ATLANTA — President Donald Trump made his pitch to recruit more African-American voters in a speech in Atlanta.
Trump is hoping to boost his numbers by unveiling a new initiative called "Black Voices for Trump." He discussed the plan at a rally in downtown Atlanta.
“I wasn't ready to vote for him in the first election, but I can assure you that I will vote for him in the next election and I will do so proudly as a Gulf War veteran,” said Trump supporter J’Lyn Furby.
The invitation-only crowd of 400 to 500 filled the room at the Georgia World Congress Center. Trump said Democrats have taken advantage of the black vote, while many African-Americans still struggle near the poverty line in low performing schools and crime filled neighborhoods. Many agreed with him, while some Democrats say he's off the mark.
"My hope is, that black voters in 2020 will look at their pocket book look at the issue on their kitchen table and they'll soon realize that this president is the one fighting for them and the democrats had it for 100 years and they blew it,” said Trump Byron Donalds.
His campaign picked Atlanta because of its role as an epicenter of black life and the region's fast-growing population, according to a senior White House official.
“The Republican party was the original home of African-Americans, and now African-Americans are returning. It was a hundred-year trip if you think about it,” Trump said.
A few protestors gathered outside on the streets of Buckhead, holding signs with a clear message.
"He came to Atlanta, the black Mecca, to launch 'Black Voices for Trump.' That is equal to, you know, black voices for white supremacy,” said protestor Tee Stern.
Trump's visit Friday is his second stop in Georgia this year.
The president attended a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. David Perdue and luncheon with his supporters before the black voters program launch and rally. The president was expecting to raise about $3.5 million during that closed-door event.
Vice President Mike Pence addressed the crowd before the president. Traffic was impacted across metro Atlanta this afternoon due to the presidential visit.
Cox Media Group