US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump threw out a black man from a campaign rally in Kinston, North Carolina, after accusing him of being a “thug” hired by Democrats to disrupt the event. However, the man who was thrown on Wednesday, C.J. Cary, claims he is a Trump supporter and was merely trying to deliver a message to Trump to mend ties with some key demographic groups the GOP candidate has offended. Cary stood a few dozen feet from the stage trying to get Trump’s attention by waving a note and yelling “Donald,” the Raleigh News & Observer reported on Friday.
However, Trump assumed Cary was a disruptive protester. “Were you paid $1,500 to be a thug?” Trump asked Cary. The celebrity businessman then asked security to remove him. Trump has accused his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of paying her supporters to disrupt his rallies Cary, a former US Marine and resident of Nash County, told reporters afterwards that he plans to vote for Trump. “He entirely mistook that and thought that I was a protester,” he said.
Cary said he sought to offer his advice to Trump that he should treat certain groups of Americans with more respect, including African Americans, women, college students and people with disabilities. Trump’s campaign has been marked by controversy from the beginning, including disparaging remarks about women, Mexican immigrants and Muslims.
Trump has historically low support among African-American voters, after months of inciting bigotry and racism. A NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released last month showed the candidate polling at 7 percent among black voters, while Clinton had 81 percent support.
Trump is also struggling with declining support among female voters following the release of a 2005 tape that showed him talking on an open microphone bragging about sexually assaulting women. According to the latest Real Clear Politics average of recent polls, Clinton holds a 4.4 percentage-point lead over Trump.