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Trump's pitch to black voters: 'What the hell do you have to lose?'

Speaking in a Michigan city where the population is 93 percent white, the Republican nominee doubled down on his controversial pitch to African-American voters.

by Tess Owen
Aug 20 2016, 4:40pm

Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Despite facing criticism earlier this week for the way he attempted to appeal to black voters, Donald Trump doubled down on his approach during a rally in Michigan on Friday night.

"Look at how much African-American communities are suffering from Democratic control," Trump said. "To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose? You live in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?"


During a rally on Thursday in Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump told black voters that they should vote for him because "the inner cities are so bad." He repeated that logic again on Friday.

"Detroit tops the list of most dangerous cities in terms of violent crime, number one," Trump told his audience on Friday. As the Washington Post pointed out, he was speaking from Diamondale, Michigan — a suburb of Lansing that is 90 minutes away from Detroit with a population that is 93 percent white. "This is the legacy of the Democratic politicians who have run this city. This is the result of the policy agenda embraced by crooked Hillary Clinton."

Related: Steve Bannon, Trump's new campaign chief, is a right-wing Rottweiler

According to the Pew Research Center, 82 percent of black voters see treatment of minorities as a key issue in this election, compared to 56 percent of whites who feel the same. Although the majority of the African-American vote has traditionally gone to the Democrats, Trump has been polling particularly unfavorably with black voters. Four in five black voters reportedly have an unfavorable view of the Republican nominee — and 83 percent agree that he is biased against minorities and women.

His comments this week drew criticism from several black leaders, including Deray Mckesson, a prominent voice in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Follow Tess Owen on Twitter: @misstessowen

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