Donald Trump said Thursday in Manchester, N.H, that the Democratic leadership has “betrayed” black and Latino Americans over the past decades, portraying rival Hillary Clinton as the candidate who will bring down communities of color while he can lift them up.
The Republican presidential candidate said his opponents have wrongly smeared him and his supporters as racists, telling them, “Shame on you.”
He added that he believes the Democrats have violated civil rights by hurting the job prospects of minorities.
“This is the year that the people who have been betrayed by Democratic policies — including millions and millions of African-American and Hispanic-American citizens — reject the politicians who have failed them over and over and over again,” Trump said. “ . . . Their policies have produced only more poverty, total joblessness, and failing schools.”
At rallies over the past week, Trump has ramped up his outreach to minority voters — traditionally a stronghold of support for Democrats — by arguing that those living in crime-wrought inner cities have nothing to lose by voting for him. In Mississippi on Wednesday, Trump he went so far as to label Clinton “a bigot,” according to the Associated Press
Polls show Trump’s black voter support is in the single digits.
Clinton’s campaign posted a series of tweets Thursday referencing Trump’s race- and religion-based controversies, including the Manhattan real estate magnate’s questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace and legal action filed against him for allegedly refusing to rent to black and Latino tenants.
“Longtime Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke supports Donald Trump because they share so many of the same values,” one Clinton campaign tweet read.
Trump indicated he sees Clinton as the discriminatory one.
He said she supports “open borders that violate the civil rights of African-Americans by giving their jobs to people here unlawfully” and “policies on crime that make communities less safe.”
He described a reality for black and Latino Americans as dismal and dangerous — a characterization that Democratic officials backing Clinton have said is an insulting stereotype intended to rally white supremacist supporters in his base.
“What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump asked in an appeal he has used frequently with minorities in recent days. “It can’t get any worse than what it is right now.”
Earlier in the day, the White House hopeful hosted black and Latino Republicans, including former GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, at Trump Tower for a roundtable discussion on engaging young people of color in the campaign.
The billionaire businessman was asked about discriminatory lending practices.
“The African-American population has absolutely been treated terribly by the banks,” he said. “If you’re African-American, it’s very, very hard to get a loan. And I want to look into it.”
Trump, who says he wants to build a wall between Mexico and the southern border of the United States, added that he will deliver a speech on illegal immigration in the “next week or so.”
Outside Trump Tower, a handful of demonstrators gathered to protest Trump’s policy proposals as xenophobic.
“Tell Trump: Latinos are not ‘rapists and criminals,’” one sign read — a nod to the candidate’s characterization of Mexican immigrants in his June 2015 campaign launch speech.
The activists held a banner that read “Trump=Always Racist.”