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July 23rd, 2010
07:29 AM ET

Gut Check: How can Republicans attract more African-Americans?

By Ronni Berke and Carol Costello, CNN

(CNN) – Political blogger Sophia Nelson considers herself to be a long-time Republican moderate – at least until recently, when she says she’s become more libertarian and independent.

“The problem with the Republican Party now is that (it) is identified with the Tea Party, with the conservative movement,” Nelson, editor-in-chief of, explains. Nelson identifies more with Republicans like the late New York Congressman Jack Kemp and former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman.

“People like myself and others feel like well, there's really not a place for someone like me in that party because we're RINOS, Republicans in name only, right?”

She says some Republican leaders are sensitive to that and even more worried now in light of the Shirley Sherrod affair, as perhaps, they should be. A CNN poll shows 73 percent of African-Americans think some or all of Tea Party supporters - who generally lean Republican - are racially prejudiced. And only 26 percent of African-Americans think the Republican Party does a good job of reaching out to minorities.

Nelson says Republicans have been calling her for advice. And she's sharing.

“I've been saying this forever, if all of your messengers are grey-haired white males, middle aged white males, you know, I'm not saying anything bad about them, but what I am saying is the perception issue.”

Conservatives have tried to change perception. For example, when Rep. Michelle Bachman called her Tea Party caucus together at least five speakers were people of color. But, Nelson says that's not good enough.

“Just because you have a black face doesn't mean that you can get credibility in your community,” she says. “People look at you based on what you've done, at what organizations you're a part of, are you helping, whether you can make things better in the community you are a part of. That's the kind of thing that resonates with people.”

She says if Republicans really want to attract more black people to the Party, they should re-acquaint themselves with Colin Powell a moderate Republican who voted for President Obama, but is respected in the black community.

We want to know what you think this morning. What can the Republican Party do to attract more African-Americans to the Party?

Filed under: Gut Check
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. James

    I agree with Merle.

    August 5, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  2. Platform

    Focus on the platform issues. Americans will come.

    I actually listen to what the platform contains. That may be old school, to vote on principles, but I will continue to do it. I don't get side-tracked with the crowd and emotional issues and only get amused by commercials and blogs.

    IMHO a poltician that is not accountable with clear promises, with open and public belief in specific points of view will do no one any good.

    There are at least two sides in most political discussions. A politician needs to take a stand and a side. I will either be for him/her or against.

    Platform – color is irrelevant.

    August 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  3. DM

    To specifically seek out "blacks" is racist and incredibly pathetic.

    Who comes up with this stuff?

    August 4, 2010 at 4:09 am |
  4. Bruce, Washington

    The Republican Party does not want African-Americans. It wants Americans. The rest should go back to the country you owe your loyalty to, and good riddance.

    August 4, 2010 at 1:18 am |
  5. pjoe

    The GOP need not "attract blacks". Just do what is right for all, speak truth with humility, and avoid hypocrisy. That attracts people of all colors and faiths. "Blacks" included.

    July 29, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
  6. Brainsoverbs

    They could be decent people! And not total racist's and Liars!
    what kind of stupid statement is that? Why do you think the numbers aren't there in the first place? There are hardly ANY minorities in the white bigoted group, Oops, I mean the GOP!

    July 28, 2010 at 2:48 am |
  7. Lillian Guy

    You cant be serious. Most black are way to savvy to be republicans. We have been tiptoeing around the edge of your society for years. We know that our "rights" are only there for a whim. For years, you have painted us as lazy, only wanting a handout. I can remember the days of segragation. You couldnt even look at whites, you had to keep your head down, and hope they didnt notice you. I was a child, and I had to step off the sidewalk, when they walked past. I grew up very afraid. When the southern democrats got mad over the civil rights bill, and joined the republican party,the republican party lost the blacks that didnt vote for JFK. The republicans, began to plot to take the country back to the "good ole days" . Their first test case was Bakke, a move to end racial preference in admitance to colleges. They have systematically every since tried to dismantle civil rights.

