Donald Trump veered off the teleprompter on Monday night to claim that “inner cities run by the Democrats” were more dangerous than countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Republican nominee was meant to be delivering a scripted speech calling for Hillary Clinton be investigated by a special prosecutor. However, once again he veered off message in an attempt to appeal to minority voters in apocalyptic terms.
“You can go to war zones in countries that we are fighting and it is safer than living in some of our inner cities that are run by the Democrats,” Trump said. The Republican nominee also promised if elected, “we’ll get rid of the crime. You’ll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Now, you walk down the street, you get shot.”
Trump has made increased appeals for support from African Americans in recent days. Despite that, a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Trump receiving the support of only 1% of African American voters, a historically low total. The poll did have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%. The Republican nominee has repeatedly argued that African American voters should support him in the past week, saying: “What have you got to lose?” In contrast, the New York real estate developer has railed against what he called “the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, who sees people of color only as votes and not as human beings worthy of a better future”.
The intended focus of the Republican nominee’s message on Monday was his call for a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton’s leadership of the state department. Trump claimed that the FBI and Department of Justice could not be trusted to investigate “Hillary Clinton’s crimes”. The FBI in July decided not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton for her use of an unsecured private email server while secretary of state. However, in doing so, FBI Director James Comey rebuked Clinton for the “extremely careless” way in which she handled her emails.
In the speech, Trump also said he was “fighting for peaceful regime change in our country” and warned gravely of potential election fraud. “You got to go out and watch. You know what I’m talking about.” Trump has long made unsubstantiated claims about “a rigged election” and warned of in-person voter fraud recently at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania. However, an exhaustive investigation of in-person voter fraud in the United States found only 31 cases since 2000 out of more than 1bn ballots cast.
Trump spoke in the blue collar city of Akron, Ohio. The Buckeye State has 18 electoral votes, and no Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. According to data complied by Real Clear Politics, Clinton has not trailed in a single statewide poll of Ohio since April. However, despite these sagging poll numbers and cryptic warnings about election fraud, Trump was still confident of victory: “I just get the feeling that we’re going to win in a landslide.”