Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Trump rallies in the South Bronx as he seeks to win over Black and Hispanic voters

By 37ci3 May24,2024


Donald Trump drew one of the most diverse rally crowds of his political career as he made a pilgrimage to upstate New York on Thursday. In 2020, he rejected it by 68 points.

Winning New York state is the longest streak for a former president, while a win in the Bronx is unthinkable. But the trends seen at Trump’s rally there on Thursday echoed broader themes of the campaign that Democrats are fretting about heading into the fall: small But potentially powerful Shares of black and Hispanic Americans, especially young voters, may defect from President Joe Biden and vote for Trump or a third party, or they may stay home.

NBC News spoke to about a dozen Bronx voters before Trump’s speech, many of whom did not attend either his rally or the counter-protest. While some said they ignored him or felt he was crazy, others thanked elements of his presidency — the stimulus checks sent during the Covid pandemic that bear his name — and said they saw no problem with his performance. Bronx.

Carolina de la Cruz with her children from a daycare center at Crotona Park in the South Bronx on Thursday.
Carolina de la Cruz with her children from a daycare center in Crotona Park in the South Bronx on Thursday.Lucia Buricelli for NBC News

Bronx resident Carolina de la Cruz, who owns and operates the day care center, took her children through Crotona Park Thursday afternoon to help them connect with nature and participate in “tree hugging,” as she calls it. He didn’t know Trump would be speaking at the park that evening until he asked a police officer about the increased patrols.

No problem, he said. De la Cruz said that although he identifies as a Democrat, he voted for Trump in 2020 and plans to vote for him again this fall.

“We definitely need a change,” he said, adding that his neighborhood has become more chaotic in recent years and that other friends and family members, repulsed by Trump’s language and approach, are now telling him “we need it.”

“They forget what he said and focus more on what he did in power,” he said.

Moreover, some voters expressed frustration with the influx of migrants crossing the southern US border, particularly those resettled in New York, where they said there was a strain on social services.

Roberto M., a Bronx resident who attended Trump’s rally after work and declined to give his full name, described himself as a moderate and said he was open-minded before the fall and wanted to hear what Trump had to say. He said that he voted for Biden in 2020.

Two men point
People at a campaign rally for Donald Trump in the South Bronx on Thursday.Lucia Buricelli for NBC News
African American supporter holding flag
The crowd at Trump’s rally Thursday was far different from his usual crowd. Lucia Buricelli for NBC News

“A lot of people are thinking of giving it a chance,” he said, adding, “I’m talking about social justice and all the people who come here to improve their lives. But I feel like this administration has a lack of control over the flow of people coming here, especially in New York, some we see a lot of budget cuts as we try to place people to receive services.

The rally was a rare midweek campaign event for Trump, who is in court four days a week for criminal trials in Manhattan. is coming to an end. A verdict could be handed down next week.

The South Bronx rally was set up as an effort to reach minority voters, and the crowd was more diverse than those at traditional Trump events. As with other Trump rallies, many of the attendees were not from the area where the event was held.

Trump could be sentenced in his criminal trial in New York next week.
Trump could be sentenced in his criminal trial in New York next week.Lucia Buricelli for NBC News

During the more than hour-long event, Trump spoke at length about his business career in New York, railed against Biden’s economic and immigration policies and painted the city, his longtime home, as an apocalyptic dystopia that only he can save.

“As soon as I get back to the Oval Office, I’m going to pick up the phone and call your mayor and your governor and say, ‘This is President Trump, and I want to come back and help,'” he said, adding that he would make the people of New York “very, very happy.”

At various points in Trump’s discussion of immigration, including when he said that black and Hispanic Americans face the greatest negative consequences of undocumented immigrants entering the country, chants of “build the wall” and “send them back” were heard.

His pledges included “taking back our parks” and revamping the entire New York subway system – promising to “make it beautiful again.”

The Trump campaign has tried to woo some black and Latino voters this year.
The Trump campaign has tried to woo some black and Latino voters this year.Lucia Buricelli for NBC News

Many members of New York’s Orthodox Jewish community, one of the city’s demographics closer to Trump, were in attendance Thursday. As some Jewish attendees began chanting for the return of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, Trump said: “Most of the hostages that you’ve been waiting for and everyone’s been waiting for have died. And this is a terrible thing.”

After he repeated the lie that the 2020 election was rigged against him and that the war between Israel and Hamas wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t, Trump appeared to call some chanters to silence.

“Okay, that’s enough. I know you are on our side. But that’s enough,” he said, adding: “It’s a difficult situation.”

He then went into a long monologue about how to achieve personal success.

Earlier, a number of warm-up speakers introduced Trump, including conservative Democratic former City Council member and former state senator Ruben Diaz, who said, “Donald Trump is welcome in the Bronx.”

Democrats and Trump critics quickly pushed back against the Bronx rally, with the Biden campaign even ahead of it. liberates two advertisements It aims to “challenge Trump’s baseless claims about his achievements for the Black community” in the battleground states. The ads point to former anti-black rhetoric and Trump’s effort to lead a so-called birther movement against former President Barack Obama, among other points.

Janiyah Thomas, the Trump campaign’s Black media director, said in a statement that the effort was “another cheap attempt by the Biden campaign to burnish black voters” and “will not address Biden’s terrible policies that are hurting our community.”

A number of voters said they supported Trump because of the stimulus checks they received while he was president.
A number of voters said they supported Trump because of the stimulus checks they received while he was president.Lucia Buricelli for NBC News
Immigration was a hot topic at Trump's South Bronx rally.
Immigration was a hot topic at Trump’s South Bronx rally.Lucia Buricelli for NBC News

Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres represents the district in Congress he tweeted the event “may be in the South Bronx, but it doesn’t belong in the South Bronx. To put it bluntly, Trump transplants are whiter than the natives of the almost entirely Latino and black South Bronx.”

The Rev. Kirsten John Foy, president and CEO of The Arc of Justice, said during a counter-protest outside the rally that the idea that Trump is infiltrating communities of color is a “false narrative.”

“They point to surveys with questionable methodology,” Foy said. “They say Trump is gaining support among blacks and Latinos, and we don’t see any evidence of that. In fact, people passing by wanted to know why we were here and we told them why and they decided to stay and join us because nobody from the real Bronx is willing to sign hate and hate. xenophobia and misogyny and all the things this man represents.

Bronx resident Tim Rios, who walked through Crotona Park hours before Trump’s address, said he saw no problem with Trump coming to address his community.

“I don’t think he was that bad of a president,” Rios said, pointing to the stimulus payments under Trump, adding that some of the concerns people have about him are overblown. “Biden is in right now and what’s going on? There is nothing different.”



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