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World & Nation

Trump courts Latinos, says African Americans will support him in future

Donald Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Fredericksburg, Va. on Aug. 20. 
(Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

He has said that Democrats take black voters for granted and have ignored their needs while governing cities with large African American populations.

“America must reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, who sees communities of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future,” Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, said of his Democratic opponent at a rally in Michigan on Friday. 

After waging a yearlong campaign marked by divisive and racially coded rhetoric, the Republican nominee reached out to African Americans several times last week.

He insisted at rallies in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Michigan that he would  do a better job than Clinton at creating jobs and improving schools for black families.

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In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney won 6% of the black vote, according to exit poll data. Trump is seeing single-digit support among African Americans in most polls. In some states the billionaire businessman is polling at 0%.

Clinton’s campaign responded to Trump’s outreach by pointing out that he had been sued for housing discrimination and was a prime figure in questioning whether President Obama, the nation’s first black president, was born in the country.

“Donald Trump asks what the African American community has to lose by voting for him,” Marlon Marshall, Clinton’s director of state campaigns and political engagement, said in a statement. “The answer is everything from a man who questions the citizenship of the first African American president, courts white supremacists, and has been sued for housing discrimination against communities of color.”

Sill, Trump has insisted that African Americans would be so impressed with his work that, if he’s able to run for reelection in 2020, he would receive more than 95% of the black vote. 

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Trump made that prediction Friday night. On Saturday, he focused on Latino voters.

In a round-table discussion with his campaign’s Hispanic advisory council at Trump Tower in New York, the real estate mogul talked about creating jobs and his plans to limit immigration, according to attendees. 

Colorado state Rep. Clarice Navarro, a member of the council who attended the meeting, said Trump heard the group’s concerns. 

“It’s about jobs, jobs, jobs, and he really listened,” said  Navarro, a Republican. “I’ve always felt he does care about the Latino community and now it’s on us to get him elected.”

During the meeting Trump also suggested he was interested in figuring out a “humane and efficient” manner to deal with immigrants in the country illegally, according to BuzzFeed. 

Trump’s invective this election cycle — he denounced Mexican immigrants as including rapists and drug runners in his first campaign speech — hasn’t helped his standing with Latinos. 

A national Fox News poll of Latino voters this month showed Clinton holding a 46-point advantage over Trump.

Clinton wallops Trump 91% to 1% among African American voters, according to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll. 

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Trump also campaigned Saturday in Virginia, a swing state where polls show Clinton leading Trump by a sizable margin, partly because of the state’s large African American population.

President Obama won Virginia in 2008 and 2012, making him the first Democrat to win the state twice since Franklin Roosevelt in 1944.

In what amounted to measured remarks on Saturday, Trump, reading from a teleprompter for the fourth straight day, jabbed Clinton for, among other things, her use of a private email server while at the State Department.

Moreover, he continued his pitch to black voters, who in Virginia are helping Clinton maintain a sizable lead over Trump. 

“The GOP is the party of Lincoln, and I want our party to be the home of the African American vote once again,” he said.

kurtis.lee@latimes.com

seema.mehta@latimes.com

Twitter: @kurtisalee, @LATseema

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UPDATES:

9:40 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional quotes, details.

This article was originally posted at 3:30 a.m.


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