Trump launches black outreach effort for 2020

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a ceremony to present the Presidential Citizens Medal posthumously to Rick Rescorla in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a ceremony to present the Presidential Citizens Medal posthumously to Rick Rescorla in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON, DC – During the 2016 campaign, candidate Donald Trump stood in front of largely white crowds and asked black voters to consider, "What the hell do you have to lose?"

Trump offered that same message Friday as he launched a black voters coalition in Atlanta, Georgia. While Trump's campaign had said his message would focus on his record and gains for black Americans under his watch, Trump instead spent most of his time demonizing Democrats and appearing to try to pit minority voters against immigrants.

"The Democrats have let you down," Trump told the crowd of several hundred supporters, including several who wore red "BLACK LIVES MAGA" hats. "They've dismissed you. They've hurt you. They've sabotaged you for far too long."

Trump spoke at the launch of a new "Black Voices for Trump" outreach initiative dedicated to "recruiting and activating Black Americans in support of President Trump," according to the campaign.

Trump predicted he would win reelection in 2020 with "a groundswell of support from hardworking African American patriots."

Such prediction have been met with skepticism from critics, however, given Trump's consistently dismal approval rating with black voters.

Trump has spent much of the last four years engaged in racially charged attacks, going after minority members of Congress, claiming "no human being" would want to live in "rodent infested," majority-minority Baltimore and insisting there were "very fine people on both sides" of the deadly Charlottesville protest against white supremacists.

Shortly after landing in Georgia on Friday, Trump retweeted a call from one black supporter for submissions for a "#MAGACHALLENGE" competition featuring Trump-friendly rap songs. Trump said he would be announcing the winners and inviting them to the White House to meet with him and perform.