- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 6, 2020

A tweet from a state legislator in Georgia — an African American and a Democrat — asked a stark question on Friday following breaking news that U.S. employment had improved by record-breaking numbers despite coronavirus-related lockdowns of businesses and consumers.

“Why has my party become so anti-Trump [that] they’ve become pro-nothing? Why are they so actively rooting for America’s failure? Our unemployment rate is on the decline. This is something to celebrate, not diminish. Thank you @realDonaldTrump,” wrote Vernon Jones, referring to President Trump’s Twitter handle.

It follows a previous tweet from the lawmaker which had an additional message.

“I’m a Georgia state representative and lifelong Democrat. But in this election, I’ll be casting my vote for @realDonaldTrump. I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Party left me,” Mr. Jones wrote in April.

On Friday, he was part of an hour-long discussion on emerging trends organized by Black Voices for Trump, a coalition within Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign. Mr. Jones was joined in the online video by Paris Dennard, an adviser to the coalition, and Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to the campaign.

“President Donald J. Trump has a solid record of accomplishments in the black community. His leadership and successful legislative agenda has done more to improve black lives and their communities than any other president since the Civil Rights and Voters Rights Act,” Mr. Jones said during the discussion, which can be viewed here.

He also weighed in on Mr. Trump’s presumptive nominee in the White House race.

“For 49 years, Joe Biden has been hiding in his basement, quarantined from blacks and the black agenda. Now he emerges with a mask on, wanting black votes. He hasn’t earned nor does he deserve the black vote,” Mr. Jones noted.

“President Trump has rapidly enacted criminal justice reform, increased funding for historically black colleges and universities, and delivered record economic growth for African Americans. Black voters are beginning to realize that the Democrat Party has never prioritized their interests, and I am confident that there will be historic African American support for President Trump in November,” Ms. Pierson said.

“For every black small business owner in America, help is coming — help is actually here,” Mr. Dennard said, noting that Mr. Trump’s policies had created an “inclusive” economy.

Other analysts are monitoring the complex developments.

Politico published a report on Friday titled “How young black voters could break Biden — and why Democrats are worried,” which cited surveys that suggested voting trends within the demographic remain fluid.

“Democrats have urged African Americans to channel their frustrations into voting. But for younger black voters, many of whom are protesting in dozens of American cities, that requires trust in a system that they believe has done little for them or their families. Joe Biden is struggling to connect with young voters, particularly those of color, according to public and private polling — a serious problem for the former vice president that started during the presidential primary,” wrote Elena Schneider and Laura Baron-Lopez, both political reporters for the news organization.

The voters appear undecided.

“They don’t want Trump to win, but the question is: Can you convince them that they want Biden to win? That difference — between not wanting Trump and wanting Biden — that’s the difference we’re seeking for turning out thousands of votes in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin,” Democratic pollster Josh Ulibarri told Politico.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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