Will it solve Donald Trump’s African-American problem?
Trump with Black voters
Written By Nigel Roberts, Washington Post
With its presidential nominee struggling to win Black voters, the Republican National Committee announced new hires to draw African-Americans into its camp, the Washington Post reported.
“With these new additions to our Strategic Initiatives team, we are growing our long-term commitment to engaging with Black voters and being the party that promotes new models to solve old problems,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.
The new staff members are Ashley Bell, Shannon Reeves, and Elroy Sailor. Georgia State University senior Leah LeVell joins the team as a fellow. Her father, Bruce LeVell, is the chairman of the National Diversity Coalition for Donald Trump who has insisted Trump is not a racist.
This latest diversity effort (there have been others) comes as the GOP’s presidential candidate polls in the single digits with Black voters. A recent Washington Post and ABC News poll found that Trump is winning just 3 percent of the Black vote — with 91 percent of African-Americans having a “strongly unfavorable” view of him.
“One of the RNC’s key goals has been to take our message to the Black community and make the case why we are the only party capable of delivering prosperity, security, and freedom for every neighborhood in America,” said Reince Priebus.
The Post asked Bell about the party’s strategy to convince African-Americans to vote for Trump in November. Bell said the RNC’s new hires would assist Trump’s African-American engagement team.
Moreover, Bell stated to The Post that he’s not too concerned with the national poll. All Trump needs to do is win over a small percentage of Black voters in states —like Georgia — where he and Hillary Clinton are in a tight race.
Black Church in NC endorses Trump
Leaders and parishioners at Antioch Road to Glory International Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina welcomed Lara Trump, Trump’s daughter-in-law and wife to Eric Trump, as she pitched why the GOP nominee stands as the perfect candidate to appeal to African-American voters. Trump did not attend the event on August 7th.
“It is not easy to go against the grain,” Lara Trump said during her speech. Trump spoke to her father-in-law’s moral character and business savvy, saying that those credentials alone would suffice for the role of president.
Other speakers included former Apprentice star and Trump’s director of African-American Outreach Omarosa Manigualt, Katrina Pierson,Trump’s National Spokesperson, Lynne Patton, VP of the Eric Trump Foundation, Pastor Mark Burns, and supporters Diamond and Silk.
But Trump appeals minimally to African-Americans. Recent polling shows support at one to two percent. The website FiveThirtyEight released a study that shows Trump polls in fourth place among all other presidential candidates.
According to The News & Observer, other speakers at the event tried ramping up support by laying out the Republican Party’s historic relationship with African-Americans. Though in the last 100 years, the GOP has struggled to find footing with Blacks and Latinos.
Thomas Rodgers, Antioch’s pastor, said that it was imperative for Blacks to support Trump and echoed comments he made in a recent CNN interview in which he said Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was not fit to lead the country, calling her “dangerous.”
Katrina Rodgers, his daughter, also spoke to Trump’s leadership, echoing that his economic prowess made him the best choice for president. Rodgers said the Democratic Party made Blacks reliant on government handouts.
In the same CNN interview as her father, Rodgers claimed Clinton’s support of the three strike 1994 crime bill that disproportionately affects African-Americans made her unfit to be president and said it was time to break away from policies that support more of the same and it’s time to “do something new.”