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HomeWorld NewsTrump VP contender clashes with top Democrats over his 'Jim Crow' comment

Trump VP contender clashes with top Democrats over his ‘Jim Crow’ comment

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Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida is returning fire after top Democrats took aim at the leading Black surrogate for former President Trump over comments he made earlier this week.

The controversy focuses on what Donalds – who sources indicate is on Trump’s short-list for 2024 running mate – said on Tuesday night regarding the quality of life for Black families during Jim Crow-era racial segregation.

Donalds spoke in Philadelphia as he and Rep. Wesley Hunt of Texas, a fellow Black Republican and Trump surrogate, kicked off a series of gatherings titled “Congress, Cognac, and Cigars.”

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Byron Donalds fires back at critics in the controversy over his 'Jim Crow' comments

Republican Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida, left, and Wesley Hunt of Texas headline a Black voter outreach event titled “Congress, Cognac, and Cigars” on June 4, 2024, in Philadelphia. (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

The GOP outreach effort by Donalds and Hunt for Black male voters in key battleground states comes as recent public opinion polling suggests Trump is making gains with Black voters and chipping away at President Biden’s once overwhelming lead as the two face off in a 2024 election rematch.

During Jim Crow, the Black family was together,” Donalds said at the event. “During Jim Crow, more Black people were not just conservative – Black people have always been conservative-minded – but more Black people voted conservatively.”

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Pointing to welfare polices during the 1960s under Democratic President Lyndon Johnson, Donalds said “you go down that road, and now we are where we are,” he added, referring to welfare policies instituted during the 1960s.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the top Democrat in the chamber, on Wednesday took to the House floor to rip Donalds.

“It has come to my attention that a so-called leader has made the factually inaccurate statement that Black folks were better off during Jim Crow. That’s an outlandish, outrageous and out-of-pocket observation,” Jeffries said.

And Jeffries, pointing to the Jim Crow era, emphasized “we were not better off when people could be systematically lynched without consequence…. How dare you make such an ignorant observation. You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

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Democratic National Committee chair Jaime Harrison of South Carolina, who is Black, also criticized Donalds.

Donalds posted a video on social media of the comments he made in Philadelphia regarding Jim Crow. And in a separate video posted to social media, he fired back at the Democrats.

He argued that Democrats are “trying to say I said Black people were doing better under Jim Crow. I never said that. They are lying.”

“What I said was you had more Black families under Jim Crow, and it was the Democrat policies under H.E.W., under the welfare state, that did help to destroy the Black family,” Donalds said. “I also said you’re seeing a reinvigoration of Black families today in America, and that is a good thing.”

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And pointing to the House Democratic leader, he wrote “@RepJeffries you need to check your sources and stop lying to the American people because you and @JoeBiden are losing Black men.”

The Biden campaign spotlighted the controversy surrounding Donalds.

“Donald Trump spent his adult life, and then his presidency undermining the progress Black communities fought so hard for – so it actually tracks that his campaign’s ‘Black outreach’ is going to a white neighborhood and promising to take America back to Jim Crow,” Biden-Harris spokesperson Sarafina Chitika said in a statement.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.


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