas and met with disaster relief volunteers outside the state capital, Baton Rouge.

Video of their visit shows Trump helping unload supply packages from a truck.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, said he had not been informed of Trump's visit and hoped the candidate was not in town solely "for a photo-op."

Edwards said, "Instead, we hope he'll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation ...to help the victims of this storm."

Clinton said she had had spoken with Edwards, and urged her supporters in an e-mail to donate to relief efforts in Louisiana.

Unprecedented flooding has left at least 13 people dead and thousands displaced after record-breaking rains of more than 75 centimeters that began last week. An estimated 40,000 homes have been damaged.

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