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Trump: I Want GOP to Be 'Home of the African-American Voter'

It was the latest pitch by Trump to appeal to African-Americans. An August poll showed he had just 1 percent support with the demographic.
Image: Donald Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Fredericksburg, Va., Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016.Gerald Herbert / AP

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump continued his pitch to African-American voters Saturday evening by saying that his party must "do better" with the demographic.

"The GOP is the party of Abraham Lincoln and I want our party to be the home of the African-American voter once again," Trump said to cheers from a mostly white crowd.

This latest effort marked the fourth straight rally where Trump attempted to court the voting block.

On Friday in Michigan, Trump highlighted what he said were high unemployment and poor educational opportunities and asked African-Americans "what the hell do you have to lose?" in voting for him. At that rally Trump claimed he would receive "over 95 percent" of the African-American vote if he were to have a re-election campaign in 2020.

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An August NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed the Republican nominee polling at just 1 percent among African-Americans.

Trump also seized the opportunity while in Virginia to attack the state’s governor and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton supporter Terry McAuliffe for his attempts to restore the right to vote for certain felons.

"Hillary Clinton is banking on her friend Terry McAuliffe on getting thousands of violent felons to the voting booths, in an effort to cancel out the votes of both the law enforcement and crime victims," Trump said.

"They are letting people vote in your Virginia election that should not be allowed to vote," he added.

McAuliffe, a longtime friend of the Clintons, has argued that giving voting rights back to certain felons would particularly help combat disenfranchisement of African-Americans.

Reading once again from a teleprompter, Trump delivered a fairly typical stump speech for a candidate known for swerving off message. After repeating a fan favorite line about building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, Trump addressed skeptics of one of his core policy plans.

"Politicians think we’re joking. We don’t joke. This is a movement and movements don’t joke," he said.