July 24th, 2007
01:41 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama targets black voters in new South Carolina ad

Obama is targeting black voters in South Carolina with a new radio ad.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama Wednesday launched a new radio ad targeting black voters in South Carolina, a campaign spokesman told CNN.

The ad, which will air on three dozen stations across the Palmetto State, according to The Associated Press, hits the airwaves a day after Obama faced his seven Democratic rivals for the nomination at the CNN/YouTube debate in Charleston.

During the debate, one YouTube questioner asked the Illinois Democrat how he would respond to African-Americans who say he is not black enough.

“When I’m catching a cab in Manhattan,” Obama replied, “I have… my credentials.” Laughter then broke out as the senator’s remarks trailed off and he segued into a broader stump answer.

“Race permeates society,” he added, “and I do believe in the core decency of the American people.”

The early primary state is an important one for Obama because African-Americans could make up nearly 50 percent of Democratic primary voters in the state.

Meanwhile, a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll indicates Obama continues to battle chief rival Hillary Clinton’s popularity in the African-American community. The poll, conducted on July 16-18, showed the New York Democrat had a 14-point lead over Obama overall in the state and among black Democratic voters, her lead over Obama was 16 points.

- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

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soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. kathe oakland california

    I think your comments about Obama and Clinton battling it out for black vote are mistaken. Maybe CNN should look back at footage before he commited to running for President and see who in the crowds and crowds of people wanted him to run – they were not basically black folks – they were white men and women young and old. So please stop with this "black" thing – you and all the networks and don't forget BUSH, have brought back to life "RACISM". For goodness sake, have we not learned anything in America – he is a man, she is a woman, they both are running for President period. Guess you all think, "poor lady" what world is she living in huh." Well, I had been, before Bush and people like Lott, and all these religious folks started focusing AMericans on Race, Religious noneness and that is what it is. Let's move forward America and Americans back to a USA we are all proud of, a USA where we are respected and feared – why because we live DEMOCRACY!!

    July 24, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Lyn Rockville, MD

    If you believe that Cnn poll taken by a Clinton Pollster Info USA. I have a bridge to sell. Take it to the bank no way African Americans in SC will go for Hillary over Barack despite Bill. He would have to get out of the race first or drop to 25 in the polls. The focus group for SC last night showed that

    July 24, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |


    July 24, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Rose Hillrose, Chicago, IL

    I agree with Kathe that this "Black" thing must stop. It is amazing to see that it is actually the press like CNN that is promoting the color bar, and by default racism. Why is CNN focused on Black and White as if theiir ballot papers and boxes are also different colors. I think it is below the belt for CNN to dwell on Black vote(rs). It is shameful and yes, I still dont see CNN's motive for speaking over and over about Black vote and continue to divide Americans which its divisive rehetorics.

    July 24, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Matt, Albany, GA

    Kathe and Rose have used up all their "vague political commentary" passes with their comments. After re-reading this ticker, I found that someone on youtube had asked the race question. Crying "racism" around every corner is the same as racism. Just ask Obama-all the cab drivers in Manhattan are racist in his view.

    July 24, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Kathe and Peggy, lets also do away with the NAACP forums dealing with black issues, black lawyers association, black journalist association, etc, etc.

    Bush has had more minorities in his cabinet and inner circle than any president in history a lot more than the supposed black president Bil Clinton.

    July 24, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Kyle G. Columbia SC

    I was born in a small town off I-95 in the Low Country of South Carolina, called Jasper County is how to low income families with little or no education and while many KNOW Hillary but they LOVE Barack!! I was fortunate enough to have not just a strong fathers presence (he and my mom were never married) but I have a family that injected into me HOPE, the same thing Barack brings to all black communities so just because he's BLACK; ISNT the only reason WHY he'll carry a large bloc of the African-American vote!! It's more on his HOPE, VISION, AND THE PATH LESS TRAVELED HE CHOOSE TO TAKE!!! SOUTH CAROLINA WILL LINE WITH BARACK OBAMA WATCH AND SEE!! THE STREETS ARE TALKING......AND YEARNING.....FOR CHANGE!!!

