EXCLUSIVE: As President Biden prepares for a weekend of Black voter outreach in the key battleground states of Georgia and Michigan, a high-profile Black Republican politician is accusing the president of election year “pandering.”

“It’s always pandering,” Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida argued in a national digital exclusive interview with Fox News. “This is what the Democrats do, especially in election years. You never see them in the Black community until it’s time to actually get votes, and they show up and want to give speeches.”

The president is scheduled to take part in an event Saturday in Georgia that his re-election campaign highlighted was “focused on engaging Black voters” before delivering the commencement address Sunday morning – in his official capacity as president – at Morehouse College, a renowned historically Black men’s liberal arts college in Atlanta.

Biden later Sunday will meet with small-business owners in Detroit before delivering an address that evening in Michigan to the NAACP.

The president’s re-election team, in an email release, highlighted that “no administration has delivered for Black America like President Biden and Vice-President Harris.”


President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event at Pullman Yards on March 9, 2024, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

“This campaign will not take a single voter for granted,” Biden campaign senior adviser Trey Baker wrote in the memo. “We are not, and will not, parachute into these communities at the last minute, expecting their vote.”

But a slew of polls this spring – both nationally and in the key swing states – have indicated that Trump has gained support with Black voters at Biden’s expense.


The Biden campaign memo spotlighted that “while the Black unemployment rate skyrocketed under Trump, the Biden-Harris administration helped to create over 2.5 million jobs for Black workers, resulting in record low Black unemployment – Black business ownership is also growing at the fastest pace in 30 years.” 

But Donalds, in his interview with Fox News Digital, pointed to persistent inflation.

“I think his problem with Black voters in particular, but with all voters, is that his agenda sucks. It’s awful. Inflation is crippling so many families. It’s destroyed purchasing power,” Donalds emphasized.

GOP Rep. Byron Donalds, of Florida, a supporter and ally of former President Donald Trump, speaks at a news conference across the street from the Manhattan criminal court, where Trial is standing trial, on May 14, 2024, in New York.(AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah) (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)

Donald also pointed to what he called the nation’s “wide open border, which is strangling every major city in America, squeezing their budgets, overwhelming resources.”

And he claimed that Biden is “trying to find ways to repair the damage. But speeches don’t repair damage. Actual policy and execution is what fixes things.”

Donalds was interviewed ahead of his trip to New Hampshire on Friday to headline the state GOP’s major fundraising dinner. 


Former two-term South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who later served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, in January captured 40% of the vote in New Hampshire’s presidential primary. Haley, who was the last candidate standing against Trump in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, ended her campaign in early March.

But more than two months after she dropped out, zombie candidate Haley is still grabbing sizable support in the GOP primaries at the expense of Trump.

Nikki Haley

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a rally during the District of Columbia’s Republican presidential primary at the Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Friday, March 1, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Donalds said his message to New Hampshire Republicans is “it’s time to come together. It’s time to be focused on being one party… I think every Republican in our country, regardless of what side of the party they’re on, does understand that Joe Biden is the master of disaster and has to be defeated if our country’s going to survive.”

“I’m fully confident that by the time we get to the November election, those voters are going to come home and vote Republican. They’re going to vote for Donald Trump,” Donalds predicted.


Donalds, a Trump ally and supporter in the House, is considered to be on the former president’s short list for 2024 running mate.

The two-term congressman has long said he would serve as running mate if asked by Trump.

But because both Donalds and Trump call Florida home, residency could be an issue. 

A general interpretation of a clause in Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution is that if the presidential and vice presidential nominee come from the same state, the electors from that state cannot vote for both candidates. With 30 electoral votes at stake in Florida, this could be an issue.

Asked what would happen if he was named as the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, Donalds said “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. It’s something we definitely have to think through. When you get there, you get there, and you make those decisions accordingly. There’s probably ways to work that out.”

Byron Donalds, Donald Trump

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) shakes hands with former President Donald Trump during the Moms for Liberty national summit, on June 30, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Donalds was interviewed a few days after Trump, at a closed-door fundraiser in New York City, suggested that if Donalds ran for Florida governor in 2026 in the race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, he’d have “many friends in the race.”

Donalds told Fox News “I’ve thought about it. I don’t really rule anything out simply,” 

“It’s really cool that people back home in Florida consider me to be able to be the state’s next governor. It’s really an honor. It’s honestly surreal thinking about it because I’m 45 and my journey through politics has been a really fruitful one,” Donalds said. “It’s really humbling and an honor, but I just focus on doing the job I have.”

Donalds’ trip to New Hampshire – which holds the first presidential primary in the race for the GOP nomination – is also sparking some speculation that he may have some national ambitions in four years.

“I think it’s pretty cool. You never know. Politics is a funny business. Things can change very, very fast,” he said when asked about a possible White House run in 2028. “People have asked me about the future all the time. So why not go to New Hampshire, especially if they ask you to come. You better show up.”

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

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