JACKSON, Miss. — As he seeks to make inroads with African-Americans and other minority voters, Donald Trump dramatically escalated his rhetoric against rival Hillary Clinton, accusing her of being a “bigot” who does not truly care about blacks and Hispanics.
“Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future,” the GOP presidential nominee declared at a rally here Wednesday night. “She’s going to do nothing for African-Americans. She’s going to do nothing for the Hispanics. She’s only going to take care of herself, her husband, her consultants, her donors. These are the people she cares about.”
Trump’s accusation, delivered before a overwhelmingly white audience in a heavily Republican state, was a variation of a line he’s been using over the last week. Beginning with a speech last week outside Milwaukee, the GOP nominee has repeatedly condemned “the bigotry of Hillary Clinton” while arguing that Democrats have failed minority voters and taken them for granted.
The sharp jab punctuated an unusual and somewhat surreal rally here in the Deep South, where the celebrity businessman was joined onstage by Nigel Farage, the outgoing leader of the United Kingdom’s Independence Party. Farage was an architect of the successful “Brexit,” in which the U.K. voted earlier this summer to leave the European Union.
Trump has repeatedly likened his own campaign to Brexit in arguing for “peaceful regime change” in the U.S. on Election Day. The mogul recently predicted that he would soon be known by the moniker “Mr. Brexit.”
Inviting the British politician to the stage at his Wednesday rally, the GOP nominee called it an “honor” to stand with Farage, who all but endorsed Trump as he likened his own campaign against the European establishment to the brash developer’s insurgent bid for the White House.
Speaking to audience members who appeared somewhat baffled at his presence, Farage spoke of how he and allies overcame opposition from the political establishment and even a set of foreign leaders that included U.S. President Obama. As the crowd here booed, Farage pointedly accused Obama of talking down to the British. “He treated us as if we were nothing,” Farage said. “One of the oldest functioning democracies in the world, and here he was telling us to ‘vote remain.’”
As Trump stood over his shoulder, a smile on his face, Farage pointedly did not endorse Trump — but he came very, very close. “I could not possibly tell you how you should vote in this election,” he said. “But I will say this, if I was an American citizen, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me!”
Farage urged Trump supporters to take advantage of the “fantastic opportunity” they face in November. “You can go out. You can beat the pollsters. You can beat the commentators. You can beat Washington. And you’ll do it by doing what we did for Brexit in Britain. We had our own people’s army of ordinary citizens,” he said. “Anything is possible if enough people are prepared to stand up against the establishment.”
Walking back to the podium, Trump nodded, calling Election Day a chance for the country to “re-declare” its independence. “It’s time to recapture our destiny,” he said.
For her part, Clinton responded to Trump’s “bigot” attack during a Wednesday night interview with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
“It reminds me of that great saying that Maya Angelou had, that, ’When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time,’” the Democratic nominee said. “And Donald Trump has shown us who he is. And we ought to believe him. He is taking a hate movement mainstream.”
Clinton added that Trump was “someone who has questioned the citizenship of the first African-American president — who has courted white supremacists, who has been sued for housing discrimination against communities of color, who attacked a judge for his Mexican heritage, and promised a mass-deportation force.” She said she would “have more to say about this” in a Thursday speech in Reno, Nev.