November 28th, 2007
10:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Candidates pressed on outreach to African-Americans

(CNN) - African-American voter David McMillan of Los Angeles, California, wanted to know why, despite relatively conservative positions on many social issues, blacks tend not to vote for Republicans.

"We probably haven't done a good enough job of pointing out that our solutions, our philosophy, is really the philosophy that would be the most attractive to the overwhelming majority of people in the African-American and Hispanic community," former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani responded.

"Whether they are upper-middle class, rich, middle class or poor, good education is something that everyone in all these communities - and all communities - want," he said. He went on to mention several of his proposed education reforms.
"... There are many, many issues on which we can reach out," he concluded.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee cited a CNN exit poll that said 48 percent of African-American voters had voted for him in an election in Arkansas.

"Here's the reason why: because I asked for their vote, and I didn't wait until October of the election year to do it," he said.
Huckabee said he worked at making his administration inclusive in appointments, employment and programs.

"Our party had better reach out, not just to African-Americans but to Hispanics and to all people of this country," he warned. "I don't want to be a part of a Republican Party that is a tiny, minute and ever-decreasing party, but one that touches every American from top to bottom regardless of race."

Four Republican candidates - Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and Sen. John McCain - declined to participate in a September debate at historically black Morgan State University in Maryland. Huckabee said he was "embarrassed" for his party.

- CNN's Jim Kavanagh

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Tonya, Lakeland, FL

    Huck nailed this one. Way to go!

    November 28, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  2. aj huntington ny

    Why should they reach out to African Americans? Why not reach out to Polish-Americans or Cuban-Americans? Isn't it divisive and racist to single out one group in America?

    November 28, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  3. Paul Thompson

    As Governor he helped/received tens of thousands of victims into Arkansas, without regard to color after Katrina.

    He's the only statesman in this race...the rest are politicians.

    Go Huck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    November 28, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  4. S. Wright

    Republicans already reached out to minorities as they spearheaded the Congressional action in the Civil Rights bill of 1964.

    While Democrats and Dixiecrats were gnawing on each other, the bill was roundly endorsed by Republicans. Johnson didn't have the votes in his own party.

    What the Republicans got is what they have always gotten in return: misinformation by their political foes and a liberal press all too happy to obscure the facts.

    November 28, 2007 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  5. Mike B New Jersey

    One of the best questions of the night. If we agree on almost everything then why do we vote so different.

    November 28, 2007 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  6. PW Va

    Yet...not one of these clowns bothered to attend the event that Tavis Smiley put on several months ago nor the Hispanic event. That speaks volumes to me!!!!

    November 29, 2007 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  7. KMT

    These candidates could care less about African Americans, especially the ones who bailed out bcz were threatened by the intellectuals at Morgan State Univ. Why do they always magnify the issue of 68% of African Americans children in homes with no father, yet Iceland's rate exceeds it at 75%, and its the most developed country in the world with lowest crime statistics. Covert racism through media spin control, propoganda, the prison-industrial complex are to blame and have been whitewashed for over 500 years. Wake up, all the candidates are white males! These republicans won't even let their white women in.

    November 29, 2007 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  8. darron, newark, n.j

    Republican's always have been a do nothing for the people party. There are two things Republicans are known for not to raise taxes and privatize everything other than that Republicans have no agenda for this country. The dollar is nothing, oil keeps rising and bush does nothing to change it. Bush is a waste of time as well as any Republican. The iragi war please... something a Repulican got us into for nothing.

    November 29, 2007 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  9. mike huchabee

    AJ, with all do respect polish americans, cuban americans were never piled on ships in chains and shackles stacked on top of each other in vommit and urine and blood. Then made to work from dust to dawn in tobaccoo and cotton field while being beaten in the heat by whips for free. Killed for attempting to read a book denied the education that is as right to these imigrants you speak of. Not to mention witnessing your wife or daughter being raped and torcher by the owner's of those plantations. Sir pls stopped comparing people that you know nothing about

    November 29, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    The Republicans do indeed reach out to African-Americans, only its to throw them in Jail where they can't vote.

    November 29, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. Anonymous

    I know its bad but the dems promise more to the black and hispanic population. Free this and that, and its not your fault are the talking points for the dems. Repubs say take care of yourself, and we will take care of the country.

    November 29, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. KMf, Las Vegas, NV

    Hey Mike Huchabee (your spelling...):
    Which ship were you piled on and chained to??? And which of those candidates have owned slaves?? Idiots...

    November 29, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. Mark, Shreveport, La

    Ninety percent of African-Americans will vote Democrat no questions asked. That's why Republicans don't waste their time reaching out to them.

    The Democrat nominee will have photo ops with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and speak at a couple of historic black churches, and 90% of African-Americans will vote for that nominee.
    Study the history of African-American voting trends. It doesn't matter who runs or how the economy is doing, 90% of African-Americans have voted democrat for president for decades.
    Republican candidates are smart enough to know this, so that's why there's no outreach to a constituency who won't support them.

    November 29, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. D Jones, Chapel Hill, NC

    I cant speak for black america.i can only speak for myself and the friends and family Iknow. The republican party lost the AfAm vote with its southern, "statesrights", pro segregation, pro-confederate flag, anti-Civil Rights, Dixiecrat refuge position of the 60s,70s,and80s. It has nothing to do with entitlements. I will never vote for the party that welcomed Lott, Thurmond, and Helms.

    November 30, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |