Republicans launch new effort to court black voters
April 24th, 2012
09:09 AM ET
3 years ago

Republicans launch new effort to court black voters

Washington (CNN) - One thing is certain this election year: President Barack Obama will win African American voters by a colossal margin.

Obama had a stunning 94-3 lead over Mitt Romney among blacks in a Quinnipiac University poll released last week.

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But Republicans are trying to loosen the grip.

The Republican National Committee is planning to launch a "black Americans" outreach program as part of their "strategic partnerships" initiative aimed at courting groups that have traditionally leaned Democratic.

Web platforms targeting women and Hispanics have already launched.

The party is set to introduce a new web site, which will go live in the next two weeks, featuring testimonials from some of the party's most prominent black elected officials, including Florida Rep. Allen West, South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott and Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.

"We highlight our elected officials so people understand that we do have Republicans that are elected that are black," said RNC co-chair Sharon Day, the committee's coalitions director. "I don't care if they are a mosquito sprayer or a dog catcher in Arizona, or Jennifer Carroll or Allen West. We have black conservative leaders who stand for their principles."

She said the concerns of African American voters are chiefly economic.

"We need to explain our values to them," Day told CNN. "To be honest with you, their values and our values are more similar than dissimilar. They are not Democratic values, they are Republican values."

"Whether it's African Americans or Caribbean blacks or Asian Americans, the issues are the same," she said. "They want a job, a strong economy, a good education for their children. Those are the things that matter. As Republicans we can bring those things to the table."

Day would not openly criticize the RNC's previous chairman, Michael Steele, the first African American to head the organization.

But she suggested that Steele's efforts at minority outreach – he famously called for the party to hold events in "urban-suburban hip-hop settings" - came across as haphazard and focused on unrealistic and near-sighted political gains instead of long-term dialogue.

"Whatever their focus was, I'm not sure, but mine is not an election cycle, mine is a relationship," she said. "It's not a feel good political campaign site; it is a legacy site, a relationship site, so they have a voice."

Still, Day said that contributions made on the site will be earmarked for African American outreach and recruiting black candidates.


Filed under: 2012 • RNC
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Ramana7

    They have nothing to offer Blacks. That's the reality. Blacks who support the GOP are extremely rare. It is a phenomenon that only happens because (a.) They may be very religious and socially conservative and feel the GOP is the only party that has those concerns. Or (b.) They are brainwashed like West (who was reared in the Military, where the Republicanism is enforced).

    Really, it's very similar to why any average, blue-color anybody supports the GOP. The GOP is in FACT, historically verifiable beyond a reasonable doubt, the party of the rich, meaning, the party that represents the rich and powerful to get them favor in legislation, etc. They have never been the party that is far the average joe, the 90%. They of course cannot be clear about this and they hide behind the social conservatism and religious issues as devices to get the support of the 90%.

    Strip away the subterfuges and it's not too hard to see they have always served special interest. Even in the ending of Slavery under Lincoln, they used Lincoln and the slavery issue to gain advantage for the rich and powerful in the North. The whole abolition of slavery itself was a means to another end for them, that's the sad historical fact.

    April 24, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. Lenwood May

    So now we are mosquito sprayers and dog catchers, that's the reason they will not be able to capture the minority vote because they have no respect for us. Making comments like that is like pouring gasoline on a fire to put it out. Using Alan West as anything to attract minority voters is like asking Uncle Tom to fix the lunch. Get serious, and show us how we fit in with the Republican vision. Send someone more spunk then FLIP-FLOP MITT!

    April 24, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. Sniffit

    So they're basically just doing the same thing they've been trying to do with women voters: trying to sweep the race/gender issues under the rug of economic issues? Such a disingenuous and condescending strategery will backfire and insult women and minorities, because it implicitly downplays the importance of the actual race/gender issues. GOP/Teatrolls (a) don't have any legitimate answers on these issues and (b) have a buttload of answers to those issues that are offensive to those who are more concerned about and affected by them and (c) want to hide those abhorrent "answers" to those issues from the women and minorities they are trying to dupe by attempting to make it all about the economy and jobs. Have fun with that, you rightwing dimwits.

    April 24, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Brian

    The GOP should not waste their time as it is like dumping money into the ocean. Blacks that would vote for Romney are just so focused on money that they have lost sight of their history and what is important in the progress of the country and the black community as a whole.

    April 24, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. GL

    The Republican National Committee is planning to launch a "black Americans" outreach program as part of their "strategic partnerships" initiative aimed at courting groups that have traditionally leaned Democratic.

    And us blacks will be laughing all the way to the polls in Nov. voting for Obama. There nothing the racist Republicans party can do or say to get us blacks to vote for them. We have all the racist hate jokes and hate talks about the first black President.

    April 24, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Lionel

    Not all Republicans are racist but most RACIST people vote Republican and for that I will never vote Republican. Just look at our recent history.

    It has been democrats and progressives who have fought for these rights. We are not stupid. Until your party changes and wipes out racism, blacks, latinos and progressives will not flock to your party.

    African-American for Obam 2012

    April 24, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. GL

    The party is set to introduce a new web site, which will go live in the next two weeks, featuring testimonials from some of the party's most prominent black elected officials, including Florida Rep. Allen West, South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott and Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.

    How stupid does the Republicans party think blacks are? Allen West is a totally disgrace to blacks. This just show you how little Republicans care about us blacks to use some one like Allen West who have been rejected by the NAACP.

    April 24, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    "Vote for Mitt. He likes grits".......even more far-fetched than their "outreach" (pandering) to Hispanics and women

    April 24, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. GL

    This article is a total DISGRACE. Blacks are not that stupid.

    April 24, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Sandy

    "Whether it's African Americans or Caribbean blacks or Asian Americans, the issues are the same," she said. "They want a job, a strong economy, a good education for their children. Those are the things that matter. As Republicans we can bring those things to the table."

    Good luck getting the black vote. African Americans do want jobs, but GOOD jobs, not minimum wage jobs that Republicans in red states are offering with their "right to work for less" laws and their slashing of education. LOL

    April 24, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Oxymoron3329

    Allen West is not the person you want delivering this message.

    April 24, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Anderson

    Pleaseeeee - give - me - a - break.

    April 24, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. Dave

    The GOP is going to use Allen West? It's a shame when the GOP's token African-American representation is certifiable idiot.

    April 24, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. blairablair

    It is just sad that blacks would vote for someone just because they are black. Do not tell me they don't, because I have had black people tell me straight up that they would vote for any black person "because they is my bro" . 99% of the employees were black and not one voted before in any election, until the last one and all of them said "because he is my bro" and the whites all said "because he is black". That is sad and scary

    April 24, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. GI Joe

    with people like Allen West representing the blacks, it's time to just give it up. He has done more damaqge to the opinion of blacks in this country than anyone I've known.

    April 24, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Stop the Charade

    "The party is set to introduce a new web site, which will go live in the next two weeks, featuring testimonials from some of the party's most prominent black elected officials, including Florida Rep. Allen West,.."

    You mean Allen West the man who sees communists in the House but can't name them? Lot's of credibility there RNC. LOL.

    April 24, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. Indy

    "I am Republican because" ??? sounds like a grade school assignment. I realize you should explain yourself why you would be for the party that offers nothing but trickle down economics and wants to make the middeclass extinct but this is childish and proves that not everyone falls for the lies that Republicans depend on for power.

    April 24, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. SoSad

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. The party of NO, Your record speaks volumnes, you are out of touch with Blacks and Hispanic voters why? Because the majority of old time GOP members exlcude minorities and are RACIST. Plain and simple. You Republicans have also isolated woman, that's why woman are in favor of Democrats, because you are ANTI-WOMAN. The small small small number of blacks and hispanics in the Republican party are internally outcasts, who are TOKEN! How many stood up for Obama against the radical Ted Nugent, who wants to do away with the President, HUH? Not many Republican condemned this wacko, RIGHT

    April 24, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Mr. D

    Are you kidding me? Allen West to appeal to Blacks? GOP is really clueless

    April 24, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Independent Voters

    I think congressman West is really turning away alot of african american towards republican.
    Cain already destroy the african american votes.
    African american will come out strong for president Obama.

    April 24, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Jerubbaal

    The Repubs are the most oppresive, racist, discriminatory & divisive political force in the US that I've seen. Their inability to place country first in place of the narrow agenda that they want to force on us is the greatest & most destructive threat to the US. Their boldness and arrogance to this end knows no bovnds. They have taken the legacy of the greatest generation and corrupted it as spoiled brats corrupt a family. That generation did not make the shared sacrifices through a depression, world war, and industrialization of the greatest country that God has placed on the face of the earth only to be pissed away by the spoiled, selfish, hypocritical repubs. We are ONE NATION UNDER GOD, a pluralistic society. If a small, rigid segment of that society rules absolutely the ends thereof is FACISM. The one thing why the greatest generation sacrificed so much, so that we can be that beacon of light to the world.

    April 24, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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