Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Debate No-Shows Worry GOP Leaders

Washington Post has an article pointing out concerns expressed by leading Republicans for Candidates Are Urged to Attend Forums Sponsored by Minorities. There already is a perception that Republicans do not attract minority voters and having presidential candidates avoid forums such as the one written about in the Post further adds to that perception. Some selected quotes of interest:
"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."

"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."

Will the candidates listen and how they will backtrack if they do, should be interesting...

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