Trump's "Unprecedented" Outreach to Black Voters is Not Only Preceded, It's Surpassed

Trump supporters are hailing his outreach to the black community this week as new, different, exciting, unprecedented, and, well, just the greatest and most new thing a Republican has ever done. A “game changer“. You have to ask yourself why Republicans have never tried to reach the black community or black voters ever before.


Oh wait, they have. A bunch.

Last night in Charlotte, Trump’s appeal to black voters was “What do you have to lose?” Leon has the scoop here (along with the most perfect meme ever). Earlier this week in Milwaukee the pitch was the failure of Democrat policies.

The Democratic Party has failed and betrayed the African-American community,” he said. “Democratic crime policies, education policies, and economic policies have produced only more crime, more broken homes, and more poverty.

Groundbreaking and unprecedented say his supporters. But … not so much.

Smart, accurate, self-aware appeals have been made to black voters by Republicans, as Legal Insurrection noted this week.

First, they spot the same breathless reporting we did:

I’ve noticed many pundits on both left and right treating this as a very unusual thing for a Republican to do (see this, for example). And here’s how one commenter on my blog described it:

Trump makes the best speech of the campaign, and is the one of the first, if not the first, Republican to reach out to the black community in 50 years, a brilliant move both substantively and strategically.


Here’s an example from RedState’s comments section:

He’s not the first person to say this, but he is the first GOP Presidential candidate I can remember making such a bold appeal. Most of our guys approach the black community at least half apologizing for being Republicans and with an implicit concession that they’re intruding on Democrat turf. Trump came flat out and accused Hillary and the Democrats of wrecking the inner cities and African-American communities, not caring about African Americans except as a voting bloc, and even of being bigoted in their approach to such issues. He’s right, and it’s long overdue that someone on our side had the guts to say it.

Legal Insurrection finds that it’s not so hard to show how wrong this view is:

A very quick search reveals that both Mitt Romney and George Bush reached out in a similar way during campaigns, as did Rand Paul during the 2016 campaign (see this, this for excerpts, and this). I haven’t tried to research all the Republican presidents and candidates of the last 50 years, but just now I chose one and looked for “Gerald Ford speaks to black community.”


That was followed by an excerpt from Ford. But they missed one that Susan pointed out last night. Rick Perry spoke on the very topics Trump tried to touch on, only better and with a record to back up his words. Here’s the video:

Trump’s remarks were not unprecedented. They were not groundbreaking. They aren’t even a great example of such outreach. It has been said better and with more credibility before.

Liberal democrats love to say that Republicans make no effort to appeal to minority voters. It’s not true. But in service to Donald Trump, a great many outlets are happy to repeat the lie. Which is, as it turns out, a pretty standard and unprecedented feature of Trump’s entire campaign: trashing Republicans to win as a Republican nominee.



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