Republicans launch new effort to court black voters
April 24th, 2012
09:09 AM ET
11 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. Rudy NYC

    Haven't you ever noticed that the Republican strategy is always about changing a voter's mind, not voter registration drives?

    April 24, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  2. Lolo

    Good luck with that. The republican has shown how racist their party is and will never get the black vote except for a few Toms. The republicans care only about party and the rich. They are liars and hypocrits.

    April 24, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Todd M

    Wow. I'm really wondering what the hell they're gonna say to try nd get those groups come over because a lot of ammo was put out there during the primary race. What could crzy man Rep West say to convince people except that most of their African American Reps are communists because most belong to the progressive caucus.

    April 24, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Obama had a stunning 94-3 lead over Mitt Romney among blacks
    Republicans sure love to waste oother people's money with useless websites and doodahs.
    Look at the numbers Rethugs. Not a chance in Mormon hell you're gonna get the African-American vote.
    If I were you I'd put a Mormon site because THAT base is slip sliding away from you too! It appears that MOromons don't like stupid either.
    Obama 2012. A President for ALL Americans.

    April 24, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  5. asdf

    Tomorrow's headline: Republican's launch new effort to divide by zero.

    April 24, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    My fat fingers! Mormons, I meant to type Mormons. Pardon.

    April 24, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Allen West's republican principles include lying, outrageous charges, and obstruction. Quite a record to hang his hat on.

    April 24, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. wkndthg

    Really!!! I mean REALLY!!! LOL LOL LOL ROF LOL!!!!!

    April 24, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. Larry L

    All African American voters need to do is visualize those Tea Party rallys where the ignorant bigots displayed signs with racial slurs throughout the crowd. The Republicans care about African Americans during election time – but no other. Their treatment of President Obama show a level of disrespect that stems from deep racial undertones. They start so many comments with "I'm not a racist but....".

    April 24, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I doubt using people like Allen West or even Herman Cain to try to win black votes over to the GOP will be very effective. They left that community a long time ago and sitting back watching how the nation's first black POTUS has been treated by some in their circles will not help either.

    April 24, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. gt

    save your money...not going to happen... it dont matter if its obama or not....blacks are all about skin color and voting democratic...

    April 24, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  12. Dan

    Never happen. Republicans are too bigoted and hateful. You put crazies like West out front and think black folks will even consider them ? Never happen.

    April 24, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. Independant Jack

    As long as the tea party of hate has any involvment or the extreme right wing hate groups I will never vote repub.They have proven time and time again that they favor only extreme views of what to do with the middleclass and poor/women/seniors.Which basically accounts to nothing exept target them and take what little they have away.This is not made up you can see this through the one sided bills they propose.And every time The president tries to do anything to help they say no weather its a democrat idea or repeb one like the health care act which was origionally a repub idea.The repubs are no longer the honerable party they used to be and until they get rid of these hatefull people in their party i will encourage anyone to look at an alternative to the gop of hate and lies. Let me also say the gop in congress has filibustered bill after bill since day 1 of the obama presidencey so the arguement the dems once had full control is a failed arguement.Bottom line is if romney gets into office or more repubs in congress america will continue to decline and us middleclass will disapear forever.

    April 24, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. mcskadittle

    good luck with that

    April 24, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Bill, NY

    Number one, I have it on good authority that Allen West's membership card has been burned, so he can't be used to lure those who have disowned him. Number two, most minorities do not want the kind of jobs republicans will bring them: shoe shiners, maids, toilet bowl cleaners etc. etc. and do not want to be paid in eleben and twelbe dollar bills thank you.

    April 24, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  16. DIANA

    Yeah, put Keyes there as your black representative, unless he's too busy looking for communists.

    April 24, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  17. Kevin

    Don't try republoican we black people aren't as guillble as your stupid party likes to think we are. What the matter anyway. We black know you have no concern about us or our issues. Your try to devide the country once again. You republican are losing Women, Gays, Latino, Blacks, and a whole lot more. If you wan't black people votes, than don't disrespect us, don't disrespect us, don't disrespect us. YOU WILL NEVER GET THE BLACK VOTE BACK.

    April 24, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. stanton

    i'm not a Republican because I know better than to trust the party of NO most people who are Republican are because they don't know any BETTER and believe the half truths and out right lies that come from their TEA PARTY DICTATORS!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. Tyrone

    Yo Repubs, YaLL got as much chance as winning the Black vote as a Brother getting appointed to the Quarom of 12 in the Salt Lake Temple.

    April 24, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. darl

    Everyone in America, especially our Black Americans, should be very leary of the "Lies,Rehtoric, and B.S thats going to spew from Mr. Flop Flop himself! Beware of the Lies of Mitt!!!! We will all suffer under this guy, he has no "Mercy" on anyone but the "Super Rich" WOW!

    April 24, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Jerubbaal

    Are they serious!! As a BLACK MAN I can assure you that they do not have a clue nor a snowball's chance in hell of securing even a small percentage the black vote. Blacks have a collective black eye from the overt racism, disrespect and hatred that this vile party has exhibited towards the 1st BLACK PRESIDENT. I for one am offended at their transparent attempt to make inroads to the voter groups that they have attempted to disenfranchise and minimize. Blacks, Hispanics and Woman have all been targets of their dircriminatory policies and beliefs. Their beliefs will not be tolerated and we all will send that strong, definitive message to these little people on Nov 6.

    April 24, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. Sarah

    Please you should know that African-Americans will never vote for a rascist evil party,much more to vote for a mormon to be President,may GOD forbid

    April 24, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    With black Republicans like Allen West and Herman Cain insulting African Americans making derogatory statements that African Americans are still living on plantations won't get the black vote. West and Cain didn't learn anything from the former RNC Michael Steele who also failed at courting the black vote and was fired. You can't call people names, regardless of which race you are and then expect support. And FYI, I haven't heard white Republicans disrespect African Americans the way West and Cain have done.

    April 24, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. Dave

    Yo Bishop Romney, They may come around to you if you give them all majic undewear.

    April 24, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. 2012liberal

    Along with trying 2 court-women, latinos, students, seniors...... How out of touch r they exactly when they degrade a whole country? Old white rich men only need apply! Priceless

    April 24, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
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