Trump courts black voters in Charlotte stop; rallies in Kinston
Posted October 26, 2016
Charlotte, N.C. — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made his most direct appeal to date to black voters during a Wednesday afternoon stop in Charlotte.
Speaking to a gathering of "influential African-Americans" in the McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square, a subdued Trump outlined how his policies would be better for blacks and inner cities than those of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
"Every African-American citizen deserves a government that puts your jobs, wages and security first," he said. "It is my highest and greatest hope that the Republican Party can be the home in the future and forevermore of African-Americans and the African-American vote."
Trump hit on many of his usual talking points – bringing jobs back to the U.S., renegotiating trade deals and building a wall along the Mexico border to halt illegal immigration – but he spun them to demonstrate how they would benefit blacks.
"Illegal immigration violates the civil rights of African-Americans," he said. "No group has been more economically harmed by decades of illegal immigration than low-income African-American workers."
The North American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed into law by Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, has "decimated the African-American community and the African-American middle class," Trump said.
"We won't let your jobs be stolen from you anymore," he told the cheering audience.
He also laid out a series of proposals to rebuild American cities, from offering companies incentives to locate operations in "blighted areas" to allowing cities and states to declare neighborhoods as disaster areas, which would clear the way for razing abandoned buildings, upgrading infrastructure and increasing law enforcement for protection.
"Some inner cities are less safe than war zones," he said. "I want every African-American child to be able to walk down the street and not be scared and not get shot."
Trump also pushed for more school choice, which he called "the civil rights issue of our time," and said he would support religious liberty, including at black churches.
"I will never, ever take the African-American community for granted," he said. "Unlike Hillary, who does nothing for the Hispanics or the African-American communities."
Trump: 'Lets get the Clintons out of our lives'
During his second stop of the day in the state, Trump touched on recent events, including the announcement that customers will experience a double-digit premium increase under the Affordable Care Act next year, and defended his decision to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., earlier in the day, saying he wanted to be with his children, who worked hard on the project, and congratulate them on a job well done.
As part of a nearly hour-long speech in Kinston, Trump continued to promise that he would repeal and replace "Obamacare" just days after the Obama administration announced the premium hike. He said the policy "was no good the day it was conceived" and noted that many people, including most in North Carolina, will have only one insurance carrier to chose from during the upcoming open enrollment period.
Trump asserted that problems would only worsen under Clinton.
"Obamacare will destroy the economy and health care of North Carolina if we don't stop it immediately," he said. "Repealing Obamacare and stopping the Hillary takeover is one of the most important reasons we must win in November."
Trump referred to Clinton as a "low-energy person" during the speech and said recent revelations from WikiLeaks prove the former secretary of state has "terrible instincts."
"To all Americans, I say it is time for new leadership. Let's get the Clintons out of our lives," he said.
Clinton is expected back in North Carolina on Thursday to campaign with help from first lady Michelle Obama at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem.