Trump visits black church with new tone for same old pitch

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 31: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of supporters about his Immigration Policy during a campaign rally on August 31, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

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PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 31: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of supporters about his Immigration Policy during a campaign rally on August 31, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Donald Trump visited Detroit's Great Faith Ministries International church on Saturday to deliver one of his strongest attempts yet at black voter outreach.

"The African-American faith community has been one of God's greatest gifts to America and to its people," Trump said during his speech.

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By Trump standards, these remarks were downright presidential. He stayed on script, spoke reverentially about the black church and managed not to say anything overtly inflammatory. It's a marked improvement over his previous pitches.

"What the hell have you got to lose?" Trump asked black voters at a rally last month, trying to persuade them to vote for him.

But despite the shift in tone, Trump's core pitch remained the same as it always has been: America is losing jobs and security, and he's going to bring them back. Trump didn't focus on issues specific to African-Americans, saying instead he was there to listen to the community.

This pitch might not stick. Outside the church, Trump's visit was marked with a protest from those who've heard his past rhetoric and have already made up their minds about him. Even some people inside the church were left skeptical.

"He had a nice presentation. It was clear and concise. Now the big question is, is it real?" Detroit resident Verzell Page told MSNBC.

Trump last took a stab at diplomatic outreach when he visited Mexico earlier this week. Less than 24 hours later, that approach vanished into a fiery immigration speech which reassured his base but alienated the voters Trump was trying to reach.

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