Posted on February 27, 2024

Trump Suggesting Black Voters Relate to His Indictments Prompts Swift Backlash

Lalee Ibssa et al., ABC, February 24, 2024

Donald Trump’s primary rival Nikki Haley was among those who quickly called out the former president’s statements on Friday in which he suggested he has strengthened his appeal to Black Americans because, he claimed, they relate to his indictments — remarks that were widely criticized.

“It’s disgusting. But that’s what happens when he goes off the teleprompter. That’s the chaos that comes with Donald Trump. That’s the offensiveness that’s going to happen every day between now and the general election, which is why I continue to say Donald Trump cannot win a general election,” Haley told ABC News’ Rachel Scott while campaigning on Saturday.


“Donald Trump claiming that Black Americans will support him because of his criminal charges is insulting. It’s moronic. And it’s just plain racist,” Cedric Richmond, a co-chair of Biden’s reelection campaign, said in a statement.


The Democratic National Committee went after Trump, too, with a spokesperson saying in a statement that he is “showing Black voters exactly what he thinks of them – and his ideas to win them over are as corny and racist as he is.”


Trump had sought to court Black conservatives at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in Columbia, South Carolina, the day before the state’s primary.

Among other remarks, he cited his various criminal charges. {snip}

“I got indicted a second time and a third time and a fourth time, and a lot of people said that that’s why the Black people like me because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against. And they actually viewed me as I’m being discriminated against. It’s been pretty amazing,” Trump said to applause.


Trump went on to assert that Black people are starting to turn to him because “what’s happening to me, happens to them,” centering his appeal to Black voters by equating his criminal prosecutions to the historic discrimination Black Americans have faced.


“My mug shot, we’ve all seen the mug shot. And you know who embraced it more than anybody else: the Black population. It’s incredible,” he said.

Trump was joined on the stage by some of his Black political allies, including Reps. Byron Donalds and Wesley Hunt and his former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson who engaged with him repeatedly as he made off-the-cuff remarks.

“These lights are so bright in my eyes that I can’t see too many people out there. But I can only see the Black ones. I can’t see any white ones. You see, that’s how far I’ve come. That’s how far I’ve come,” Trump said, quipping about a racial stereotype that Black people can’t be seen in the dark as the lawmakers laughed behind him.