With polls showing Donald Trump with hardly any support among black voters, the Republican nominee for president made a new pitch to them: "What the hell do you have to lose?"
"Look how much African-American communities are suffering under Democratic control. To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump?" he told a nearly all-white crowd at a rally in Dimondale, Michigan on Friday.
"You're living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. ... What the hell do you have to lose?" he asked.
While African Americans have overwhelmingly identified as Democrats since the 1950s, Trump's presidential bid has reached new lows. Polls taken since last month's party conventions show him with only 1 or 2 per cent support among blacks.
Many cannot forget Trump's insistence during the 2012 election that President Barack Obama, the nation's first black president, was foreign born and therefore unqualified for the White House. Obama provided his birth certificate, showing he was born in Hawaii.
"This is so ignorant it is staggering," Hillary Clinton wrote on Twitter after Trump's rally on Friday.
Marlon Marshall, a senior member of the Democratic nominee's campaign, slammed Trump as "painting the entire African American community as living in poverty with no jobs."
Trump promised in the speech that if elected in November, he will receive "over 95 per cent of the African-American vote" when he runs for re-election in 2020.