Romney to make pitch to black voters at NAACP

HOUSTON—Mitt Romney isn’t going to win the black vote. But he’s making a pitch to African-Americans at the NAACP’s annual meeting, giving a major speech that’s also aimed at showing independent and swing voters that he’s willing to reach out to diverse audiences – and demonstrating that his campaign and the Republican Party he leads are inclusive.

Romney’s advisers say he plans to focus, as he usually does, on the economy. The 14.4 percent unemployment rate among blacks is much higher than the 8.2 percent national average. He’s also likely to mention his plan to increase school choice – he’s called education the “civil rights issue of our era.”

It’s a difficult sell – 95 percent of blacks backed President Barack Obama in 2008. But no matter what Romney tells the NAACP on Wednesday, Republicans and Democrats say he’s making a statement just by speaking to the nation’s oldest civil rights group.
“The first thing you need to do is show up, so I ultimately think he’s doing the right thing,” said Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., one of two black Republicans in Congress**. “What he’s saying to everyone is that he’s (running to become) America’s president and not just those folks he thinks he can get votes from right now. I think that’s a very important statement.”

“You’ve got to get credit for showing up – for being willing to go – no question,” said Karen Finney, a Democratic consultant who worked in the Clinton White House. “It’s more about your actions than it is about what you say.”

Obama spoke to the group during his 2008 campaign, as did his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain. Obama doesn’t plan to speak this year – instead, Vice President Joe Biden will address the annual convention on Thursday. Obama plans to address the Urban League later this month.

Romney rarely speaks to a predominantly black audience at political events. One exception was a May visit to a charter school in Philadelphia, where he cast fixing the education system as a way to help blacks and other minorities.

In framing education as a civil rights issue, Romney is following in George W. Bush’s footsteps. At a sweeping address to the NAACP in 2000, Bush, then the Republican presidential nominee, said the education system should “leave no child behind” – and he labeled the “soft bigotry of low expectations” as part of the problem facing black students.

The likely 2012 Republican nominee has a personal history with civil rights issues. Romney’s father, George, spoke out against segregation in the 1960s and as governor of Michigan toured his state’s inner cities as race riots wracked Detroit and other urban areas across the country. He went on to lead the Housing and Urban Development Department, where he pushed for housing reforms to help blacks.

Mitt Romney invoked that legacy during a 2007 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “My dad’s reputation … and my own has always been one of reaching out to people and not discriminating based upon race or anything else.”

In recent months, Obama has approached race from an intensely personal perspective. After the shooting of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin in a Florida neighborhood – an act many blacks saw as racially motivated – Obama spoke directly to Martin’s parents from the Rose Garden. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said.

Diminished enthusiasm for the president in the wake of the economic downturn could dampen black turnout. And that could make the difference in Southern states Obama won in 2008, particularly North Carolina and Virginia.

Other factors could keep blacks away from voting booths. Romney’s address to the group comes as Democrats and minority communities are expressing concern over a series of tough voter identification laws in a handful of states. Critics say the laws could make it harder for blacks and Hispanics to vote.

“He’ll be standing in that room asking people for their votes at the same time that Republican legislators are trying to disenfranchise minority communities,” said Finney, the Democratic consultant.

Romney expressed support for such laws during a late April visit to Pennsylvania, which now has one of the toughest voter identification statutes in the nation. “We ought to have voter identification so we know who’s voting and we have a record of that,” Romney said then.

Odd why Obama is not attending, could it have something to do with his endorsement of gay marriage and the high black unemployment rate under his presidency? Interested in what Romney is going to say

Romney’s address to the group comes as Democrats and minority communities are expressing concern over a series of tough voter identification laws in a handful of states. Critics say the laws could make it harder for blacks and Hispanics to vote.

Ironically, those that will be there to hear Romney speak will have to show a photo ID to get in.



September 2011 it was reported

Five months ago, 83 percent of African Americans held “strongly favorable” views of Obama, but in a new Washington Post-ABC news poll that number has dropped to 58 percent. That drop is similar to slipping support for Obama among all groups.

“There is a certain amount of racial loyalty and party loyalty, but eventually that was going to have to weaken,” said Andra Gillespie, a political scientist at Emory University, who studies African Americans. “It’s understandable given the economy.”

Martin Luther King jr said Mitt Romney’s father, George Romney 'would make a great president,’ and George Romney marched with Martin Luther King jr

And whom did Mitt Romney march with? He marched with those who were in favor of sending American troops to Vietnam, even though he himself received three deferments and never went.

Not sure what that has to do with the NAACP.

Nothing. It goes to Romney’s character.

**NBC’s Lauer Begs Colin Powell to ‘Throw His Weight Behind’ Obama Again


LAUER: But you endorsed Barack Obama back in 2008. You called him a transformational figure who represented generational change. Did you get from President Obama the kind of generational change, was he the transformational figure, or has he been, that you counted on?

