Trump on black voters: 'We're just starting our outreach right now'
DETROIT (WEYI/WSMH) - Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spent Saturday in Detroit talking about his plans to improve the lives of African Americans. During a late-morning service at Great Faith Ministries International, he said he will improve living conditions in urban areas like Detroit and elsewhere that have been hurt economically by Democratic policies supported by his rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In an exclusive interview with NBC25/FOX66 news anchor Dave Bondy, Trump says he will do much better with African Americans than current polls suggest, which show him with single-digit support among black voters.
"The polls look great on a national basis, as you know. In fact, I'm leading on some of the polls,” said Trump. “But with the African-American community, so far, I think, probably, we're just starting our outreach right now. They've learned a lot about me, I think they've learned a lot about me today. Bishop (Wayne T.) Jackson is an incredible man. And I think we're gonna do very well with the African Americans. I really think it'll be something very great. The polls have been doing very well. We've done very well in Michigan, as you know, we're very close. And in many of the states that we want to win, we're leading by a substantial margin. So, I think we're gonna do very well."
He says a Trump administration would focus on bringing jobs back and improving international trade agreements.
Bondy asked, "You said that you have a plan - you have a plan for African Americans. Is that something you have formalized? A lot of people, as you know, the argument, they say you talk, but you don't talk about the plans. Is there a specific plan?"
"Well, politicians talk, they don't talk," Trump answered. "I do have a plan. We're bringing our jobs back. You look at all the empty factories, all the empty warehouses you have all over this area."
"Is there an exact plan how to do that?" Bondy asked.
“Yeah, sure. I mean, but basically, we have to bring our jobs back. I mean, the real plan is we have to negotiate trade deals that are good deals, not bad deals. And we're gonna renegotiate these horrible trade deals that have been made by people that don't know what they're doing," Trump said. "And we're going to bring our jobs back. I mean, you look at the African-American community, there are no jobs - there's nothing you can do - there are no jobs. And we're gonna bring our jobs back from Mexico and from lots of other places that have taken them. And we're gonna get people that have, not only jobs, but really good-paying jobs."
The billionaire New York real estate developer says he understands why people might have a difficult time believing he can empathize with people who are living paycheck to paycheck.
"I can understand that,” Trump said. “But I will say this, I’m good at business. What I do is business. I do it as well as anybody and maybe better. And, you know, it's just been the thing I do, and now I've decided to do something with respect to the country. And one of the big things is jobs, and jobs through trade, through great trade deals. We have people that were grossly incompetent. We had political hacks that negotiated trade deals, and they left us without our jobs, without our manufacturing. So, I fully understand that question. But I tell you, I am gonna bring jobs back and that is something I am very comfortable with."
Trump also spoke out about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. He says more needs to be done to restore safe drinking water to the city’s nearly 100,000 residents after lead contamination. He says it was a failure of elected officials and public servants to make sure the public water utility was run properly.
"First of all, it would have never happened, because it was so ridiculous. In order to save a small amount of money, they re-do the whole thing and now it's a disaster. I will say this, my administration, we'll get very much involved, and we're gonna get the problem solved," he said. "But it’s still not solved and it’s hard to believe - but it’s really harder to believe that they did it in the first place, shoulda never happened."