    July 24, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Anonymous (don't want to get bombed!)

    Most of the cab drivers in Manhattan, or Minneapolis or Miami, etc. are racist in general, but not just to African Americans. The drivers from Yemen, Somalia, etc. hate white folks too! Just ask them!

    July 24, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Tiff

    Curious about something. All these years Blacks have been complaining about Whites voting their color. Now you are saying no way are Black in SC going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Her track record on civil rights be damned, her track record on supporting issues important to the Black community, be damned, her support on minority education be damned. No way are Blacks going to let things like that stop them from voting for Obama who they have no real history with, not even race. Are you guys so desparate for someone to "love" that you'll forsake friend(s) of long standing? Just asking

    July 24, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Edward, Severna Park, MD

    Wow, is Obama serious? Just because you are African American does not mean you should automatically vote for him. Vote for the Issues, vote for the better President please.

    Look what happens when you vote for a President who happens to be likeable or similar to you, rather than on qualifications, you get GEORGE W. BUSH. If you ask me I don't think Obama is qualified at all, he's just riding a big fad wave (unless someone can tell me what he's done in the few years of being a senator that would qualify him).

    July 24, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Joe, Boulder, CO

    The good black folks that I know all say they believe this election is far too important to boil down to race. They realize Mr. Obama is inexperienced, and they appreciate Mrs. Clinton's proven track record and leadership. I don't believe South Carolina or any other state is going to fall to Obama, predominately black or not.

    That said, I think all the white women I know need to put their tongues back in their mouths and stop being "catty" about Mrs. Clinton. This is serious, not "vote for who you think is cutest", ffs.

    July 24, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Mandy Morton IL

    All of this talk about race and whether it will impact the vote. How about whether or not having an African
    American in such an esteemed position of power will affect the youth of our country? Young black men have very few strong role models in the media, politics, or business. Why don't intelligent, politically minded individuals discuss the benefits of having either a woman or a minority as president? I guess the forum decides the content - so CNN run a story on that for a change. Give us something on the possible improvements of our society based on the election of one of these folks instead of baiting everyone with these "polls." Wouldn't it be great if they ended up running on the same ticket? Can you imagine what that would mean for our daughters and sons? The possibility of such great change should be celebrated, not dissected.

    July 24, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Charlie, Boston MA.

    I think the race issue should not be raised again by CNN. I have never heard Obama advocating blacks issues like the way past black presidential contenders have done, like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Lets face it, Obama is BLACK and WHITE. So let him be as a presidential contender and never think that he will openly side with Black more than Whites. All he wants and fighting for is a Hopeful and Unified America, and thats already past racial lines.

    July 24, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. CMS, California

    Can someone explain what it means to be "black enough?" How is someone really suppose to answer that question? Personally, I want someone who is "American enough."

    We are electing the President of the US, not the black President of the US. Enough race debate already.

    July 24, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  15. Ted, Los Angeles, Ca.

    The media runs this!! They want racism or nobody's gonna watch the debate. Controversy sells. There all about the money. I think we are all intelligent enough to see that. If they even post this comment I'd be surprised.


    July 24, 2007 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  16. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    In response to Matt. Cab drivers in Manhattan are racist my friend.

    July 25, 2007 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  17. Mark, Yi WI

    Interesting! This just proves other posts I've read. Race doesn't matter my bum! For all you "race doesn't matter" individuals, what do you make of this headline and Obamas tactic?

    Tell me again Oprah likes him because of his character and not skin color.

    I don't really care. I just want to prove a point that it is what it is. Don't tell me race doesn't matter when obviously it does to Obama.

    Peace to you.