    July 27, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
  8. whynowcnn

    I spoke with a conservative young man today, and I consider myself progressive so I vote Independent, but votes to keep a balance of power essentially. The con said do you beleive the president, he has destroyed America, so I asked him how did he manage to do that in 18 months? He said debt, spending, no phyisican responsibility, less jobs, and declining education, and I said your right he lied, and adopted most of the Bush Agenda, and he got so mad trhat he left work!!! He won't get in trouble because our boss in stauch repube, but if I left a second early he would fire me on my way home!!!!

    July 27, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  9. whynowcnn

    The first thing they would have to do is vote for term limits. They would have to stop all of the race bating, and supporting big businesses that destroy the American value system. They would have to pray to God to forgive them for their abuse of power. Many of them would have to come clean about being part of a terrorist organization. They would have to support the public and stop legislating for corporate interests. They would have to admit that they are a dying party, thus has reverted back to the scare tactics and propaganda of the KKK era. They would have to put forth an agenda to redress the major issues that they have voted no against in lockstep. They would have to participate in the legislative process which is why we sent them to capital hill, and finally the last thing they would have to do is explain why they are tryiong so hard to make America fail since Barack Obama has become President of America. These are a few things that would attrack minorities to their grand Ol party!!!!

    July 27, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  10. Rusty Cage

    The Republicans used to have a large tent in which to invite everyone into the Party. Now they have chosen to become increasingly closed and exclusive to others. Their tent has become decisively smaller.

    This is a dangerous strategy for the Party– and they may suffer in not gaining the necessary votes and numbers of supporters as well as the confidence of the American people.

    July 27, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  11. Attracting African-Americans Really?

    How can you claim to want to attract more minorites when all of your proposed policies work against them? You have conservative talk show hosts like Michael Savage stating every intelligent black person in a position of power got there thru affirmative action.

    I'm biracial like our President and I will use my voice to enlighten people as often as I can to make sure Republicans are voted out of office in Nov. and beyond. Our country has moved beyond your 1950's style of thinking.

    July 27, 2010 at 2:23 am |
  12. Smith in Oregon

    Perhaps if the Republican party leaders burned more crosses in the fields in the Republican led southern states, more Black American's would be attracted to those bonfires!

    With the stated goal of overturning Obama's Health Care for Americans, Financial Regulation on Wall Street Firms and Home mortgage banking, deporting Brown baby's who are American citizens to the Mexican border, is likely a roadblock to intelligent Black and Brown American citizens in being fooled into supporting the Republican party and their White Power candidates.

    July 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  13. sott

    I was brought up in helping people with less than i have . maybe if the GOP would take that way of thinking. Not to help the lower case to have a better life is a shame. how much money do the rich really need.

    July 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  14. Pragmatic

    "The GOP needs to get a couple of really strong people to start saying the right thing" ...says Jane

    How about "doing the right thing?" Isn't that more important?

    No, Democrats & Independents are not heading to the GOP. With candidates like Sharron Angle & Rand Paul ... then when John Boehner was asked what the Republican agenda would be if they won election, he smugly replied, “TBD" = “To be determined!” Talk about voting for a pig in a poke ! Who would vote for a party that doesn't even know its own agenda ( or won't tell you?)

    July 24, 2010 at 4:14 am |
  15. Caron

    SPERBY PINER. You asked me to show you just ONE racist poster at a tea party rally. You are kidding, right? What about the one that depicts Obama in a grass skirt with a bone through his nose. Not racist enough for you???? You must be blind.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  16. WT in Atlanta

    When Nixon and the repubs did their southern strategy and pulled all the disgruntled southern whites (mad about civil rights bill) into the party, it permanently made their black membership destined to be kept to a minimum.

    I believe most middle class blacks are just like middle class others in what we want to accomplish for ourselves and our kids.

    We own businesses and like to keep as much of our hard earned cash as possible (low taxes are good). But, we also know how quickly the tides of opportunity can change when there is a large segment of that party wishing for the "good ole days" that were only good for them!

    July 23, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  17. Pauly

    Jeff Sessions was denied an appointment to a federal judgeship because of racist views he exhibited while in the US Attorney's office. So he runs for & gains a US Senate seat! Now he tries to slander people like Justice Marshall!!!

