Invites criticism for invoking Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support.
Even as both Democrats and Republicans woo over two million Indian American voters, who have emerged as a key constituency in swing states, President Donald Trump believes they will vote for him.
“I do,” he said Friday at a White House press conference when asked if he thought Indian Americans were supporting him and would be voting for him in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
“And I would think that the people — Indian (American) people — would be voting for Trump,” he said citing the ‘Howdy Mody’ event organized by an Indian group in Houston, Texas during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit in September 2019.
“We had an event in Houston, as you know, and it was a fantastic event,” Trump said. “I was invited by Prime Minister Modi. And this was a massive — this was where they play football — the Houston football team.”
“And it was incredible. It was actually incredible. And the Prime Minister could not have been more generous.”
ALSO READ: Indian American community rockets its way to relevance (September 4, 2020)
“We have great support from India. We have great support from Prime Minister Modi,” he added inviting criticism for invoking a foreign leader in the presidential campaign.
Trump also cited his February trip to India where he and his family attended a ‘Namaste Trump’ event — dubbed India’s answer to ‘Howdy Mody’ — in Ahmedabad in Modi’s home state of Gujarat.
“I also, as you know, went to India, just prior to the pandemic setting in, because India has been hit very hard. Left, really, about a week before that,” he recalled.
“And we had an incredible time. What we saw — the people are so incredible,” Trump said. “It’s really an incredible place, an incredible country, and it’s definitely big. It’s definitely big.”
“But you’ve got a great leader, and he’s a great person,” the President said. “Modi is a friend of mine, and he’s doing a very good job. Nothing easy — nothing easy, but he’s doing a very good job.”
ALSO READ: Raja Krishnamoorthi urges Hindus to exercise ‘dharma’ of vote (September 4, 2020)
The President also proclaimed the love of his family, daughter Ivanka, son Donald Trump Jr. as also his advisor Kimberly Guilfoyle, for India.
“They’re very good, young people. And I know their relationship to India is very good, and so is mine,” he said in response to a question whether the trio would campaign on his behalf among the Indian American community.
“I appreciate the nice sentiments. They think a lot of India, and so do I. And I think a lot of your prime minister,” Trump added.
During the Republican National Convention last month, Guilfoyle had tweeted a video titled, “Four more years” with short clips from the ‘Howdy Mody’ and ‘Namaste Trump’ events. It was retweeted by his son.
The video was conceptualized by Al Mason, co-chair of the Trump Victory Indian American Finance Committee, to win the support of Indian American voters.
Democratic campaign too is coming out with commercials to woo Indian Americans.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his Indian-American running mate Kamala Harris virtually addressed an Indian American campaign event to mark India’s Aug. 15 Independence Day.
Trump speaks Hindi in campaign ad for Hindu Americans (October 26, 2016)
Trump, Biden campaigns wooing Indian Americans (July 21, 2020)