Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE hammered Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMeghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' Hill: Trump reelection would spur 'one constitutional crisis after another' Trump defends indicted GOP congressman MORE on trade and immigration at a rally in Michigan on Friday, as he made the case that Democrats' policies have failed the black community.
The speech was notable in that Trump used a teleprompter – something he’s done in the past for major policy addresses, but has rarely been seen at his massive rallies. He also used a prompter at Thursday's rally in Charlotte, N.C., and the GOP nominee seems to be growing more comfortable reading from a screen.
Some of Trump’s earlier speeches were stilted or stiff, but on Friday he was smoother and at times he left the script to improvise without going too far off track.
“Hillary Clinton is a legacy of death, destruction and terrorism,” Trump said, reading from prepared text. “America deserves a better legacy. All of you deserve a better future. I am the change agent.”
The GOP nominee then broke from the teleprompter to personally address the crowd.
“I am your messenger … nothing more than your messenger,” he said. “It’s a message of strong defense, common sense, take care of our vets, great education, get rid of Common Core, great healthcare, get rid of ObamaCare, save our Second Amendment, which is under tremendous siege. Hillary Clinton is the defender of the status quo, or what we have.”
Trump was dressed down at the rally, wearing a white “Make America Great Again” hat and no tie, noting that he was fresh off a plane from Louisiana where he and running mate Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceBiden, Trump tied in potential 2024 match-up: poll Nearly 80 percent of Republicans want to see Trump run in 2024: poll Why is Trump undermining his administration's historic China policies? MORE had toured devastation from flooding in the state.
He deftly pivoted from recounting the devastation he’d witnessed in Louisiana back to focusing on the economy.
“To the people of Louisiana, we are with you and we will always be with you,” Trump said.
“In my vision I saw not only the suffering of our people, but also their strength, courage, and really their unbeatable spirit. Their spirit will overcome, and we have a lot to overcome in our country, especially the fact that our jobs are being taken away from us and going to other lands and we’re not going to allow it to happen, and especially it’s happening right here in Michigan.”
The rally should brighten the spirits of Republicans, who have grown weary of Trump veering off message and missing chances to attack Clinton.
On Friday, the GOP nominee hewed closely to his anti-trade, anti-immigration message, and repeatedly blasted his Democratic rival as a corrupt and craven life-long politician who is committed only to personally profiting off her positions of power.
“She has offered no apologies for selling government favors, no apologies for unleashing ISIS, no apologies for her open borders, no apologies for lying about her emails or about Benghazi,” Trump said. “The only way to learn the full depth of her public corruption is to read the 33,000 emails she deleted. The only way to get justice in this rigged system is to show up and vote on Nov. 8 and vote big, big, big.”
The rally was another strong moment for Trump’s newly installed campaign team, led by campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and CEO Steve Bannon.
Campaign chairman Paul Manafot, who had tried to turn Trump into a more traditional candidate, resigned earlier in the day.
There was some worry that Bannon, a former Breitbart News executive, would encourage Trump’s worst instincts, leading him down a path of controversy and extreme rhetoric.
But the early results are promising for the campaign, as Trump delivered a straightforward rebuke of Clinton that also kept his free-wheeling style intact.
The campaign has also begun a sustained push to win over black voters, who have historically voted in near unanimity for Democrats and with whom Trump has polled in dismal numbers.
Trump is making the case that Democratic policies have badly harmed African-Americans and that Clinton is taking their votes for granted.
“What do you have to lose?,” Trump said, addressing black voters. “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good. You have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed, what the hell do you have to lose? At the end of four years, I guarantee you that I will get 95 percent of the African-American vote, I promise you, because I will produce for the inner cities and I will produce for the African-Americans, and the Democrats will not produce and all they’ve done is taken advantage of your vote.”
“That’s all they’ve done and once the election is over they got back to their palaces in Washington and they do nothing for you, remember it,” he continued. “So you have nothing to lose. One thing we know for sure is that if you keep voting for the same people, you’ll keep getting the same result. My administration will go to work for you as no administration has done before.”