- The Washington Times - Monday, October 26, 2020

The late-in-the-game battle for the hearts and minds of Black voters picked up speed Monday after Jared Kushner said the Black community has come to find President Trump isn’t the boogeyman that Democrats and the mainstream media make him out to be.

During an appearance on Fox News, Mr. Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said Mr. Trump’s “policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about.”

“But he can’t want them to be successful more than that they want to be successful,” he said. “What you are seeing throughout the country now is a groundswell of support in the Black community because they are recognizing all the bad things that the Democrats and the media have said about President Trump are not true.”

The Democratic National Committee said Mr. Kushner’s argument underscores how out of touch “this failed administration” is with what drives Black voters.

“According to the Trump administration, when African Americans find fault in policies that have led to historic unemployment for Black families, an explosion of racial inequities and wealth gaps, and an uncontained global pandemic that has taken the lives of over 45,000 Black Americans, it means that we just don’t want to be successful badly enough,” DNC spokesman Brandon Gassaway said.

The comments come eight days out from the Nov. 3 election and highlight the unwillingness of both the Trump and Biden camps to cede an inch to the other side with any part of the electorate.

Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden’s chance of defeating Mr. Trump depends in large part on strong Black voter turnout in the major swing-state cities such as Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

Mr. Biden has benefited greatly from the eight years he spent as former President Barack Obama’s vice president and has gotten a boost from tapping Sen. Kamala D. Harris as his running mate.

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, is trying to chip away at that traditional pocket of Democratic support.

They’ve highlighted the lead role Mr. Biden as a senator played in passing the 1994 Crime Bill, which has been blamed for contributing to high rates of Black incarceration. They’ve touted Mr. Trump’s signing of the First Step Act in 2018, which was designed to reduce prison sentences of low-level drug offenders and expand support programs aimed at reducing high rates of recidivism.

Mr. Kushner said Monday that Black voters realize that “unlike most politicians who have been in Washington for decades who talk and say all the right things, President Trump may not always say the right things, but he does the right things.”

“People want results, they are tired of politicians who are promising things and not delivering,” he said.

Mr. Gassaway said Mr. Kushner is misguided.

“In the eyes of this White House, demanding accountability for the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and countless other Black men and women who have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement is just ‘complaining,’” he said. “This dismissive approach to the issues that Black voters care about is indicative of Trump’s callousness and disregard for the lives of Black people.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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