Donald Trump was heavily criticized when he urged African Americans to vote for him because they have "nothing to lose," during his 2016 presidential campaign. "You're living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs," he said. Now, two years later, Trump said he's "proud" of that statement.
"You heard me say this many times. I'm very proud of it. Remember I used to say 'What do you have to lose? What do you have to lose?' because I'd read these horrible statistics... highest crime, worst education, all the bad things, lowest homeownership. about African-Americans and they've always voted for Democrats. Not all, but a big portion," said Trump in a recent speech. "And I'd say 'what do you have to lose after reading these horrible stats. And my people would say 'Oh, that's not a nice thing to say.' But I'd say 'but it's true. 'What do you have to lose?'"
Trump went on to cite how African American unemployment is at its lowest rate ever recorded in history and noted that Kanye West and Jim Brown came out in support of him. But he failed to mention exactly how it got to that point—and how little he had to do with it. While African-American unemployment is at an all-time low since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started recording the stats in 1884, it was already steadily declining under the Obama administration. As The New York Times reports, the unemployment rate for black Americans was 12.7 percent when President Obama took office. In the midst of the recession, it went up to almost 17 percent. But by the time Obama was in his last month in office, the unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent. Since Trump took office, the rate has since gone down to 5.9 percent.