Hillary Clinton Hits Trump With New Ad on Race

The spot uses Trump’s outreach to African Americans against him.

Gerald Herbert/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


In recent days, Donald Trump, who has faced charges (even from Republicans) that he has made racist remarks during this presidential race, has mounted what his campaign considers an outreach effort toward African American voters, with Trump (while speaking to predominantly white audiences) insisting that he will do more for inner-city black Americans than Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. But the Clinton campaign has seized on this Trump move as an opportunity to make the case that Trump in the past and in the present has insulted African Americans—and to remind all voters of Trump’s controversial record on race. On Friday, the Clinton team released a new TV ad contrasting Trump’s new effort with his past history of discrimination against African Americans.

The ad begins with a clip of Trump speaking at a recent rally and presumably addressing African Americans: “What do you have to lose? You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good. You have no job.” The spot then jumps back to the 1970s when Trump and his family real estate company was sued by the Justice Department for discriminating against African Americans trying to rent apartments in their buildings. The ad returns to the present. “What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump says. The ad responds, “Everything.”

The new ad, according to the Clinton campaign, will run in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Trump is already performing very poorly among African Americans, a constituency that has heavily supported Democrats for decades. A recent poll found Trump receiving zero percent of the black vote in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Still, Clinton is trying to make sure that even a small number of  African American voters don’t fall for Trump’s new pitch—and that moderate Republican voters who might have concerns about Trump’s temperament and attitudes toward race are not swayed into accepting him. On Thursday, for instance, she gave a speech in which she pointed out the close connection between the Trump campaign and the racist “alt-right” movement. As polls show, most African Americans regard Trump as an unacceptable choice in November. But with her speech and this ad, the Clinton campaign is attempting to convince white Americans that Trump remains beyond the pale.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest