DETROIT – In his acceptance speech during Thursday night’s Republican National Convention, President Donald Trump blamed the spike in crime in major American cities on Democratic politicians, including Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
The president leaned into a law and order message Thursday night. He pointed to the nation’s cities with high crime rates and those that have seen clashes between police and protestors this summer during demonstrations against police brutality. While he didn’t specifically name Detroit, according to transcripts of his speech, he did lump together the nation’s most dangerous cities. According to FBI data, Detroit was the second most dangerous city in 2019.
“There is violence and danger in the streets of many Democrat-run cities throughout America. This problem could easily be fixed if they wanted to,” Trump said during his speech. “Just call, we’re ready to go in. We will take care of your problem in a matter of hours. Just call. We have to wait for the call. It is too bad we have to, but we have to wait for the call.”
His comments came after days of protests in opposition to the presence of federal officers in Downtown Detroit which led to dozens of arrests. It also came the same day the Detroit Police Department asked for help with solving a shooting from the Fourth of July.
Duggan and Detroit Police Chief James Craig both supported the current number of federal officers in Detroit which were sent to the city as part of a seven city campaign called Operation Legend.
When asked about whether he felt the need to call the president for more federal intervention, Duggan pointed to the administration’s response to the pandemic.
“The administration told us to ‘just call’ if we need help responding to COVID. We called and are still waiting,” he said on Friday.
Trump and his campaign have recently leaned into focusing on crime rates and unrest in places like Detroit hoping it will help him win the outer suburbs. Those suburbs around Metro Detroit were among the most important for his 2016 campaign and support remains high for him in those towns.
Over all Biden has a seven point lead in polling averages right now, but two recent polls done over the last two weeks came back with very different results. A recent poll released by the Trafalgar Group gave Trump a one-point advantage over former vice president Joe Biden. Another poll from Change Research showed up with a Biden six-point lead over the same time period. Neither was done after the RNC.