- Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images
Donald Trump on Saturday will make another pitch to African-American voters.
The GOP presidential nominee will visit a black church in Detroit – his first such appearance in front of a predominantly black audience since launching his run for the White House in June 2015.
Trump’s outreach has largely hit a wall in the last few weeks.
Among other things, the GOP nominee has made his appeals to black voters while standing among mostly white audiences, and his rhetoric has been slammed as insincere and out of touch.
Initially, Trump was not expected to directly address the audience at Great Faith Ministries International, The New York Times reported, but a campaign spokesman later told the newspaper that the candidate would speak to the congregation “for five to 10 minutes” after a private, one-on-one interview with the church’s pastor.
According to The Times’ Yamiche Alcindor, Trump will speak from an eight-page script during the interview. The script reportedly features suggested answers to questions that were submitted in advance.
“The proposed answers were devised by aides working for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee,” The Times noted, citing an official involved in the planning.
Here’s more from The Times:
“The document includes the exact wording of answers the aides are proposing for Mr. Trump to give to questions about police killings, racial tension and the perception among many black voters that he and the Republican Party are racist, among other topics.”
Video of the interview will be edited “so that the final version [reflects] the campaign’s wishes,” The Times said.
It will air on the church’s television network.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign was quick to condemn the affair. “Donald Trump’s latest gimmick to act as if he cares about the black community is downright shameful, insulting and cowardly,” Hillary for America’s Marlon Marshall said in a statement.
- AP Photo/John Locher, File
The appearance signals the Trump campaign’s effort to recalibrate the brusque tone its candidate initially adopted when he first began asking black people for their votes.
The candidate has been polling in the single digits among black voters for some time amid criticism that his campaign appealed mostly to white, nationalist sensibilities.
Clinton attempted to call that out last week in a speech lambasting the real-estate mogul’s alleged pandering to the alt-right movement – a subset of conservative voters who applaud racially tinged nationalist views.
Trump bristled at the notion and accused Clinton of “race-baiting” to reel in African-American votes.