Trump appeals to African-Americans, revamps campaign

The moves comes after opinion polls showed his rival Hillary leading the race.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:06 pm IST

Published - August 17, 2016 05:09 pm IST - WASHINGTON

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump during campaign rally in West Bend, Wisconsin on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump during campaign rally in West Bend, Wisconsin on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

In fresh moves to turn around his sagging political appeal, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump revamped his campaign team and reached out to African-American voters, as opinion polls show his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in clear lead.

“I am asking for the vote of every African-American citizen struggling in our country today who wants a different future,” Mr. Trump told a gathering in Wisconsin that was mostly white. The city of Milwaukee in the State has been gripped by riots and curfew after the police shot dead an African-American suspect on August 13.

With only 82 days to go before the November polls, Mr. Trump appears to have hit upon a strategy to turn the tables on Ms. Clinton by accusing her of what he is accused of — neglect of African-Americans, bad temperament and sexism. His speeches this week blamed Ms. Clinton for failing the black community, questioned her judgment on global issues, and accused her of accepting money for the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments that discriminate against women and homosexuals.

The fresh moves and the new line of attack from the Republican candidate come against the backdrop of reports about his campaign manager Paul Manafort’s financial links to pro-Russia political groups in Ukraine. A report by the Associated Press said Mr. Manafort had helped an Ukrainian political party to hire lobbyists in the U.S. capital without the mandatory disclosure, which is an offence under U.S. law. The Trump campaign appointed a new chief executive officer and campaign manager on Wednesday, but Mr. Manafort remains as chairman. Recent reports have suggested strains in Mr. Trump’s relations with the campaign chairman who was appointed only in May.

Stephen Bannon, who heads the pro-Trump website Breitbart is the new chief executive, and pollster Kellyanne Conway is the new campaign manager. Ms. Conway is working with the campaign already. She said along with the new appointees, Mr. Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates will make the four-member core team that will steer the campaign now.

Mr. Trump’s critics believe his campaign appeals to white uneducated male constituency only, and this appeal to the African-Americans who are considered solid supporters of the Democratic Party is an effort to break new ground. He accused Ms. Clinton of taking African-American community for granted and linked his criticism of trade pacts and America’s global wars to the poverty faced by the blacks in America. "We opened our markets, they've taken our jobs... and African-American neighbourhoods, along with many other neighbourhoods, have suffered greatly." Accusing Ms. Clinton of vilifying the police, Mr. Trump said African-American neighbourhoods needed more policing and not less. “Our job is to make life more comfortable for the African-American parent who wants their kids to be able to safely — safely — walk the streets and walk to school,” he said.

The Republican candidate also questioned his opponents stamina and judgment for the second consecutive day. In his speech on radical Islam on Monday, Mr. Trump said: “Hillary Clinton lacks the judgement, the temperament and the moral character to lead this nation. Importantly, she also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS, and all the many adversaries we face.”

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