Donald Trump appears to have finally met his match. After taping the Dr. Oz show in New York on Wednesday, Donald Trump flew to tour Flint, Michigan, the site of the lead water crisis that boiled to at early this year in an effort to make another attempt to woo black voters.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Trump appeared a historically black church and launched into his stump speech only to be interrupted by the pastor of the church, who reminded him that he was not invited to make a political speech.
Trump began his speech in front of 50 or so people at the Bethel United Methodist Church. As he started in on his stump speech, “Hillary Clinton failed on the economy, just like she has failed on foreign policy. Everything she touched didn’t work out, nothing,” Rev. Faith Green-Timmons, the African American pastor, stepped in and said, “Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not to give a political speech.”
Trump, visibly surprised, tried to regroup, “OK, that’s good. I’m going to go back onto Flint.”
Trump was attempting to tie Flint’s water crisis and it economic woes to his general message that government is to blame for virtually all problems. And as he commonly does, he claimed that if he is elected president, Flint’s problems — both in terms of the water, and economy — will not only be fixed, but fixed “quickly.”
As he got back on track and was attempting to wrap up his speech, some from the audience had comments and questions. One member of the audience said “You’ve discriminated against black tenants.” The reference was to reports that Mr. Trump and his father regularly denied African Americans who were applying to rent at their apartment buildings.
Trump replied “No, I never.” Other audience members continued with additional comments, causing the pastor to admonish the audience telling them to respect Mr. Trump.
While Flint is a predominantly Democratic city, Trump’s latest attempted outreach is indicative of the difficulty he continues to have and will likely face through election day as he attempts to garner support from the African American voters. Even Flint’s mayor was not present for any portion of Trump’s visit. Last week, she dismissed the visit to Flint as a “photo op.”
Outside the church, a group of some 100 people stood in the sidewalk across the street holding Clinton and Obama signs. Rev. Green-Timmons made it abundantly clear that Mr. Trump was welcome to her church because her church welcomes all people. She said “Trump’s presence at Bethel Methodist in no way represents an endorsement of his candidacy.”