Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will continue an effort to peel away minority support from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Saturday, visiting a church and touring neighborhoods in the largely black city of Detroit.
The former businessman and reality TV star will be accompanied by Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential hopeful who grew up there, and will give an interview for a Christian television program.
Trump’s outreach to minorities over recent weeks comes as he seeks to improve his chances in the Nov. 8 election and shake off months of offending the sensibilities of black and Hispanic voters with his hard line on immigration and rough-hewn social rhetoric.
On Friday, he met with black religious, business and civic leaders in Philadelphia, and days earlier he met with Republican blacks and Latinos at his New York headquarters.
Trump has argued that his emphasis on job creation would help minority communities in a way that Democrats have failed to. On Tuesday, he called Democrats the “party of slavery” during a rally in Everett, Washington.
Clinton has accused Trump of aligning himself with racists.
Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist who worked for 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, said Trump’s attention to minority outreach was unusual for the party and also unlikely to quickly yield results.
“It has not been something where appropriate levels of resources have been invested, where time has been invested,” Schmidt said. He said black support for Republicans was so low that rebuilding it would be “the work of a generation.”
Opinion polls show Trump has low support among black and Hispanic voters.
But several of the participants at the meeting Friday with Philadelphia black leaders, many of whom identified themselves as Republicans, said they were Trump supporters.
“For the first time in my life, I feel like my vote is going to count,” said Daphne Goggins, the Republican leader of a Philadelphia ward, as the group went around the table introducing themselves.
“People say, Mr. Trump, that you have no African-American support. We want you to know that you do,” said Renee Amoore, deputy chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, after the session.
(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Additional reporting by Emily Flitter; Editing by Leslie Adler)