>> RELATED STORY: Trump points out man at rally, calls him 'my African-American'
"I am not a Trump supporter," Gregory Cheadle told NPR. "I went to go hear Donald Trump because I have an open mind."
Cheadle is a Republican candidate for a California congressional race. He said he was not offended by Trump’s comment.
>> PHOTOS: Notable supporters of 2016 presidential candidates
“I was not offended by it because he had been speaking positively about black people prior to that statement,” Cheadle said. “People around me were laughing [at the fact] that he noticed me, and everybody was happy. It was a jovial thing.”
“Had he said, ‘Here’s my African-American friend’ or ‘my African-American supporter’ or something like that, then there would be less ambiguity,” Cheadle continued. “Had he said, ‘Here’s my African-American’ and then after that said, ‘What’s up, dawg,’ or ‘boy’ or even the N-word as they use it today, I really would have been offended.”
>> Read more trending stories
Cheadle took no offense, but Twitter sure did. Many were up in arms over Trump’s use of the word “my,” as if Cheadle were his possession.
The comment comes on the heels of recent polls that show Trump is having a difficult time connecting with minority voters. Sixty-two percent of Hispanic voters said they have an unfavorable view of Trump. About 19 percent of black voters polled said they have a "very" or "somewhat" favorable view of him.