Radio host Charlamagne Tha God said black voters may shift to supporting former President Donald Trump because of “tangible” actions he took during his presidency in a New York Times interview published on Saturday.

Trump’s backing among black men has jumped in seven battleground states to 30%, more than double his support nationwide among this same group in 2020’s contest when he received 12%, according to an April poll published by The Wall Street Journal. Charlamagne in the interview said he believes the “uptick” is overhyped, but that Trump’s policies on the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and on criminal justice are what black voters can appreciate from the former president.

“This so-called uptick that’s supposed to happen with Black voters and Trump — like I said, I think that’s overstated, but I do think there are three tangible things people point to in regards to President Trump,” Charlamagne told NYT journalist Lulu Garcia-Navarro. “One is those stimulus checks, another is those P.P.P. loans and another is the First Step Act. And the reason those three things resonate with people is because folks actually got money in their pocket. There’s people who actually saw family members and people they love actually get out of prison. And he takes the credit for it.”

 

Trump signed a bill in March 2020 to send 70 million Americans $1,200 checks containing his signature, according to The Washington Post. The former president also signed a $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding package in December 2020, giving $600 to eligible Americans.

The administration’s $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program had, as of July 2020, supported more than 51 million jobs since it launched in April of that year, according to the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration.

Trump also signed the bipartisan First Step Act in 2018, which sought to shorten sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

Charlamagne called out President Joe Biden in the NYT interview for co-sponsoring the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which strengthened prison sentences for drug possession. The radio host also mentioned the 1994 crime bill, authored by Biden, which some experts say contributed to systemic racism.

“You cannot bring up President Biden without talking about the ’86 mandatory minimum sentencing, the ’88 crack laws and the ’94 crime bill,” Charlamagne said. “If people go back and watch my conversation with Joe Biden on ‘The Breakfast Club,’ I said to him, the ’94 crime bill led to mass incarceration and he goes, No, it was mandatory minimum sentencing, and I go, Yeah, and you were behind that one too! So it’s like, we know all of these things, but we still vote because we have to vote for our best interests. We have to vote for the people that we feel like we can move.”

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