    July 23, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  18. Joel

    Marcus @ Greensborough–I think I mentioned it that if there any asians in the dole out lines, they are very neglible in numbers..and if there are, they are old people, retired and just can't work anymore. Try visiting a Social Security office or unemployment office, you will see blacks in their 20's with two babies aksing for welfare checks. Filipinos are DOctors and Nurses. Go to any hospital throughout this country and you will see FIlipino nurses or doctors. Then why can't blacks get their asses off and go to school via affirmative actions not rely on the govt. Black people are very talented in sports, music, and arts. They should embrace the Conservative point of view to be repsonsible of their actions and stop the blame game to 'White people".

    July 23, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  19. Sperby Piner

    Marcus in Greensboro; show me one racist at a tea party rally.
    And as for the so-called RICH; Where do you think yours and others jobs come from, the POOR?

    July 23, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  20. gloria lewis

    The internet might ruin some peoples lifes but it gives some poor people like myself hope a voice ,a way to talk to others that share your views .The internet and facebook has been a life saver for me ,when i am having a bad day i can talk to a stranger on the web that understands what i feel ,i can barely type but i am on the web because i have hopes and dreams but i do not have big money or big connections so i connect with others and we try to see if we can help others were if it was not for the web in this hectic life would not be able to connect .
    Lots of poor people especially poor people do not have a voice we are blocked out of everything because we do not have money of people in big places .so we go on line we read we talk and write our views ,although 99% of us will never be heard we keep the hope alive .Some people that have it all cannot comprehend what it feels like to be the underdog .Like Mrs Sherrod said it more about the haves and have not .What Mrs Sherrod has dealt with i have dealt with on many ocassions on jobs i continue to deal with it everyday but no one cares .I had an employer that treated his employees so badly one night he screamed at me and cursed at me i cried and cried thoughts came through my head to run my car over a bridge i could not comprend how people can treat people like this and you had to recourse to take action .There are so many injustices that poor people suffer and it does not have to be that way .
    I use the internet as a way to release my thoughts ,my feelings it helps me so much ,sometimes you can talk to people they dont get it ,sometimes you tell people you know your dreams and aspirations and they laugh .When you speak on the web you dont have to worry about that .The biggest reason i am started using the web was to try to get my message out to the public from 2004 to present that the economy was going to fall if the necessary precautions were not put in place to prevent it .I continue to use the web in hopes that someon e out ther with a heart that do not care about my identity or my status but care enough to hear what i have to say .Guess what it 6 years later my heart bleeds but the internet keeps my hope alive that someone will read my email and i can help fix this economy .My husband gets angry at times but i tell him leave me alone ,i have to keep trying

    July 23, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  21. ronvan

    RACISM: DOING WELL in the U.S.A.!!! WE are our own worst enemy.
    Think about this article. WHY should any politician or party have to try and get the support of a specific group of people? IF they were truly honest and for the "American People" would not every group possibly vote for them? WE have allowed ourselves to become so divided that it surprises me that anything gets done. I.E. : Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Left wing, Right Wing, Centrists, Evangelical, Atheist, Blue dogs, Red dogs, Hawks, Doves and on and on. IF WE elected the best President EVER, and he/she was actually getting this country back on its feet it would only last for 8yrs.. YET we allow Congressmen/Senators, and others to remain in office, forever, where they become complacent, dishonest, and abuse the trust we gave them. As far as the Republican Party goes they have dug their own grave. By saying NO to literally everything that could help our country, they have proven to be nothing more than "spoiled children", and they are still supported? WE the people could put an end to these childish actions by voting ALL of them out and put some new blood into the system. How worse off could we be? And if they do not come together, for the American People, we vote all of them out, until they realize that it is WE the People that are fed up with politics as usual!