    July 25, 2007 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  18. Cathy Olathe, KS

    MR OBAMA IS GENUINELY AUTHENTIC. HE KNOWS WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND WILL DO IT FOR ALL RACES. I'm Hispanic and do not see him as a man of color but a person with INTEGRITY. What has Hillary done for anyone outside of New York or for New Yorkers for that matter? Except becoming Senator because she was Bill's wife – She has tasted the power and CRAVES it. STOP feeding on what the media says and DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. KNOWLEDGE WILL OPEN YOUR EYES. Mr. "President" Obama is one of the most AUTHENTIC PEOPLE in DC. Many say Hillary has helped the Black community. How? Are your living conditions better (maybe due to the great economy)? Are you and your children college educated? Do you have great jobS? Are you healthier that you've ever been? What can you credit Hillary for? That'S what I want answered. Don't rely on Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton – they have a vested interest and with THEIR OWN WEALTH thru the Clinton connection AND YOU DON'T. JUST EDUCATE YOURSELVES AND APPLY THESE QUESTIONS TO YOUR OWN LIVES. THEN YOU WILL SEE OBAMA AS THE ANSWER. THANK YOU.

    July 25, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. Vince Samuels, Atlanta, GA

    If the narrative asking if Obama is 'black enough' is relative, then it would seem to be equally relevant in asking if Hillary, Rudy, Edwards or Romney is white enough. We devolve into this racial nonsense because we live in a society dominated by whites, who by in large control the scope of the dialogue. We are also in a deficit when it comes to having black men and women in the media to balance the discussions.

    To whit: Tucker Carlson holds a discussion on his insipid program some 6 months ago dealing with this same issue, and apparently no one in the executive suites felt it was necessary to even include a minority in the discussion. And, yet the most bizzare thing about a group of whites opening discussing if a 'black' is black enough is that I have encountered few whites who find being 'black enough' favorable; as it seems that what the establishment desires is having blacks who don't seem to have qualities that reflect blackness or black culture.

    So then, one must ask why would the white MSM which has so little visible black men and women represented in its ranks spend its time bringing up the 'black enough' issue? My feelings is that it is but another method of strangulation and manipulation by the dominate culture upon the minority culture, to control its focus, while not using the same methods in disecting its white citizenry who are the ones who have traditionally used it voice and vote for its candidates, many times based only on race in the Deep South.

    We would all do ourselves a big favor by not participating in false scenarios and arguments by the white media establishment, until they themselves begin to explain why they aren't more interested in hiring blacks for their most visible jobs, rather than injecting themselves into dialogues which should be, if we choose, confined to black people and the black community. It is simply no ne of their business and we should not enjoin them by being puppets and exhibiting slave mentality as we legitimize their opinions by openly discussing ourselves, each time they wish to focus on some aspect of what they personally have no part of the said experience.

    This nonsense is almost like the master throwing out the 'pig feet' and 'ribs' and 'hog heads' because he sees it as trash, then later discovering that we can make it palatable, so he then gathers the best slave cooks and starts them to argue among themselves about who can cook this stuff that he regards as useless.

    We need to wake the heck up and begin to focus on the process that makes us so content with being unaware of how the media still plays us against each other-which is of course the purpose.

    January 9, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. Pat

    Even from Shelby Steel's new book, A Man Bound, one can see that Black Republican of similar background to not see Obama as qualified to be President.

    If we was not black, few whites would question his qualifications. There would be none. But because he is black, somehow, this can catapulted him into a qualified candidate. This is not just bold audacity, it is arrogant audacity from one so young, and so inexperienced in any type of work that might qualify him to be President. What's missing appears to be everything except race. Even Kerry is fooled.

    At this rate, any person elected to be President of the Harvard Law Review is Presidential material, and should run immediately after graduation. Why not dispense with graduation, and have Harvard Law Review Presidents elected straight from Harvard?

    If people think Hillary is polarizing on gender, Obama is certainly polarizing on much more than race given his lack of substance, or the content of his speeches. Electing a President is about much more than race or gender, or popularity, historically.

    Comparing Hillary's history of how democracy should work and the absence of Obama's projection of how democracy should work is a world of difference in these two campaigns that has yet to be addressed, as Steel points out.

    Should not Presidents be elected on more than charisma and platitudes, even if they sound inspiring? Neither fear nor prejudice of Hillary nor absolute faith that surrounds Obama can cure these ills or functional flaws of the campaigns to date. Counting upon ignorance to win a campaign for President is not rational at all.

    January 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |