By Katrina Pierson
“Minority outreach” — that’s a mantra that overpaid political consultants have repeated after every GOP electoral setback for the past 30 years, but only since Donald Trump came along has the phrase taken on real meaning.
Vague calls for minority outreach have long been little more than a surefire way to elicit eye rolls from any conservative who’s been through more than one election cycle. Yet, because some minority groups, African Americans in particular, disproportionately vote for Democrats over Republicans, there are always some dopey Republican candidates willing to be suckered in by consultants who promise that a slick “outreach” campaign targeting minority voters is all they need to ensure the party’s permanent electoral dominance.
And so, cycle after cycle, GOP campaigns take the bait. They trot out hackneyed platitudes about the Republican Party’s abolitionist origins, apparently hoping that some of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy will rub off on them. They have their candidates participate in photo ops with “community leaders” in cringe-inducing mimicry of the sort of blatant pandering long since perfected by their Democratic rivals.
None of it has any effect on election outcomes, of course. Black people, it turns out, are not actually so uninformed that they’ll switch loyalties just because a candidate stands next to a black celebrity for a publicity photo or offers condescending lectures drawn from 6th grade history class.
President Trump doesn’t engage in that type of patronizing politicking. Instead, he has pioneered a new, commonsense approach by offering minority voters tangible results rather than meaningless rhetoric.
In 2016, Donald Trump did more to bring African Americans and other minority groups into the Republican fold than the previous three decades of feckless “outreach” prescribed by the supposed political experts. He ran a campaign that had the GOP establishment clutching its pearls, with beltway politicians begging the brash New York real estate tycoon to be less “divisive” and more “sensitive.”
What was the result? Trump outperformed establishment golden boy Mitt Romney among African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans, reducing the Democratic advantage with each of those groups by several percentage points. It was the message that brought those voters into Trump’s camp — the innovative policies, as well as the take-no-prisoners attitude of the candidate himself — not transparent pandering or platitudes about Abe Lincoln.
The Trump campaign isn’t taking those electoral gains for granted in 2020. In fact, we’re determined to expand on them. But we recognize that success isn’t going to come from “outreach.” It’s going to come from results — promises made and promises kept.
African Americans, like all Americans outside of the lily-white socialist fringe of the Democratic Party, vote for candidates who can deliver a strong American economy that materially improves their lives. That’s what Donald Trump promised, and it’s what President Trump has delivered.
Median household income is at its highest point, and poverty at its lowest, since the dot-com boom of the late-‘90s. We’ve had quarter after quarter of robust economic growth, stellar job creation, and rapidly increasing wages.
Unlike some previous boom times, African Americans and other minorities haven’t been left behind. They’ve been front and center in the gains, just as candidate Trump promised. The African American unemployment rate hit an all-time low early in President Trump’s administration, and since then it’s gone significantly lower, reducing the disparity between black and white employment to its lowest point in history.
Hispanics, Asian Americans, and women have all achieved record-low jobless rates, as well, largely because — for the first time in American history — the majority of new hires aged 25-54 are people of color.
That’s not “outreach;” it’s real results. Despite every liberal politician and economist in the country praying for a recession that would make Donald Trump politically vulnerable, this administration is going to keep on delivering more of the broad-based and indiscriminate prosperity that has already uplifted millions of American workers.
For 30 years, “minority outreach” has consistently failed to give minorities a real reason to vote for the GOP. In less than a tenth of that time, President Trump has demonstrated that an ounce of prosperity is worth a pound of pandering.
Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) is a senior adviser for Donald J. Trump for President Inc.