    July 23, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  22. Marcus in Greensboro, NC

    Joel... Please stop it. Asians do take government handouts. I have worked in retail and seen plenty of Asians come into stores with tax-exempt status so they could buy items to sell in their stores. I have seen plenty of Asians benefit from Affirmative Action, so trying to act as if we are not all in the same boat is hilarious.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  23. Anthony

    Have you ever heard of the GOP on capital hill championing equal rights, healthcare or jobs for all? No hardly ever. They spend more time fighting political philosophical issues and trying to tear down the democrats. As a person of color, I don't think democrats are perfect and though I like some right wing ideals, I believe that democrats deal with REAL life issues and Republicans deal with philosophical and idealist issues. The world isn't perfect GOP, and contrary to your belief it won't fix itself, its time to deal with real issues.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  24. Marcus in Greensboro, NC

    Start condemning the blatant racism at Tea Party rallies, let go of those tax-cutting policies for the rich that does not trickle down, start working towards ending the mess overseas, and stop fighting any kind of progress our President is trying to push for. I am a Democrat and a black man, and I believe that Obama has been too willing to compromise on things he should have drawn his line in the sand over.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  25. Joel

    Isn't that the head of the Republican Political Action committee an African-american ? But where's the support of the NAACP? or the mainstream media? You won't find it . Why? because he's a Republican. So no matter how the Republican embraces the black people they will not get the support of the NAACP and the main stream media .

    July 23, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  26. Joel

    Why is the country so focused just on Black people when talking about minorities? I am a Filipino by birth and have been in this country–tax paying by the way-for almost 25 years. There are million of asians in this country that support Republicans and are conservatives who take responsibilities of their actions not paranoid of any conspiracy that " Whites" are discreminating us. How many Asians do you see in the UNEMPLOYMENT lines or HOMELESS? If there are, it could be very negligible. Asians do not rely on dole outs from the govt unlike most Black people. If you don't give a favor(affirmative action) you are percieved as racist... amazing how the media is also enabling their actions.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  27. Rose Marie

    Republicans should do nothing to attract Blacks or any other group into the party. Politicians should tell the American people what they stand for – as Republicans have. They stand for limited government, rights of the individual, rights of the state, protection of our borders and protection from foreign and domestic enemies as outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Then, it is up to the people to embrace or reject. I am a 65 year old Black woman and I have embraced the Republicans for over 30 years. The TEA party means "Taxed Enough Already". The government for a long time has over-taxed the American people, and today it is doing the same to redistribute wealth. That was not our founding fathers' intention. Individuals and the media who are calling the TEA party racists are expressing racism themselves.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  28. Jackie

    Easy fix...the Media should stop 'reporting' that Republicans are for Whites and Democrats are for Blacks and Hispanics, stop interviewing heavy left activists and giving them a platform to present Republicans as anti-Black or anti-Hispanic.

    If you interview everyday people or more moderate people you would realize that there are many Hispanics that are not pro-illegal immigration, there are many African Americans that are Republican or have Republican views – but of course that does not provide the sensationalism and polarized views that make good TV. It seems to me the Media takes a topic and then reports it in the desired spin even if it is damaging in a bigger picture.

    Lately see CNN as more and more pro-Democrat or anti-Republican.
    I have always loved CNN for it's balanced reporting – I hope that trend returns.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  29. Sperby Piner

    Show me just ONE racist poster at a Tea Party rally. If you want Government to pull you out of the womb and lay you in the grave, the Tea Party is not for you. However, the Democrats will welcome you with open arms.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  30. wolfgang

    A leopard cannot change his spots. nelson, speaks only for nelson, and not for me. The rhetoric she spits out sounds like she is a pawn. I will not waste my vote on any republican. I will vote for any dem, whether he /she is black, white, yellow or green. But not for a rep, whether he /she is black, white, yellow or green. The "tea partiers" are just like the hate group, klan. Only they are not wearing the "hoods".

    Let us speak about those conservatives; same ideology as the reps. These people want to be "holier than thou" and I bet you, if you check 1/2 of their backgrounds, they have done some back sliding, ie. had abortions, comitted adultery. They just need to take a number and stand in line, like the rest!!!!

    No one is going to "fix" race relations. This is what the world wants. Everyone hates somebody..."White" America hates minorities; Israel and the arab nations hate each other; protestants hates the catholics, etc. What do we want?...This is a sinful world....This will not be a "world without sin". We, as a world, want this sin. So deal with it .