POWELL: I think he has been. Not completely. There are some things that he has done that I wish he had not done. For example, leave Guantanamo open. I would have closed that rapidly. He tried, he was stopped by Congress. He stabilized the financial system. He brought about a stability in the economy. He fixed the auto industry. I think he took us out, not completely out, but he took us out of the most difficult problem we were facing at that time, which was an economy that was collapsing. And it’s improving, but not fast enough. So his number one – his number one goal for the rest of this year, as it should have been for the whole four years, is to get the economy running again.

LAUER: If I’m Barack Obama, I’m sitting here listening to you say all these things, I think that sounds like a pretty good campaign endorsement. That it sounds like you’re on his team still, four years later.

POWELL: Oh, he knows better. He knows that I always keep my powder dry, as we say in the military. I feel, as a private citizen, I ought to listen to what the President says and what the President’s been doing. But you know, I also have to listen to what the other fellows say. I’ve known Mitt Romney for many years, good man. And it’s not just a matter of weather you support Obama or Romney, it’s who they have coming in with them, what policies do they-

LAUER: Yeah, but why hesitate at this stage of the game here? I mean, it’s basically Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney. Why not just come out right now and throw your weight behind somebody?

POWELL: Because I don’t want to throw my weight behind somebody. The beautiful part of being a private citizen is you can decide when you want to throw your weight, if you want to throw your weight. I’m still listening to what the Republicans are saying they’re going to do to fix the fiscal problems we have, to get the economy moving. And I think I owe that to the Republican Party, I owe that. And I also think it is the right way to go about it. Too often in this country we simply stick with, you know, whatever you said last year is it, even if it doesn’t, you know, work out or make sense. So I like to listen to everybody, examine everything, and then in due course make a judgment and vote the way I think is the correct way to vote is.

Read more:

Dr. Boyce: (TheyBlackMan) Why I Think Colin Powell is the Greatest

Dr. Boyce: Romney’s Address of the NAACP May be Appealing to “Black Political Orphans”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins,

Today, in a column for, Roland Martin writes about the pending visit of Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney to the NAACP. Martin says that Romney won’t get many African American votes in November, primarily because the GOP has done such a terrible job cultivating African American voters. He says, however, that Romney’s appearance could be beneficial to future GOP candidates.

Yet despite the long odds, Romney’s decision to speak to at the NAACP national convention in Houston next month is a smart move, and one that could be beneficial to his candidacy and the future prospects of the party.
Let’s face it, the Republican Party is as white as it could be. Sure, the party can boast of the electoral wins of Reps. Allen West and Tim Scott, both African-American; Indian-American Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Nikki Haley of South Carolina; and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, both Hispanic. But the GOP gets virtually nothing from black folks, and Hispanics predominantly vote for Democrats.
Martin makes an accurate point that “minorities are now the majority,” meaning that Republicans need to step up their appeal to black and brown voters in order to win future elections. But in spite of the party’s decision to reach out to Latino voters, Martin argues that they are still afraid of African Americans.

Yet it seems the GOP is deathly afraid of reaching out to black folks. I’ve even said that it seems like the GOP is scared of black people. That has ticked off some conservatives, but it’s real.
I’ve had a difficult time getting white Republicans in Congress to come on my TV One cable network Sunday morning news show, “Washington Watch.” We’ve had an open invitation for the last three years for every member of the GOP’s House and Senate caucuses to come on the show, but only Reps. Tom Price of Georgia, Pete Olson of Texas and Steve King of Iowa have accepted the offer.
Martin’s point about GOP reps being afraid to come on his show is interesting. On one hand, it sounds like a dare, similar to the one presented by Tavis Smiley back in 2007, who was highly disappointed when few Republican candidates showed up to his debates at Howard University. I’m not sure if tapping at their egos or calling them out is going to get them to change their behavior. Also, appearing on Roland Martin’s television show is hardly a prerequisite for showing that you care about African Americans voters.

Perhaps a more reasonable explanation for why the Republicans are afraid of black folks is because they should be. When you’ve spent decades doing someone wrong, you don’t want to walk into the belly of the beast and be held accountable for your behavior. The Republican party has allowed itself to be hijacked by individuals who hate having a black president and have written off the bulk of black Americans as unethical, uneducated, welfare recipients. That’s hardly a secure platform on which to stand.

Romney’s appearance at the NAACP convention is brilliant because he is planting a seed into the minds of millions of black folks who are tired of the same old abuse coming from the Democrats. He’s saying to them, “Look, I’m not a bigot and I respect you. I want the same things for my family that many of you want: Jobs, education, a moral society, and a chance at the American dream.”

Many African Americans, interestingly enough, are closet conservatives who feel that they have no political home. These “socio-political orphans,” are in perpetual limbo, like the woman with an abusive boyfriend waiting for a nice guy to ask her out on a date. They are looking for an excuse to consider the Republican Party, but each time they open their minds, the Republicans do something racist and stupid.

