In an interview with Al Sharpton on Sunday, rap and fashion mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs urged the African-American community to “turn up the heat” on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, because their issues have not been addressed under President Obama’s leadership.
“I feel like we put President Obama in the White House. When I look back, I just wanted more done for my people because that’s the name of the game,” Diddy told Sharpton on the latter’s MSNBC show PoliticsNation on Sunday.
“This is politics. You put somebody in office, you get in return the things that you care about for your communities. I think we got a little bit shortchanged,” the 46-year-old mogul continued. “That’s not knocking the president. …He’s done an excellent job, you know, but I think it’s time to turn up the heat because the black vote is going to decide who is the next president of the United States.”
Both presidential candidates have made courting the African-American vote a top priority headed into the final stretch of the fall campaign. During a speech in August in Reno, Nevada, Clinton accused Trump of being disingenuous with his outreach to African-American voters. Clinton also accused Trump of “mainstreaming” white nationalism.
“Donald Trump misses so much,” Clinton said. “He doesn’t see the success of black leaders in every field, the vibrancy of black-owned businesses, the strength of the black church. He doesn’t see the excellence of historically black colleges and universities or the pride of black parents watching their children thrive.”
Meanwhile, Republican Donald Trump was at the Great Faith Ministries Church in Detroit on Saturday, where he delivered a 14-minute speech about the failures of the political establishment to address the needs of the black community and offered specific policy proposals on rebuilding the nation’s inner cities.
In his interview with Sharpton, Combs said Clinton, in particular, needs to do more to engage with African-American voters.
“Hillary Clinton, you know, I hope she starts to directly talk to the black community,” he said. “It really makes me feel, you know, almost hurt that our issues are not addressed and we’re such a big part of the voting bloc.”
“The heat has to be turned up so much that as a community we got to hold our vote,” Combs added. “Don’t pacify yourself, really revolutionize the game. Make them come for our vote. It’s a whole different strategy but I think we need to hold our vote because I don’t believe any of them.”
Combs has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s handling of issues facing the African-American community.
“Where are the things in our community that have gotten drastically better?” Combs said during a radio interview in November. “Let’s stop overcomplicating it. The hugest group of people that get you into office, you have to change their lives for the better. Pick a side, because they got you into office. And if that side just happens to be black people, and you’re black, you still have to do what’s fair.”
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum