"We sound like we don't want immigration; we sound like we don't want black people to vote for us," said former congressman Jack Kemp (N.Y.), who was the GOP vice presidential nominee in 1996. "What are we going to do -- meet in a country club in the suburbs one day? If we're going to be competitive with people of color, we've got to ask them for their vote."What does it say about a party, that it simply hides from anyone who isn't lily white?
Making matters worse, some Republicans believe, is that the decision to bypass the Morgan State forum comes after all top GOP candidates save McCain declined invitations this month to a debate on Univision, the most-watched Hispanic television network in the United States. The event was eventually postponed.
"For Republicans to consistently refuse to engage in front of an African American or Latino audience is an enormous error," said former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), who has not yet ruled out a White House run himself. "I hope they will reverse their decision and change their schedules. I see no excuse -- this thing has been planned for months, these candidates have known about it for months. It's just fundamentally wrong. Any of them who give you that scheduling-conflict answer are disingenuous. That's baloney."
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Does the Republican Party have a problem with minorities?
It's a reasonable question. The top four Republican presidential candidates--Giuliani, Romney, Fred Thompson, McCain--have announced they are skipping a debate organized by black talk show host Tavis Smiley, scheduled for Sept. 27 at Morgan State University, a historically black university. The message is obvious: