President Donald Trump's re-election campaign has increased its efforts to attract black voters, but CNN commentator Angela Rye dismissed those efforts and chastised black people who still choose to support Trump, according to RealClearPolitics.
Rye said credit for the record-low black unemployment rate belongs to former President Barack Obama, and that the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform law passed under the Trump administration, isn't enough to compensate for Trump's past stances on the issue.
"Donald Trump does not have a tremendous record to stand on as it relates to criminal justice reform. He has one bill passed. And a strategy that has not served black and brown people for years from before his election, right?" Rye said Wednesday on CNN's "Tonight" with Don Lemon. "I think Donald Trump does not have a strong record to stand on as it relates to black unemployment. He has Barack Obama's record to stand on with that, and I think that at some point black folks have got to look themselves in the mirror and say, 'Hey, do I want to follow Mark Burns? Do I want to follow Katrina Pierson? Do I want to follow Diamond and Silk?' Who the hell are these people, right?
"Instead, you want to give Donald Trump kudos for throwing Cheez-It bits at you and then criticize the people who have spent their careers doing things for the betterment of black people and black society," Rye continued. "And I would just say at that point, if you still go over to Donald Trump after that, shame on you. Period."
Trump won the election with only 8% of the black vote in 2016, but he could have a chance to increase that support — particularly if Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wins the Democratic nomination instead of former Vice President Joe Biden, who has consistently been more popular than Sanders with black voters.
There is a gender gap among black voters — black men are more likely to support President Trump than black women. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that 24% of black men approve of Trump, compared to only 6% of black women. Trump's policies and outreach appear to have made some progress with black men, but black women in general may have become even less supportive of the president through his first term.