    I have become very cynical in looking at the world on what I would like to see, but to no avail. As long a people hate others because of their color, standing in the community, their ideologies, etc, there will be no understanding of each other.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  31. Ron

    Historically the Republican Party was not designed to welcome blacks into their organization. It was made up of mostly white, wealthy males. And represented that group well, effectively and with power. Only recently is the GOP even trying to include blacks, mostly because so many whites voted for Obama and the GOP has lost ground in dollars and elected officials. We must remember, the GOP is slow to change and doesn't historically encourage diversity. Any news video of the Tea Party or Republican rallies will show how little diversity has gotten a foothold in the GOP. I believe the Republican Party will continue to struggle with this dilemma, inclusion of blacks is not in the GOP's near future.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  32. AARD = African-American Republican Done ( I am done and had enough of the Party of No and Racial intolerance)

    I just can’t keep supporting the GOP attempting to overlook what the Party has allowed or failed to do about the Tea Party.

    I come to believe that the Tea Party is an authorized sanctioned extremist arm of the Party. We have given them free reign to display racially suggested imagines at our rallies and no one has taken a stand against them. We have allowed Michael Steele to stay on, and we know – only because he is African-American, a token.

    Is Rush really the Party Leader? Yes, he is,

    I have stop attending meetings and functions of the GOP, because I feel that Black America has become the poster child of what is wrong in America. No one had any problem support Bush in the two wars, but now, what is the deal.

    The Tea Party and Sarah Palin has disrobed the GOP, with all the anti-Obama antics, it is not his politics, and it is clear to me, that their dislike for him is clearly because of the color of his skin. It hurts me deeply to leave the party, but I can bare to be as a now former Republican.

    Leave Ms. Sherrod alone

    July 23, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  33. James

    Sophia's views are spot on. As an African American, I am more interested in what you do rather than what you say. The Republican viewpoint in general is diametrically opposed to the viewpoint of most average Blacks in America. Their close identification with the "extreme" Tea Party organization has made that divide even greater.

    The Tea Party is perceived as a large group of racist whites who suddenly are fed up and want to "take the country back" from the "Black" President. This goes way beyond conservatism. Now the Republicans are identifying with and seeking the support of this organization. This makes joining the Republican Party akin to joining the KKK, only worse. At least with the KKK, you knew with certainty where they stood.

    I think people forget that at one time the majority of Blacks were Republicans. However, as the Republican Party moved farther and farther to the right, thier viewpoint became more at odds with the viewpoint of the majority of Blacks.

    Further, look at the Republican response to the first African Americam President. They have gone out of their way to be disrespectful and almost completely partisan on every issue. The biggest disappointment for me has been John McCain whose views on many issues I agreed with or was willing to consider in a thoughtful debate.

    Until they step back and make a sincere effort to understand the Black culture and start to address the issues important to Blacks such as jobs, healthcare, education, equality, wages, home affordability, the wars, etc. and stop doubling down on the issues that most affect the rich and corporate America, the party will continue to lose Black support rather than gain it.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  34. vic nashville tn

    If look back the history republicans care about minorities. Now minorities feel there in no place for them in republican party . Win back the minorities going to be hard but they can do
    1) Some Tea party slogans and poster must reject by Republican Party
    2) Some laws against illegal immigrants by state should reconsider ( example Arizona SB1070)
    Showing two there minorities face in their meeting wants help

    Republicans must keep distance from specially FOX news

    July 23, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  35. Ralph Taylor

    We should reacquaint ourselves with a "Republican" who supported President Obama? Why would a moderate Republican – Colin Powell – not support another moderate Republican – John McCain? No real conservative would vote for someone so liberal as Barack Obama. You don't gain support from people by pandering, you do it by being principled. Conservative policies of limited, constitutional government are good for all Americans. What our government is doing now is clearly not working for African-Americans or anyone else.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  36. joe bob

