The latest ad by Donald Trump to hit the airwaves is geared toward the Indian and Hindu communities, which Trump seems to believe are one and the same in his recent event with the GOP Hindu Coalition.
The campaign timed the ad to air before the celebration of the Hindu festival Diwali this weekend. It contains clips of the GOP Hindu Coalition event with Trump lighting a candle and speaking at the charity event this month in New Jersey. Traditional Indian music plays in the background.
At one point, Trump dabbles in a little Hindi as he utters “Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkaar,” channeling the Indian Prime Narendra Modi and his 2014 catchphrase that helped him win the election. The phrase translates to “This time Trump government.” To be clear, that’s a modification of Modi’s catchphrase, which was “Ab Ki Baar Modi Sarkaar.”
Trump also spoke in a very thick American accent when he spoke those words. Still, the ad is the Republican nominee’s latest attempt to win votes among Indian Americans.
“The Indian and Hindu community will have true friend in the White House,” he says in the ad, a clip cut from his event with the Hindu Coalition. The video cuts to his speech before the group where he awkwardly says “We love he Hindus, we love India,” as he is lifting up his arm and then lowering it to point at the audience.
Aside from all but insulting both the Hindu and Indian American communities by assuming that they are one and the same, Trump is going to have a difficult time capturing the vote of either community as most identify as Democrat. Additionally, for better or worse, they are a very small part of the electorate, and while reaching out to the community much earlier in the campaign may have made sense, at this late stage, it is bewildering why the campaign believes that it is a good use of resources, especially in light of its dismal and dwindling fundraising, cash position, and lack of any ground game.