Trump tries minority outreach, but many blacks unconvinced

Associated Press


Black Republicans cheer Donald Trump for a newfound outreach to African-Americans, but say the GOP presidential nominee must take his message beyond arenas filled with white supporters and venture into the inner cities.

Many rank-and-file black voters, meanwhile, dismiss the overtures as another racially charged pitch from a campaign aimed exclusively at whites, from Trump’s emphasis on “law and order” to his withering critiques of President Barack Obama, the nation’s first black chief executive. It was Trump in 2011 who fiercely challenged Obama’s U.S. birth.

“Any minority who would vote for him is crazy, ought to have their head examined,” said Ike Jenkins, an 81-year-old retired business owner in the predominantly black suburb of East Cleveland.

On Wednesday in Tampa, visiting a battleground state he can’t afford to lose, Trump promised Hispanics “a much better life” in a Florida speech that continued his recent effort to soften his tone and broaden his support 11 weeks before the presidential election.

And, in an interview, he suggested he would “work with” some of the immigrants in the U.S. illegally, stopping short of proposing a legal path to remaining in the country but suggesting a startling about-face from his previous hard-line mass deportation proposal.

Yet the Republican presidential candidate also repeated his promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to keep out immigrants, underscoring the tricky balancing act he faces in retaining backing from conservatives while beckoning to moderates for their votes.

Trump, who dominated presidential campaign coverage for the day, declared that Hillary Clinton “is a bigot” in his latest outreach to minority voters.

Clinton, meanwhile, was fundraising in California.

Her drive for the White House got a rhetorical boost when her defeated competitor for her party’s nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, told The Associated Press that he’ll campaign actively for Clinton this fall. Sanders, who turns 75 on Sept. 8, also said he’s leaning toward seeking re-election as an independent senator in 2018.

Former President Bill Clinton is defending the work of the Clinton Foundation.

An Associated Press report Tuesday found more than half of the nongovernment officials who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money to the foundation.