- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 20, 2016

Donald Trump drew new criticism from opponents this weekend over comments he said during a campaign stop outside Detroit on Friday where he asked for the support of black voters.

“Look at how much African-American communities are suffering from Democratic control. To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump?” the Republican nominee for president asked during an afternoon rally in Dimondale, Michigan.

“You’re living in your 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?” Mr. Trump asked.

Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton responded to her opponent within minutes, tweeting: “This is so ignorant it’s staggering.”

“I’d love to chat with Trump about how black people are all ‘living in poverty’ but I can’t decide which of my houses we should meet at,” comedian George Wallace said in tweet Friday that has since been shared more than 5,000 times.

Donald Trump asks what the African-American community has to lose by voting for him,” Clinton campaign staffer Marlon Marshall said in a statement. “The answer is everything from a man who questions the citizenship of the first African-American President, courts white supremacists, and has been sued for housing discrimination against communities of color.”

Advisers to the Republican candidate have in recent days urged the businessman to broaden his campaign amid his continuously poor polling with respect to black voters; the result of an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey published last week finding Mr. Trump has just 1 percent of the black vote, with a three percent point margin of error.

“We have to make an effort,” Omarosa Manigault, Mr. Trump’s director of African-American outreach, told The New York Times this week. “It’s unacceptable to say, ‘Oh, it’s just too late, we are not going to try to do anything.’”

During Friday’s address in Dimondale — a predominately white city about 90 miles west of Detroit — Mr. Trump predicted that he’ll have no problem gaining the support of black voters.

“At the end of four years, I guarantee you that I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote. I promise you,” Mr. Trump said, which he planned to achieve by bringing change to cities whose problems he blamed on Mrs. Clinton.

“Detroit tops the list of most dangerous cities in terms of violent crime, number one,” he said. “This is the legacy of the Democratic politicians who have run this city. This is the result of the policy agenda embraced by crooked Hillary Clinton.”

Jack Kingston, a senior advisor to Mr. Trump, defended the candidate’s appearance in Dimondale during an interview Friday on CNN where he was asked why the White House hopeful made his most recent appeal to black voters in a city that’s 93 percent white.

“I mean, maybe it would have been nice if he went and had a backdrop with a burning car,” Mr. Kingston, a former Republican congressman from Georgia, said.

“I’m not talking about a burning car,” responded CNN’s Brianna Keilar. “I’m talking about meeting with black voters.” 

Mr. Trump met with members of his newly created Hispanic advisory board Saturday in New York prior to a campaign stop in Virginia.

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