The tough crowd jeered and faintly clapped when he remarked, “If you want a candidate for the African-American people, you’re looking at him.” He said he has the best interest of all Americans at heart, including African Americans. Romney appealed to families and talked about how presidential incumbent Barack Obama has failed Blacks in education and the economy.
Many have argued that Pres. Obama, the first black Commander-in-Chief has not done much for African Americans, a sentiment Romney echoed during his speech.
“My campaign is about helping the people who need help. The course the president has set has not done that — and will not do that. My course will,” Romney said.
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However, in the 2008 election President Obama received the overwhelming majority of African American votes, 90 percent (Gallup).
Romney, who frequently has been criticized for being inauthentic and making uncouth statements, spoke from the heart:
“I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African-American families, you would vote for me for president.”
Winning the support of African American Christian voters in particular may prove to be daunting also as Romney, A Mormon, fights off stereotypes about his faith, namely that Mormons allow polygamy and have historically felt Blacks were inferior to Whites.
Ultimately, the former Massachusetts governor’s biggest barrier in penetrating African voters may be that he has no track record of supporting Blacks to run on.