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President Donald Trump is pitching his record to African-American voters on Friday in Atlanta, Georgia, where he will join Vice President Mike Pence to kick off the launch of the “Black Voices for Trump” coalition one year out from the 2020 election.
The president will deliver remarks at the World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta in an effort to broaden support among a group he’s proven to be deeply unpopular. Only 8% of African Americans cast their ballot for Trump in 2016 while his approval rating among black voters sits at just 10%, according to a recent survey by Quinnipiac University.
“I think that I’m going to get a tremendous percentage of votes from the African Americans,” Trump told reporters Sunday on the South Lawn of the White House.
Trump boasted that he had “the best unemployment numbers in the history of our country for African Americans.”
He also touted his administration’s efforts on criminal justice.
“Without me, you don’t have criminal justice reform. And that was for African Americans more than anybody else. So I think my standing in the African American community is maybe the best,” he added.
That’s the argument the campaign will make to the African-American community with the aim of peeling off black support in a few key states, like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where Trump won by razor-thin margins in 2016.
“Black Voices for Trump” will be a “national effort to mobilize and empower black Americans” to help spread the president’s message of “Promises Made, Promises Kept,” according to a statement by Katrina Pierson, a senior campaign adviser who is helping organize the coalition.
While convincing black voters he’s delivered on his promises at the end of his first term, it’ll be a stretch for Trump to deliver one he made in August 2016, when he told a crowd he would get 95% of the African American vote at the end of his first four years.
The president has made several overtures to the black community in recent months. Last month he spoke at the historically black Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, in what was billed as a keynote speech at a three-day presidential forum on criminal justice reform that featured some of his Democratic challengers.
But instead, Trump’s speech came a day before the other candidates appeared and was delivered to a handpicked crowd of supporters and just seven students. He was honored for the bipartisan passage of the First Step Act, which gives elderly inmates opportunities for release, increases the amount of good-time credit inmates can receive and assists with their transition back into society. His award prompted Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris to pull out of the event Saturday.