On Friday, Politico detailed how the killing of George Floyd, and the ensuing protests, have put President Donald Trump in a difficult position as his campaign struggles to improve his standing with Black voters.
“President Donald Trump is throwing himself into a culture war he has long stoked, and a battle for voters he has eagerly pursued, as he navigates national outrage over the brutal killings of two black men — one at the hands of police, the other at the hands of white civilians,” reported Gabby Orr and Laura Barrón-López. “Trump’s reelection coalition leans heavily on support from law enforcement and the MAGA base, including many supporters eager to promote police officers and immigration agents as heroes. At the same time, campaign aides believe his path to victory in November relies, in part, on drawing in black voters, particularly black men, for whom encounters with police could become matters of life and death.”
“The president and his top allies are trying to fit his election-year interests in black voters into a political career filled with encouragements of police power,” continued the report. “The latest moves come amid outcry over Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a 43-year-old African American man who died in police custody on Monday after being pinned to the pavement by a white police officer who kept his knee pressed on Floyd’s neck. In the aftermath of the incident, Trump called for an expedited federal investigation into Floyd’s death. The move drew praise from some longtime supporters of the ‘Blue Lives Matter’ movement, who suggested the president could identify with the perceived injustice because of his own history of being investigated by law enforcement.”
“But Trump’s tempered rhetoric disappeared overnight, as the Minnesota National Guard deployed to Minneapolis to respond to demonstrators who have demanded that the four since-fired police officers involved with Floyd’s death be arrested and charged. One was arrested later Friday. In a pair of tweets, the president said the protesters ‘are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd,'” said the report. “‘Any difficulty and we will assume control, but when the looting starts, the shooting starts,’ Trump wrote in a tweet that was subsequently flagged by Twitter for ‘glorifying violence.'”
“The Trump campaign has spent months trying to woo black voters who overwhelmingly opposed the president in 2016, including by casting his Democratic rival Joe Biden as a ‘bigot,'” said the report.
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