Black Republicans: Lack of Romney outreach to blacks 'shameful'
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign website includes a category for “Communities,” under which you’ll find nearly every kind of demographic group: “Catholics for Romney,” “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Romney,” farmers and ranchers, lawyers, Jewish and Polish Americans, veterans and military families, young Americans, even Hispanics, under the banner “Juntos for Romney” — which may or may not be ironic given Romney’s stance on “self-deportation.” But one thing you won’t find on the site: African-Americans for Romney.
And some black Republicans are not happy about it.
“It’s shameful,” said one prominent black, “west coast” Republican, who contacted theGrio about the admission, but preferred not to use their name. The source said they have been involved in Republican politics “throughout the modern era,” and said they couldn’t recall a single GOP campaign that didn’t include some formal attempt at black outreach, particularly online.
When reached for comment, Tara Wall, senior communications and coalitions adviser to the Romney campaign told theGrio: “We have a working advisory group, but it has not been formally announced yet. We have the site ready to go.”
Still, another prominent member of the GOP told theGrio they don’t plan to attend next week’s RNC convention, as they had for nearly every presidential year since they’ve been active in politics, as a delegate. The number of black delegates at Republican conventions peaked in 2004, at 6.7 percent of the total delegates, only to plummet by 78.4 percent, from 167 delegates to 36 in 2008, when John McCain was nominated for president in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 2008 convention represented a 40-year low in the number of black RNC delegates, who represented just 1.5 percent of all delegates attending the convention, according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which in 2008 released a report tracking the number of black delegates at both party conventions over the past 50 years.
This year, some prominent black Republicans say the party will be lucky to match 2008’s numbers.
According to the former delegate, who says he’s a conservative first, and a Republican second, friends still active in the party claim the party has gone beyond giving up on growing its share of the black vote.
“Giving up is not the point,” the former delegate said his friends tell him. “They’ve thrown them overboard; don’t need ’em, don’t want ’em.”
The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Romney getting 0 percent of the black vote.
The Romney campaign on Thursday was fending off charges that the candidate is a “birther,” after Romney told a crowd during a campaign stop in Michigan: “no one has ever asked to see my birth certificate.” Romney was referring to the fact that he and his wife, Ann, were both born in that state.
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