    For Republicans to attract minorities to the party would require they change their entire philosophy. They believe it's every man for himself. They don't believe government has a role in helping others who are less fortunate.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  37. jim germann

    colin powell. How clueless in cnn. Pres Obama was sold to america,by an incredibly complicit liberal media,as a uniter. he has been all the opposite. The naacp was the genesis of all this. Everyone knows this,and no one reports it. This was a racial smear by the naacp,and used totally for politics. When mary matalin,of cnn,cried on the air on john king's show because of race baiting,cnn didnt even notice it. Shirely Sherrod sees the world solely thru a racial window. Every comment she makes in about how blacks are disadvantage. I hate to inform cnn, but MOST americans dont look thru a racial prism. Most americans dont see this as a big deal at all.There is about 5 miliion who do. but about 300 million,who do not. Playing the race card,over and over again,with a complicit media,is offensive. If you listen to talk radio, the majority believes cnn,especially ,is using race as a weapon,and the naacp started this whole unfortunate episode. The biggest sense on the airwaves,is that ms sherrod,was a victim,but she has clearly racial animous towards non-blacks. Over and over,people talk about that the part of her speech where she about racism coming back after 8 yrs of the bushes,and people being against pres obama's new health care law,because he is black. Most people find that offensive,and even the girl on the view,noted that. By the way, when the naacp issued there first critical statement of sherrrod's tape,they also were very critical of the audience. When they issued there retraction, it suddenly was deleted. The race card needs to stop. Show the naacp meeting about 10 days ago with dem sheila jackson lee,where her speech is all about race baiting,vile,hatred,and tell me where the real problem lies. Imagine if cnn played that tape all weekend,and "discussed" it hour after hour, like they did with that idiot mark williams,and the naacp and the liberal msm,maybe,would stop letting people smear other americans.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:55 am |
  38. art

    "The GOP needs to get a couple of really strong people to start saying the right thing and drawing more toward them, it is happening in many states already."

    Saying the right thing and doing the right thing are two different things. This is why the Republicans/Tea Party are gonna take another pasting at the polls in November. They can't have it both ways.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  39. Robert Donald

    The only thing the Republican party can do to African-Americans to the party is to change their behavior and view of the world. As long as they support programs and spending that improve the lives of the haves and have more, they will continue to have a party that looks the way it does today. Attracting "high profile" Black folks will do nothing for them and it shouldn't. To much emphasis in our country is placed on those we have given the lable of "celebrity" and that has zero impact on the individuals who are critical thinkers which is the way it should be. Critical thinkers hear what folks say but they watch footprints/actions to observe what you do and the actions of the Republican party speaks for itself.

    There needs to be a clear of the definition of conservative when folks are given that title for their look on society. When I hear the title of conservative, it often reflects greed and folks who think it is okay that we have a society with 40% plus of the citizens with zero or negative net worth and see nothing wrong with that picture. I see folks who think the compensation structure of the country is fine when we have a hedge fund manager who was compensated $ 3.7 billion in one year and see nothing wrong with that picture and don't believe there needs to be financial reform in our system. I see folks who think it is okay that the gap between the rich and poor is not a problem. I see folks who think the minimum wage structure is okay but nothing wrong with a system that will pay Katie Curic 350X the average teacher to read old news but say we believe in quality education.

    Change behavior and that will change the look of the party.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  40. Dr. Andrew Lee Stephens

    There is not a lot the Republican Party can do because currently it's interests are at odds with much of the African American community. The Republican party distances itself even further from most of the African American community with it's frequent association with the Tea Party, which further exposes an apparent racial bias against African Americans. The idea of "taking our country back" and the constant call for smaller federal government beckons back to "states rights". African Americans familiar with the history, are aware that states rights has not generally been favorable for African American interests. African Americans have benefitted from federal intervention at all levels against the oppression of states like, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, etc. It is not perception that would need to be changed but the ideology and substance of who the Republicans are that would need to change and that does not appear probable.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  41. Randy McKee

    I will probably be accused of picking an easy target, but one of the reasons this subject is such a hot potato is related to the media. Idiots, liberal and conservative, will always do something to embarrass the majority, but the media does not provide equitable coverage. Perhaps CNN has and I have not seen it, but has CNN given "Runaway Slave", a documentary currently in production any coverage ? Although incomplete and not available for viewing there apparently is enough concern in the African American community to create such a film and promote a "trailer".

    What happened to Shirley Sherrod is a crying shame. It happened because the story was reported before any professional journalism occurred to verify the story before airing. Years ago it would have been reported the following day as it truly was, a misrepresentation, not a story promoted as fact and then conveniently blamed on the source versus the avenue of delivery. (The Media)

    Yeah, I am a middle aged, gray haired white man who votes for people, not party line agendas. Am I really part of the problem ?