In 2004, millions of African Americans (including those in my own family) switched to vote for President George W. Bush. I was not one of them. But my relatives who made the switch did so for some of the same reasons as Colin Powell: They believe that every American should work hard for what they get; they are not fans of abortion, gay marriage and a host of other consistent liberal talking points; they believe that loyalty to Jesus is nothing to be ashamed of. The list goes on and on.

When Roland Martin was suspended by CNN for his anti-gay remarks on Twitter, millions of African Americans saw nothing wrong with what he said. Some also feel highly threatened by the assertive homosexual agenda, as if their own children are going to be pushed to consider a lifestyle that they are not comfortable with. Yes, homophobia is quite rampant in the black community, there is nothing wrong with someone disagreeing with the lifestyle for religious reasons. This is hardly the thinking of a voter who fits snugly within the liberal political space.

So, if I were to give Mitt Romney advice on how to address African Americans this week, it would be simple: Be yourself and treat them like they’re human beings. Don’t patronize them and don’t write them off. If you give respect, you will get it. Not every African American can be considered part of the black Republican target audience, but there are millions of African Americans who are willing to consider every option.

I am personally in favor of Romney’s appearance and hope Republicans work harder to woo African Americans. I am not in favor of the move because I will ever be a Republican. I support the move because African Americans should be encouraged to be independent thinkers and to consider every alternative when deciding where to place their votes. The idea that you should be a Democrat just because someone told you to do so is highly disrespectful and impedes on your right to free political choice.

We didn’t fight hundreds years for our freedom just so we could hand it over to the Democrats. If they want to keep the black vote, they should be required to compete for it.

It had better be low and outside.

What does this say about Obama’s character?

Grim proving ground for Obama’s housing policy
The candidate endorsed subsidies for private entrepreneurs to build low-income units. But, while he garnered support from developers, many projects in his former district have fallen into disrepair.

CHICAGO - The squat brick buildings of Grove Parc Plaza, in a dense neighborhood that Barack Obama represented for eight years as a state senator, hold 504 apartments subsidized by the federal government for people who can’t afford to live anywhere else.

But it’s not safe to live here.

About 99 of the units are vacant, many rendered uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage. Mice scamper through the halls. Battered mailboxes hang open. Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks. In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale - a score so bad the buildings now face demolition.

Grove Parc has become a symbol for some in Chicago of the broader failures of giving public subsidies to private companies to build and manage affordable housing - an approach strongly backed by Obama as the best replacement for public housing.

As a state senator, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee coauthored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers. As a US senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies. And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.

But a Globe review found that thousands of apartments across Chicago that had been built with local, state, and federal subsidies - including several hundred in Obama’s former district - deteriorated so completely that they were no longer habitable.
Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama’s close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama’s constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.
Some of the residents of Grove Parc say they are angry that Obama did not notice their plight. The development straddles the boundary of Obama’s state Senate district. Many of the tenants have been his constituents for more than a decade.

“No one should have to live like this, and no one did anything about it,” said Cynthia Ashley, who has lived at Grove Parc since 1994.

Obama’s campaign, in a written response to Globe questions, affirmed the candidate’s support of public-private partnerships as an alternative to public housing, saying that Obama has “consistently fought to make livable, affordable housing in mixed-income neighborhoods available to all.”

The campaign did not respond to questions about whether Obama was aware of the problems with buildings in his district during his time as a state senator, nor did it comment on the roles played by people connected to the senator.

Why not ask “what does this say about Queen Elizabeth II’s character?” Neither the Queen nor Obama is the subject of the thread. Read the title.

This thread is about Romney, a presidential candidate who competes against Obama for the 2012 presidential election and voters, including the black community, who pay attention to the NAACP.

Since Summer 2004, the Student-Tenant Organizing Project (STOP) has galvanized tenants to take on the University as the force behind their current circumstances. STOP maintains that racist University policies are to blame for the potential displacement of Grove Parc’s largely low-income black tenant population. With 325 Grove Parc residents officially backing STOP and 50 to 60 percent of residents endorsing it–according to STOP community organizer Alex Goldenberg (A.B. '06)–a sizable contingent of tenants see the University as the source of their problems. Wouldn’t everyone benefit from less corruption?

regarding same sex marriage,the NAACP endorsed same may 19 of this year.unemployment i thought was Bush’s fault

I wonder if he was even invited?

And how this relates to the price of tea in China?

I was expecting recent cause célèbre, ie. “he has offshore accounts!!! he’s rich!!!”

All are important factors when addressing the NAACP.

I was responding to part of Abyssinia’s comment about the fact that George Romney marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and that the latter said George Romney would make a good President.

It may be the officials that support gay marriage, but when Romney said he would ‘defend traditional marriage’ that got applause

What has got to do with anything? I am just making the fact that the Romney family has a history of supporting civil rights, and it is important to note this because Democrats ignores the civil rights history of the Republican party and promote the Democrat party as the party of civil rights when it was Republicans voting over and over again for rights for Blacks and women to i.e. vote and Democrats voted overwhelmingly against

Mitt Romney’s mother speaks with Martin Luther King

Mitt Romney’s father marching in civil rights movement

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