It took Donald Trump 12 takes to do it, but he eventually got it right. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief and the campaign had the punchline: “Ab ki baar Trump sarkar”.
Trump’s outreach to the Indian American community continues, unprecedented from a major candidate in US presidential elections, following close on the heels of the New Jersey rally organised by the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC).
The 29-second ad, which started with a Diwali greeting, mirrored the slogan “Ab ki baar Modi sarkar”, which was a key part of the BJP’s campaign in 2014.
The connection is clear: this ad was shot for Trump campaign’s by the Indian American Advisory Council headed by businessman Shalabh “Shalli” Kumar, a keen supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Trump took 12 takes to do it,” Kumar told Hindustan Times. “But he did it without complaining, and very enthusiastically.”
Punjab-born Kumar started the RHC in 2015 and has emerged the biggest Indian American donor to Trump’s campaign.
Trump also shot a promotional ad for the New Jersey rally on October 15 at which he became the first major US presidential candidate to pitch himself directly to the Indian American community.
A line from his speech at that rally was a key message in the new ad: “The Indian and Hindu community will have a true friend in the White House.”
Trump went on to add: “We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism (which was played out against an image of the burning Taj Mahal Hotel during the 2008 Mumbai attacks).”
Other quotes from the rally referenced in the ad were “I look forward to working with Prime Minister Modi” (complete with an image of a smiling Modi) and “We love the Hindus, we love India”.
A voice message from Trump states that he approves of the ad and a disclaimer says it was paid for by Donald J Trump for President Inc.
The Trump campaign also continued the outreach to the Indian American community on the ground. Trump’s daughter-in-law Laura, wife of his third son Eric Trump, attended a Diwali event in Virginia earlier this week.