    July 23, 2010 at 7:48 am |
  42. William

    There is absolutely nothing the Republican Party can do to attract more minorities. The Republicans are going for broke because of the election of Barack Obama and in doing so they have left no doubt what they stand for and it does not include minorities in his country. By the way all the pundits are wrong just like they were during the primaries. Come November the country will start to witness what will be the beginning of the end of the Republican Party as we have all come to know it in this country.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:45 am |
  43. Mike

    Why not ask what they can do to attract anyone to the party? People (political groups) have philosophies regarding how they believe individuals can be best served and ultimately self-reliant. To "message" or "do" something simply to attract a segment of voters who have differing views would in substance say that the party is without honest convictions and stands for nothing.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:43 am |
  44. Ellen LaHaye

    The Republican Party will never be able to attract the black American as long as the media portrays the Tea Party and/or Republican Party as racist, which you do always. Why would any black want to join a party that hates them as you imply? If we could get rid of biased media, our country might have a chance.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:42 am |
  45. Arthur Wendel

    The Tea Party (or at least the real libertarians) should make African-Americans aware of the fact that they want to end the "War on Drugs", which has disproportionally imprisoned and disenfranchised millions of African-Americans. Similarly, reform of Medicare and privatization of Social Security would address another area of unfairness to African-Americans: they pay into these current programs, but, statistically, do not collect the benefits as long as other groups, such as white women.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:41 am |
  46. victor

    It's offensive to me for someone to assume that talking to Colin Powell will get me as a african american to pay attention to the GOP. Just as offensive as the comment that we voted for the president because he was a community organizer.

    If the GOP wants me to pay attention then talk to me about the issues that are important to me, jobs, security, housing, education – if they take positions that I agree with then I would support them – simple as that. No need to have a parade of african-americans as a way to get my support. I didnt support the president because he was black – i supported him because of his position on the issues.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:40 am |
  47. terri

    Look face the facts they don't really want us.. The rep. Party has become a home for racist americans that's the. The reason the tea party started no matter what they say... They simply hate... The first black president, hidden as policy protest..they are clearly racist...this will not be solved in the media.... Some whites will always hate blacks... We have learned to live with that....

    July 23, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  48. Chanel

    Republicans need to focus on the deep chasms between upwardly mobile African Americans and the urban poor. Many African Americans who share the exact same values as upper middle class whites are in the upper middle class and rural working classes of the African American population. They share the exact same goals, and in many instances, the exact same ideas about self-improvement and self reliance. The first step, however, is to quit looking at all African Americans as part of this mythic "black community". There has not been a African American "community" in the traditional sense since the 60s with the advent of desegregation, affirmative action, and when the first large graduating classes of African Americans left the formerly lilly white halls of the Ivy Leagues and other major mainstream universities.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:38 am |
  49. Merle

    How absurd to say that the Republicans should "romance" Colin Powell? He voted for the most liberal Democrat, Obama, for president in 2008. A Republican could not do that. There are some very dynamic black Republicans coming up in the party. Allen West is one. It is all about what they believe, and Colin Powell voted about race, not principle.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  50. Jane

    The GOP really is getting a lot of Democrates and Independents running toward them because Obama has let them down so much and they are so afraid of his agenda. The American People are speaking up and it is scaring them all !!
    The GOP needs to get a couple of really strong people to start saying the right thing and drawing more toward them, it is happening in many states already.

    Thank you Carol, we enjoy your reporting. Would like to see you with your own show.

    Kind Regards,


    July 23, 2010 at 7:35 am |
  51. Kevin Cromer

    I believe the largest problem facing both the GOP and TeaParty is that once these ridiculous racially divisive issues arise, they are silent in condeming them. The GOP and TeaParty sites were flooded with statements regarding the now debunked 'racial' statements of the Agricultural Rep but once that edited statement was proven false, very little has come from either the Tea Party or GOP. They have effectively remained silent. Furthermore, when blatant racist posters are shown at Teaparty events, they skirt that issue and talk about 'harmony'. How can there be harmony if you dance around the fact that your supports are promoting hate and division? Can't have it both ways

    July 23, 2010 at 7:34 am |