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Friday, June 21, 2024

As Trump Campaigns in the Bronx, Biden Points Black Voters to His Rival’s Past

U.S.As Trump Campaigns in the Bronx, Biden Points Black Voters to His Rival’s Past

President Biden’s campaign on Thursday released a new advertisement aimed at Black voters. It comes as former President Donald J. Trump is planning a political event in the Bronx, a play by his campaign not necessarily to compete in New York State but to highlight Mr. Biden’s weakness with a key group of Democratic voters.

The ad will appear on digital platforms in New York City on Thursday, the Biden campaign said, and on television in battleground-state markets including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Detroit and Macon, Ga.

It begins with Mr. Trump saying, “Of course, I hate these people” — a remark he made during a 1989 interview on CNN, referring to those who had been accused of a brutal rape of a jogger in what became known as the Central Park Five case.

Five Black and Latino men were wrongly convicted in the case, and at the time, Mr. Trump fueled racist reaction to the attack by taking out full-page advertisements in local newspapers, including The New York Times, calling for the death penalty to be reinstated.

Putting more than a little spin on the ball, the Biden ad uses that context to suggest Mr. Trump was saying in the 1989 interview that he hated all Black people. An ominous voice says: “Donald Trump disrespecting Black folks is nothing new.”

The clip then recounts Mr. Trump’s treatment of Black people: his family business’s documented bias at its rental properties decades ago; his response to the Central Park Five case; and his remarks as president defending white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va.

It closes as it began, with Mr. Trump saying, “Of course, I hate these people.”

The Biden campaign and its allies have for months struggled to reverse a decline in popularity with Black voters, particularly Black men.

By resurfacing Mr. Trump’s 35-year-old foray into the Central Park Five episode, Mr. Biden is trying to remind voters about a Trump past that they may have forgotten about or never been aware of to begin with.

It fits with the Biden campaign’s effort this week to disqualify Mr. Trump as unfit — Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, on Tuesday called the former president “a known antisemite” — and it reflects a recognition that Mr. Biden’s North-Star message on abortion rights may need broadening to reach all the voters he will need to win in November.

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