One of the wealthiest black businessmen in the U.S. pointed back to slavery and segregation as reasons that African-American voters will seek to “emulate” and support Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“I think there’s always this misunderstanding about Donald in terms of, say, the African-American community,” real estate entrepreneur Don Peebles told Bloomberg News on Thursday.
Peebles, a Democrat who was once on President Obama’s national finance committee, said that because black Americans are “a very aspirational community,” Trump’s success as an entrepreneur will resonate.
“African-Americans, we are upwardly mobile focused, because we started off so far at the bottom from slavery and then segregation,” Peebles asserted.
“You look at someone like Donald Trump, there is no resentment to Donald Trump in the African-American community. There is aspiration. They want to emulate him, because he is showing that the American Dream is possible.”
Peebles, whose net worth is listed at around $700 million, compared what he says is black Americans’ aspirational character to that of other Democratic factions.
“African-Americans, unlike other progressive aspects of Democrats, actually admire success and want to emulate it,” said Peebles, who also said on Bloomberg that he is considering running against Bill de Blasio for mayor of New York City in 2017.
Peebles also said he is not at all surprised by Trump’s strong showing in recent polls. The reality TV celebrity leads the GOP field and is even polling slightly ahead of Hillary Clinton in Florida.
Peebles was also asked to compare Trump to Jeb Bush, which whom he is friends.
“Jeb Bush is the CEO kind of person,” Peebles said of Bush. “He is more methodical, more intellectual, more cerebral.”
“He doesn’t have the charismatic personality of an entrepreneur. So what you see is Donald Trump is an entrepreneur and Jeb Bush is a great manager. So you have two different personalities, two different managerial styles. And so, the one who is outspoken, aggressive and expressing the frustration that everyone is feeling, he’s going to resonate.”
But asked which candidate he plans to support, Peebles declined to say.
“I’m sitting back and enjoying this,” he said.