Trump In Detroit To Woo Wary Black Vote


Trump in Detroit to woo wary black vote

DETROIT, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News -3rd Sep,2016) - Lagging in the polls with less than 10 weeks until election day, Donald Trump takes his presidential campaign to Detroit Saturday for a charm offensive targeting African-American voters, who have flocked to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Aware he faces an uphill battle to succeed President Barack Obama in 2017, the Republican White House contender has made pointed appeals to black voters in recent weeks. In doing so, Trump is acknowledging a community he has all but overlooked until now -- but which makes up 12 percent of the US electorate.

His pitch? "What do you have to lose?" Democrats have claimed to speak in your name for decades, he argues, but look at the numbers: you are hardest hit by poverty and unemployment, you live in neighborhoods plagued by violence, and you are stymied by failing schools.

"They don't care about you. They just like you once every four years -- get your vote and then they say: 'Bye, bye!'" he told African-Americans -- albeit while addressing an overwhelmingly white rally in Ohio recently.

To bolster his case, Trump points at the Democratic stance on immigration, claiming his rival would rather give jobs to new refugees than unemployed black youth. The African-American electorate traditionally leans heavily Democratic.

In 2012, about 93 percent of black voters backed Obama -- an overwhelming enthusiasm that Clinton appears to have kept alive, taking 90 percent of the black vote in her Primary contest against Bernie Sanders.

Detroit has the highest percentage of black residents -- more than 80 percent -- of any large American city. Many neighborhoods have been hollowed out by decades of "white flight," in which Caucasian families left downtown and midtown for more affluent suburbs.

What exactly Trump, 70, plans to do in Detroit remains unclear. After recording a televised interview he is supposed to attend a worship service at a black church in the Motor City, briefly addressing the "Great Faith Ministries International" congregation before meeting residents of a black neighborhood.

As often with Trump, much will hinge on whether the business magnate sticks to the carefully prepared script, or chooses to improvise -- raising the likelihood of a controversial outburst. Some civic and religious leaders have announced plans to protest Trump's visit, including the Ecumenical Ministers Alliance which will lead a Saturday march to the church hosting Trump.

- Racist backers - ================== Excerpts from an eight-page working document published Thursday by The New York Times give a taste of the scripted interview questions to be asked by the church's pastor, Bishop Wayne T.

Jackson, and the answers drafted by Trump's advisers. Trump's scripted responses seek to strike a presidential tone, pledging to approach the office "with the utmost wisdom" and to "serve all Americans without regard to race, ethnicity or any other qualification." Asked about the document, the pastor confirmed he had submitted questions in advance, but said they were liable to change -- and strongly denied he was working hand in hand with Team Trump.

"He has made statements and his statements are that I want to make the black community better," Jackson told CNN. "So we want to know the answers. We want to know how you are going to do that." "There's a lot of perception out there that there's a lot of racist people that are following his campaign," he added.

"These are questions that we're going to ask. And then when it's all said and done, then let the people decide." Democrats regularly remind voters that Trump's backers include former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke -- although the candidate has publicly rejected the extreme-right endorsement.

They also point out that Trump spearheaded the dubious "birther" movement which sought -- with backing from the Republican Party's right wing -- to cast doubt on the nationality of America's first black president.