*It’s not a secret – of any president in US history, Trump’s approval rating among minorities, especially black men and women, is probably the lowest (or very close).
Nevertheless, despite his penchant for making racially insensitive comments on Twitter and during nationally televised speeches, there’s a small cluster of African Americans who voted for Trump in 2016, and they will likely vote for him again in the 2020 presidential election.
Gregory Cheadle used to be one of Trump’s most outspoken and unapologetic cheerleaders. As a successful businessman and avid supporter of the Republican Party, Cheadle’s brown skin, horn-rimmed glasses, and conservative appearance make him an ideal political prop.
During a rally in 2016, Trump took inventory of his predominate audience and noticed Cheadle’s smiling face sticking out like a sore thumb.
“Look at my African American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest? You know what I’m talking about,” Trump said.
At the time, Cheadle was thrilled, defending the quip in a CNN interview. Had it happened today, he said he might have responded differently.
“When you do things retrospectively, it’s almost unfair,” Cheadle explained. “When that thing happened, everyone was laughing. I mean, it was funny. … Since then, it’s turned into a nightmare for me.”
Cheadle – who is running in 2020 to be the U.S. representative of the 1st Congressional District in far Northern California – says his recent decision to leave the Republican party is partly because of his disappointment with the president’s approach to racial issues, reports CNN.
During an interview, Cheadle openly criticized the president’s attacks on former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the National Anthem.
“I was really hurt (by that) because I was in favor of him taking the knee,” he said. “The overwhelming majority of Republicans in my congressional district were against me, and that was disheartening because no one really gave a rip about the plight of blacks.”
After hearing that the Trump Administration had proposed cuts to Social Security and food stamps, Cheadle decided to change his party registration from Republican to independent about a month ago, he said.
And while Cheadle has several grievances with the president — highlighting his attacks against a group of Democratic congresswomen nicknamed “the squad” and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings in a PBS interview — he hasn’t ruled out voting for Trump in 2020.
“Never say never,” Cheadle said. “There’s so much that can happen between now and then. For all I know, he could change his ways and start doing a lot for black people and people of color.
Cheadle said he’s going to vote for whichever presidential candidate has the best platform.
“If Trump has it, he has it. If Cory Booker has it, he has it,” Cheadle said, saying he has considered multiple options, including the senator from New Jersey, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California), and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont).