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4:20pm August 23, 2012

Tara Wall: Blacks Meet Regularly to Advise Mitt Romney

1taraWalla

As the GOP prepares to meet in Tampa next week, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has been meeting with a team of politically diverse Black advisors as part of his growing campaign strategy against President Barack Obama, confirms a campaign spokesperson.

“There is a Black coalitions group that meets regularly with the Romney campaign,” says Tara Wall, senior communications and coalitions advisor for the Romney campaign. “This is not new. This is something that’s been going on for several months.”

Speaking guardedly about the advisors during an interview with the Trice Edney News Wire, Wall declined to give names of any Democrats who might be involved. “They are not just Republicans. They’re a diverse group,” she said.

She did mention the Rev. Jeff Brown as being someone to whom Romney listens. Brown is the African-American co-founder of the Boston Ten Points Coalition, who spoke highly of Romney during his appearance at the NAACP Convention in July. Brown said he was not endorsing Romney per se, but told the media how Romney had worked “in a bi-partisan fashion with inner city Black clergy” when he was governor of Massachusetts.

Wall said of Romney, “He has worked in a bi-partisan fashion; he had to have Democrats to help him pass legislation in Massachusetts. He’s not immune to that … At the end of the day, if he does become president, he does want to become president and will become president for all Americans and we have to have a seat at the table. Black America wants to have a seat at the table.”

President Obama, who won nearly 98 percent of the Black vote during his historic campaign in 2008, has come under significant criticism by Blacks who are dissatisfied with the steadily high jobless rate in the Black community. Despite the disparate economic impact on African-Americans, Obama is still expected to win heavy support among Black voters, though grassroots organizers are complaining about a lack of motivation.

For example, Baltimore Pastor Jamal-Harrison Bryant held what he called a “Code Red” conference, sponsored by his “Empowerment Movement” last week in an attempt to get African-American church leaders oriented to get out the vote.

Wall, a former CNN contributor and deputy editorial page editor for the conservative Washington Times, indicated that Romney will attempt to take advantage of every slip in support for Obama.

“Obviously a majority of Black Americans are going to once again vote for President Obama,” Wall said.  “But he doesn’t enjoy the large margins that he once enjoyed. I’ve seen polling numbers where those margins have been reduced to 85 and 90 percent among Black Americans. That alone is significant enough to put Mitt Romney in the win column.”

Wall says she has heard some Blacks who voted for Obama in 2008 saying they will not do so again. However, she stressed that Black support for Romney does not have to mean defecting Black Democrats. She acknowledged that some Black Republicans also voted for Obama the last time. Among Obama’s Black Republican supporters in 2008 was former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has not yet endorsed anyone in the current campaign.

“I think we also want to get out our base of Black Republicans and conservatives and moderates and some folks who voted for President Obama the last time that we want to make sure they check the box for Gov. Romney this time,” Wall said.

She said in order to achieve that, Republican Party leaders must recognize and embrace the diversity even among Black Republicans.

“Republicans can’t be monolithic when it comes to Black Americans; not even Black Republicans. We are not monolithic-thinking and Black Republicans are not monolithic- thinking. Within Black conservatism there is diversity. There is diversity of viewpoints – moderate, liberal, conservative Black Republicans,” Wall said. “And I think anybody, whether it’s the [Republican] Party, Democrats or the President, runs a risk [when] painting a broad brush. You can’t cast everyone in one category.”

One example of a conservative Black Democrat is former Congressman Artur Davis, a former Obama supporter-turned Republican, who will be speaking at the Republican Convention in Tampa Aug. 27-30. Davis’ recent party switch comes as no surprise to political observers, particularly since he was the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus who voted against the President’s Affordable Care Act.

Wall says that Romney attempted to show his desire to dialog with Blacks when he accepted the invitation to speak before the NAACP.

“He said he would be back to the NAACP if they would have him. So, he is very open to that. He has made that known and will make no bones about it,” Wall said.

Despite Romney’s outreach to the NAACP, saying he desires to “represent all Americans”, the audience of civil rights leaders booed him heavily when he said he would “eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare.”

Apparently unfazed by the boos, Wall said, “There are going to be areas of disagreement. You’re not going to agree a hundred percent. But I think that the point is he’s also not going to pander and change his message because it’s a different audience.”

Wall expressed hope that the “business acumen” of Romney will appeal to African-Americans amidst racially disparate economic struggles. Romney is a multi-millionaire, mainly from his own businesses.

