MIAMI ― On Friday evening, Donald Trump talked about how terrible American inner cities are; he talked about how many jobs his energy plan would produce; he talked about how hard he campaigns.
Trump did not allude to the issue at all in 45 minutes of remarks in a state with large African-American and Latino populations. People in both groups have found his leadership in the “birther” movement offensive because it tried to delegitimize the nation’s first black president.
While Trump’s aides and surrogates attempted Friday to blame birtherism on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Florida Republican Party chairman Blaise Ingoglia said he considers the matter closed.
“Mr. Trump came out and made that statement. That should put it to bed,” Ingoglia said.
Whether minority voters agree with him enough that they help Trump carry the state in November remains to be seen. The GOP nominee has polled exceptionally poorly with both African-American and Latino voters nationally, although the large percentage of Republican-leaning Cuban-American voters in Florida has given him relatively stronger support among Hispanics there than in other key swing states.
At the Miami rally, Trump largely gave what’s become his standard stump speech of late, adding a line promising to help the people of Cuba stand up to their communist leaders and boasting about his Florida golf courses.
“I have a lot of employees, and I pay them a lot of money. And by the way, a lot of African-American employees, a lot of Hispanic employees ― a lot. And they’re very happy,” Trump said. “They like Donald Trump.”
He visited a community center in the city’s Little Haiti neighborhood prior to arriving at the downtown James Knight Center auditorium, which was filled to its 5,500-person capacity with his supporters.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.