Ex-Baltimore Mayor Tells CNN Democrats Take Minority Voters ‘For Granted’


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday night that Democrats take minority voters “for granted.”

In the aftermath of presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rally in the South Bronx, Rawlings-Blake appeared concerned that the Democratic Party is putting their “heads in the sand” as Trump is “speaking to the hearts and minds” of minority voters.

“Democrats ignore, um, Trump’s outreach to minority voters at their peril,” the former Democratic mayor told Cooper. “Trump knows how to trigger people. He knows, uh, what speaks to people, what gets them out. Now I can’t say that all of those people are from the Bronx.  I’m very suspicious that the majority of those people were voters in the Bronx. But he is doing something that is speaking to the hearts and minds of minority voters, and I hope that Democrats, um, don’t put our heads in the sand.”

Trump held his first rally in New York since 2016 at Cortona Park in the South Bronx Thursday evening. At the event, the Republican candidate told the audience that “it doesn’t matter” what race or “whatever the Hell color you are” because “we are all American” and will “pull together” to improve the country.

“He went to the boogie down Bronx,” Rawlings-Blake said. “You know, a place that set the entire world, changed the culture for the entire world, through hip hop. He didn’t go there by mistake. He went there because he knows if you go to the Bronx, it’s a message that, it’s a place that resonates with people, particularly African Americans.”

Cooper said Trump “could make inroads, very possibly” among black and Hispanic voters. As Trump’s support among both minority groups has improved significantly since 2020, Biden is struggling to shore up support from black and Hispanic voters. Biden lost 12% support from black voters as Trump’s support from black voters more than doubled, polling data shows. (RELATED: Bronx Voter Tells Fox News Host Trump’s Rally Will ‘Bring Light To The Hood’)

“He can make inroads because he’s using the language and speaking to people in a way that they receive. I think Democrats, we have to do a better job messaging the wins of the Biden administration, and there are many,” Rawlings-Blake said.

“You don’t think the Biden administration has done a good enough job reaching out to, to voters, or do you think they’re taking voters for granted?” the CNN host asked.

“I think the Democratic Party, unfortunately, has, uh, a track record of taking some voters, some voter blocs, for granted, and I hope that that doesn’t happen now,” Rawlings-Blake said. “Trump has a way of keying into peoples’, that, you know, the things that make them angry. The, uh, how they feel like they’re being taken advantage of. And when he speaks to people who feel that they should be doing better in life and scapegoat, uh, immigrants, for example. He’s giving them, you know, a common enemy. He’s speaking to them in a way says, you know, ‘If Biden would only do something about this group that’s taking advantage of you, you’d have that job that you want.’”

Earlier Thursday night, CNN National Correspondent Kristen Holmes credited Trump for being “on message” to voters while at a rally in New York, highlighting the attendance within the bluest area of the city was “much larger than” what the Biden campaign would like. (RELATED: Bronx Voters Tell Fox News Host Trump’s Rally Will ‘Bring Light To The Hood’)

“Turnout is certainly much larger than the Biden campaign would like, given that this is one of the bluest counties in the entire country. But of course, as you said, this is coming as Donald Trump is making a play for minority voters, particularly black men and Latino men. That is something that we know that Donald Trump, one sees some opportunity with, but also two, as you showed in that recent polling, there‘s some movement there and they really believe they can siphon off these minority voters from democratic groups,” Holmes stated.

“Now the other part of this has been really interesting is Donald Trump himself saying that he believes New York is in play. Now I will obviously tell you that in 2016, he said the same thing, 2020 he said the same thing. Both times he lost the state by roughly 20 points or more. But Donald Trump is here for two reasons. One, we know that he’s courting minority voters, two he had to be here or at least his team thought he had to be here. He was supposed to be in court today.”

“They thought he was going to be in court through the end of the week, obviously that wrapped on Tuesday. They had planned this rally for several months in advance, trying to go to various communities in areas in New York to keep him somewhat on the campaign trail, somewhat surrounded by people who would be cheering for him while he was in court all day long,” Holmes stated.

“But I will say he‘s been remarkably on message here talking about things that do matter to New York voters, talking about helping with infrastructure, helping with jobs. I talked to a number of people in the Bronx before we even got into the rally and the response to him being here was mixed. We had people saying he should get out, that he doesn’t belong here, but we also had people saying that they voted for Biden in 2020 and they were looking for an alternative. Many of them citing the economy, saying they felt like times were too hard and they were looking seriously at voting for Donald Trump.”