Former Detroit mayor endorses Trump as he courts Black voters

 June 17, 2024

Everyone knows by now that Donald Trump is making an aggressive play for minority votes long dismissed as reliably Democratic.

Trump continued that effort this weekend with a stop in majority-Black Detroit - where he met with local black leaders and blasted Joe Biden as "the worst president for black people."

Ahead of Trump's visit, the campaign touted an endorsement from the former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick.

Trump endorsed by mayor

The Democrat resigned from office in 2008 under the cloud of a corruption scandal. He was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison. Trump commuted the sentence in one of his last acts as president.

The White House, at the time, acknowledged that Kilpatrick "has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates."

In a statement endorsing Trump, Kilpatrick expressed his gratitude to the former president. But he said his endorsement is not just about returning the favor.

“I can never thank President Trump enough for what he's done for me and my family by giving me freedom," Kilpatrick said. "But I believe this election and the issues involved are personal to every family and every person in America.”

Battle for black vote

Biden got 94% of the vote in Detroit in 2020, and Republicans have no illusions about winning the city. But even a small shift among the city's black voters could make an impact in a close race.

A sobering poll found that 54% of blacks are backing Biden in Michigan. That is a stark decline of 22 points from 2020, when Biden narrowly carried the swing state.

Trump brought his populist, anti-crime message Saturday to the 180 Church, where he was touted by black conservative luminaries like Ben Carson as a threat to out-of-touch elites who represent black people only in name.

When asked how to bring more business into black neighborhoods, Trump replied that crime needs to come down.

"If they stop the crime, they’re going to see more and more stores sprout," Trump said.

The discussion also turned to issues like immigration and the push among elite liberals for transgender ideology.

Lorenzo Sewell, pastor of 180 Church, said Biden "never came to the hood" and thanked Trump for stopping by. Biden stopped at an NAACP dinner in Detroit last month, sticking to a tried-and-true Democratic party playbook.

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Thomas Jefferson
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