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As campaign heats up, Trump woos Latino, Black voters

Ga. (AP) — With fewer than 40 days left before the election, President
Donald Trump unveiled his second policy plan in as many days as he tried
to chip away at his Democratic rival’s support among Black and Hispanic
voters and in key battleground states.

At a “Black Voices for
Trump” event in Atlanta, Georgia, Trump announced what his campaign
dubbed a “Platinum Plan” laying out his “promise to Black America” if he
wins a second term, including a push for economic development and loan
money and a pledge to designate Juneteenth as a federal holiday.
Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States,
is so named because June 19, 1865, is when slaves were freed in
Galveston, Texas.

The announcement came during a two-day campaign
swing that ticked off a long list of boxes, both geographically and
with key constituencies.

He unveiled what aides termed a “vision”
for health care in North Carolina, where polls show him and Democratic
presidential candidate Joe Biden effectively tied. He held a rally in
Jacksonville, Florida, one of the most hotly contested battleground
states. He courted Hispanic voters near Miami and Black voters in
Atlanta. And he held another rally Friday night in Newport News,
Virginia. Biden is well ahead of Trump in that state, but the location
is close to key North Carolina counties that are difficult for the
president to visit, according to the campaign, because not all airports
can accommodate Air Force One and its landing requirements.

has tried to contrast his jam-packed schedule with Biden, who has made
just 12 visits outside of Delaware since his Aug. 11 selection of
California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, worrying some
Democrats with his low-key approach.

Trump complained in Atlanta
that Biden “never goes out!” and said losing the Nov. 3 election would
sting even worse if he lost to a man who never campaigns.

also made rare references to the recent killings of Black men and women
at the hands of police, which have sparked massive protests across the
nation. Trump said the nation grieves for the “senseless” deaths of
Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, while continuing to lash
out at demonstrators.

“Our hearts break for their families and
for all families who have lost a loved one. … But we can never allow
mob rule,” he said, denouncing the Black Lives Matter movement. “This is
an unusual name for an organization whose ideology and tactics are
right now destroying many Black lives,” Trump charged.

The plan unveiled Friday included a long list of promises, with few details on how they would be paid for or fulfilled.

you vote Republican over the next four years, we will create 3 million
new jobs for the Black community, open 500,000 new black-owned
businesses, increase access to capital in Black communities by $500
billion,” he said. The plan also calls for expanding opportunity zones,
designating the Ku Klux Klan and antifa as terrorist organizations and
creating a national clemency project to “right wrongful prosecutions and
to pardon individuals who have reformed.”

Trump claimed that Democrats like Biden have taken Black voters “for granted.”

“He doesn’t know Black Americans like I do,” added Trump, who has a history of making racist remarks.

Biden responded in a statement before Trump spoke.

president, I will work to advance racial equity across the American
economy and build back better,” he said. “I promise to fight for Black
working families and direct real investments to advance racial equity as
part of our nation’s economic recovery.”

Biden also pointed to
the nearly 6,800 Georgians who have died of the coronavirus, which has
disproportionately impacted Black and Hispanic communities, as well as
Trump’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

On Thursday,
Trump unveiled a health care “vision” more than three-and-a-half years
into his presidency and signed an executive order that included a pledge
to protect people with preexisting medical conditions from insurance
discrimination — even though that right is already guaranteed in the
Obama-era health law his administration is asking the Supreme Court to

In Virginia on Friday, he said he would extend a
moratorium on offshore drilling to the Virginia and North Carolina
coasts. But then he told the rally crowd, “If you want to have oil rigs
out there, just let me know, we’ll take it off.”

Trump has been
campaigning with little regard for the virus, which has now killed more
than 200,000 people in the United States. At the Atlanta event, there
was no effort at social distancing, even though nearly half of the
ballroom where the event was held was empty. His rally in Newport News
Friday night drew thousands of supporters despite rainy weather most of
the day; most did not wear masks.

On Friday morning, at his golf
club in Doral, Florida, Trump tried to blunt Biden’s support among
Hispanic voters at a “Latinos for Trump” roundtable. Trump’s campaign is
increasingly confident that his support is growing with the
demographic, including in Florida, one of the most competitive 2020
battlegrounds, where elections are often won by a single percentage

An NBC-Marist poll of Florida voters released earlier this
month found Latinos in the state about evenly divided between Biden and
Trump — a major change from the same poll in 2016, when Democrat Hillary
Clinton led Trump by a 59% to 36% margin. But a Monmouth University
poll also conducted this month found Biden well ahead of Trump among
Latino voters in the state, 58% to 32%.

Because of mounting
concerns that Biden’s standing is slipping, the campaign has embarked on
an urgent effort to try to shore up support among older voters,
suburbanites and African Americans to try to make up for losses

Hispanic voters in Florida tend to be somewhat more Republican-leaning than Hispanic voters nationwide because of the state’s Cuban American population, which Trump acknowledged several times in his remarks.

Associated Press writers Darlene Superville and Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.