As legend has it, the more you get to know Mitt Romney, the more incline you are to embrace him.
Just this week Tara Wall, Mitt Romney’s senior communications and coalitions advisor, declared such while speaking to NPR’s Michel Martin about the Romney campaign’s outreach to Black voters. Wall, who is Black herself, explained to Martin: “I think [Black] folks, really, when they get to know Governor Romney - and I think they'll get to learn a little bit more about him and his history, his background, here at the convention - they'll understand that he does have a commitment to our community.”
And as conservative columnist Peggy Noonan noted in a post on her new blog for The Wall Street Journal online, “If only you knew him like I do.” is a mantra held among many of those who can attest to knowing the “real” Mitt Romney.
Maybe the magic will ultimately happen for other voting blocs, but there doesn’t seem to be a spell great enough to fool Blacks folks into falling for Romney.
A new BET News poll has revealed that Romney/Ryan ticket is on track to earn just 2 percent of support among African-American voters. It’s an improvement from the 0 percent of Black support shown in a poll conducted by NBC News/The Wall Street Journal, but nevertheless Romney is on pace to have one of the worst showings among Black voters in modern history.
On the latter poll, Wall said: “Well, I think the zero percent obviously discounts the numerous Black Republicans, conservatives, moderates that are supporting Governor Romney.” Former GOP presidential contender Herman Cain offered a similar statement quipping, “I’m no zero.” If a writer can profess knowledge of how percentages work, the least politicians who live and breath polling should bother to learn.
Wall and Cain’s math skills may be a fail, but the factors that have led to Romney’s dismal polling among the Black community is his own fault.
Even if his Black supporters want to argue that deep, deep down Romney cares about us, our needs, and how they factor into the future of this nation whose space we all share, he’s proven that he’s more than willing to employ racial stereotypes in order to win support of working class whites who harbor resentment towards Blacks.
The National Journal may purposely fail to see the logic in MSNBC host Chris Matthews’ assertion of Romney and the rest of his Republican ilk are purposely “playing that little ethnic card” to win an election, but the rest of us aren’t so willfully dim.
As irony would have it, Wall claimed in a separate interview with Politic365.com that, “There is a Black coalitions group that meets regularly with the Romney campaign.”
So what are they advising him? To constantly berate President Obama and his ideas – some of which were loved among Republicans when presented under their hue – as “foreign?” Are they advising the campaign to keep pressing on with lies about about President Obama removing the work requirement from welfare reform – which even GOP governors have refuted? Did they tell him how funny his “joke” about not needing to show a birth certificate was? Hopefully, they at least told him to never approach Black children again and ask “Who let the dogs out” and say “bling, bling, baby” the way he did back in 2008.
No wait, he said something equally sinful, though more dangerous, at a school in Philly earlier in the year.
“All my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk” indeed.
Romney can make sure that a few Black faces grace the stage of the Republican National Convention to convey diversity, but reports of a convention attendee being ejected for throwing nuts at a Black CNN camerawoman prove what little regard for Blacks that many hard-line conservatives still have.
The man allegedly shouted “This is how we feed animals” while tossing peanuts. It’s not a coincidence that Republicans have spent all summer feeding these kinds of trolls.
Mitt Romney’s supporters – particularly the Black ones–may argue that he’s not a real racist, but he’s proven himself repeatedly to be culturally aloof and feverishly opportunistic. Regardless as to how long it takes to “really get to know” a guy that’s been running for president for six years, Black people don’t need anymore information about who Mitt Romney is.
He’s shared enough this year…and his abysmal stats confirm it.