President Donald Trump made a campaign stop Friday in Cobb County at the Cobb Galleria, launching what he called a “Black Economic Empowerment: The Platinum Plan.” The campaign rally marks one of many visits made by the candidates and their high-level advocates to the Peach State over the past month. The push is the result of Georgia reportedly moving from a previously solid Republican state to a battleground. As of Sept. 29, the FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker showed Trump with a 1.1 percentage point lead in the state he won by 5 points in 2016.
The president’s rally at the Cobb Galleria focused largely on his new economic empowerment plan for the Black community for his second term. According to exit polls published by CNN and The New York Times, Trump received 8 percent of the Black vote nationally in 2016 and 9 percent in Georgia.
A key part of Trump’s goal to boost support among Blacks is the newly announced “Platinum Plan.” A Trump campaign press release states that the plan will “increase access to capital, fuel Black owned businesses, cut taxes, increase education opportunities, lower the cost of healthcare, further criminal justice reform, make Juneteenth a National Holiday, prosecute the KKK and ANTIFA as terrorist organizations, and make lynching a national hate crime.”
Speakers at the campaign rally in Cobb Friday ranged from former prisoners freed through the First Step criminal justice reform bill, to Ben Carson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The president was then introduced by his longtime friend and Georgia native Hershel Walker. The former college and professional football star spoke about his relationship with Trump and what he has done for the African American community as president. Trump entered to applause and chants of “four more years” of support from the crowd.
He began by speaking about the upcoming election and his belief that he will see increased support from the African American community. In his remarks, Trump assailed Democrats for “taking the Black vote for granted,” as well as for Joe Biden’s remarks in May on a radio program with a heavily Black audience in which the former vice president said, “Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”
Trump took credit for the Black unemployment rate, funding for historically black colleges and universities, and a historically low poverty rate in the African American community.
He also mentioned the tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, but said that the Black Lives Matter organization is “spreading violence in our cities” and the group is “really hurting the Black community.” The president didn’t address the grievances protesters have voiced over the protests, such as overly aggressive policing in majority-minority communities.
The Platinum Plan, which includes investing $500 billion in Black communities, was the main focus of the president’s speech. He also discussed his accomplishments related to African Americans and made his argument for their vote.
The rally went on for a little under an hour, with the president also speaking on such subjects as the Supreme Court seat left open by the death of associate justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and abortions in the Black community.