Lifelong Democrat and civil rights attorney Leo Terrell said Thursday that he thinks President Donald Trump has done more in three years for the black community than the Obama-Biden administration accomplished in eight.
Terrell, who has often appeared as a contributor on Fox News since announcing this year that he will vote for a Republican for the first time in November, spoke at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference in Atlanta, an annual gathering of Christian conservative activists that is usually held in Washington, D.C.
The 65-year-old radio host, who has worked for over three decades as a social justice advocate fighting to end racial discrimination and foster better relationships between communities and law enforcement, brought up many of his concerns about the direction of the party he claims left him behind.
“They are simply involved in trying to obtain power. I reject that,” he said. “I have been a civil rights attorney for 30 years. What makes this country great is that this country gives you an opportunity, equality and an opportunity to be who you want to be. I put the country first. I want to apologize because it took me a little bit too long to get to the right side.”
Terrell claimed that it is a “lie” for Democrats to “challenge the fairness, the programs, the policies of Donald J. Trump.”
“Let me tell the Democrats … what Donald J. Trump has done for everyone, especially people of color,” he said. “The lowest unemployment rate ever — Donald J. Trump. Funding historic black colleges. Donald J. Trump [signed] the FIRST Step Act. Why is that important? Because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris put people of color in jail. Donald Trump is giving people a second opportunity.”
Terrell also pushed back against the notion that politicians who are “fair” and treat people “equally” have to be Democrat.
“The party that provides equality, fairness, personal liberty is the Republican Party,” he contended. He later added that part of drinking the Democratic “Kool-Aid” is buying the assumption that only Democrats do things for black people and minorities.
“President Trump has done more for African Americans in the three-and-a-half years than the Obama-Biden administration in eight years,” he said. “It is a fact. It has nothing to do with color.”
Terrell was joined on stage by Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed, a prominent evangelical conservative activist. Reed listed some of the Trump administration accomplishments that he says have benefited African-American communities.
Those include the Trump administration’s Opportunity Zone initiative, Trump signing a bill restoring funding to historically black colleges and universities, the administration’s funding school choice opportunities for low-income students to attend private schools and the signing of the historic bipartisan criminal justice reform bill FIRST STEP Act.
Terrell voiced his support for school choice, initiatives that allow students and families to use tax dollars to attend private schools instead of struggling public schools. The programs are often supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.
Despite being a lifelong Democrat, Terrell argued that school choice is the “key” to ending the cycle of poverty found in a lot of minority communities.
“Why in the world are Democrats against school choice?” Terrell asked. “Public schools are bought and paid for by teacher unions. They are the ones who want to keep people of color — all Americans — trapped in public schools. Donald Trump and the Republican Party want school choice. I want school choice. School choice and education is the key to break the poverty cycle.”
“That is why I am here today. I have made school choice my No. 1 goal as a civil rights attorney as long as I am on this planet because I want to break the poverty cycle.”
The attorney, who in the past has provided legal analysis on several television networks, also criticized the response of state and local Democratic politicians to riots, violence and looting that have taken place in many cities across the country in the wake of the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody on Memorial Day.
“What happened in Seattle is not protesting. What goes on in Portland is not protesting. What goes on Chicago is not protesting. That is crime. That is criminal misconduct. But the Democrats look the other way and call it peaceful protesting,” he said. “I am a civil rights attorney. That is criminal misconduct.”
“Every civilized nation’s No. 1 obligation is to protect the country,” he continued. “Donald J. Trump is the only person who believes in law and order and supports law and order and that is one of the big reasons why we need to elect Donald Trump.”
He also claimed that it is a “lie” that there is “systemic discrimination” in the U.S.
“How can you have systemic discrimination in cities run by people of color?” he asked. “That is when the whole system is racist. Chicago? Atlanta? They are run by Democrats.”
Terrell claimed that Democrats want to “play the race game” and want to “pander to race.”
“They don’t want you to think. They want you to get angry,” he said. “I won’t play that game anymore. This country is too important. This country is at a crossroads.”
Toward the end of his segment, Terrell shot down any claims that he has been “paid” to go on Fox News and support Trump, which has increased his standing among conservatives this year.
He said has received no money from Fox News.
“I have done this because I care about my country,” he said. “And the right man to win this election is Donald J. Trump.”
The Faith & Freedom Coalition is a grassroots organization that has pledged to knock on over 5 million doors and spend over $40 million in 2020 to drive voter turnout for the election.
Other speakers at this year’s Road to Majority Summit include Vice President Mike Pence, former National Football League player Benjamin Watson, several federal lawmakers as well as notable evangelical pastors like Jack Graham, Jentezen Franklin and Paula White.
While many organizations have held their annual summits online this year, this year’s Road to Majority is being held in-person.