“I think they know that Gov. Romney brings some economic change and opportunity with his message,” she said. “At this point where it comes to economics and jobs and small business I think there are a lot of folks who believe this is an imperative and are willing to listen to Gov. Romney as to what the he brings to the table to help close the gap economically between Black and White…Romney – He has a strong record, he has business acumen. I think those are the principles that should apply to help bring



About the Author

Hazel Trice Edney





 
 

 
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16 Comments


  1. The Anarchist

    She needs to read Thomas Frank's "The Wrecking Crew".

    “The Wrecking Crew should monopolize political conversation this year. It’s the first book to effectively tie the ruin and corruption of conservative governance to the conservative “movement building” of the 1970s, and, before that, the business crusade against good government going back at least to the 1890s.”—Salon.com


  2. Thanks for expressing your ideas here. The other thing is that if a problem appears with a computer motherboard, people should not have some risk with repairing it themselves because if it is not done properly it can lead to irreparable damage to the complete laptop. It will always be safe just to approach your dealer of any laptop for that repair of the motherboard. They’ve technicians who’ve an know-how in dealing with notebook motherboard complications and can have the right diagnosis and carry out repairs.


  3. I find it very interesting that Hazel Trice Edney neglected to mention the latest NBC/WSJ poll that shows Blacks favor President Obama 94% to 0%. ZERO PERCENT Black support for Romney despite his alleged meeting with Black advisors, and Ms. Edney conveniently leaves that out of her article? Hmm…


  4. Edward King

    “There is a Black coalitions group that meets regularly with the Romney campaign,” says Tara Wall, senior communications and coalitions advisor for the Romney campaign. Did you notice that she told that lie with a straight face?


  5. Wm_Tucker

    It may be true a handful of Negroes have been meeting in secret with the Romney campaign. But if that's the case, either they're wholly incompetent or Romney isn't listening to their advice — judging from his campaign's rather conspicuous lack of engagement with African-Americans.

    Standing up to talking *at* the NAACP isn't an answer.


    • Winback

      What difference does any of this make??? According to Obama there was going to be now white, black etc…but "red, white and blue". Question #2: Somebody PLEASE tell me what Obama has done for ANY black community ANYWHERE in America??? Unemployment among blacks is higher than any time in history since these these statistics have been recorded and we know that poverty goes with it. What does that say about us "negro's" that we would follow another negro off of a cliff just because he/she shares the same skin color. I'm assuming that it is skin color because it sure isn't his economic and leadership skills. Wake up black people!!!


      • Wm_Tucker

        The difference is about which party actually engages African-Americans where they live. Republicans are conspicuously absent from communities with a significant number of Af-Ams, and their absence is voluntary. Despite your attempting to frame the issue in terms of concessions for an interest group — real democracy in practice doesn't work that way — American voters have (again) been presented a clear indication of the GOP's cynicism toward Af-Ams.


      • Litespirit

        You obviously don't have any kids who don't have medical insurance coverage after graduating from college and not finding employment, or any children with pre-existing conditions who have been barred from insurance coverage, or know any gay people in the military, or been the recipient of an insurance company who continually raises your premiums even though the 1% in this country has created such a differential in income!

        Time to education yourself and you wake up!!


  6. Litespirit

    Ms. Wall obviously is blind when it comes to Romney and his follower's "real" feelings about African Americans. She thinks that they really need her support or actually want it??? She needs to view "Roots: the next generation" to understand where this country's older whites really stand and how they REALLY feel about her, her color, or her vote.
    She doesn't have to support President Obama, but please, please education yourself Ms. Wall about what is really going on in America. We are still fighting the civil war as is evident in how the Republicans have been willing to let America FAIL just to obstruct a President whose policies the last 4 years have been for EVERYONE, not just Blacks. Will Romney send your kids to college? Cover them with medical insurance? He can afford to directly pay his kid's tuition and physicians. Can you Ms. Wall???


  7. disappointenher

    Hate when they find token blacks to speak for black people. Especially when admits the President submitted a Jobs Act, however not mentioning that the Republicans stop the progress. She fails to realize that once they no longer need her she will be discarded with the rest of the trash!


  8. Suewill

    After listening to her I see that she spews the same old talking points and rhetoric as the whole Romney campaign does — and nothing else. Their entire platform is to speak negatively of our President but they don't offer any specifics or positives. She's as full of hot air as the rest of them – no substance there.


  9. [...] the lack of folks on the ground helping to disseminate GOP information to black voters.In an August interview with Trice Edney News Wire, Wall defended that blacks, both Democrat and Republican, had been [...]


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