President Obama’s campaign is making a direct appeal to the African-American community by making the case for why Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the wrong choice for African Americans.
“Their vision for America would be devastating to our community, putting the economic security of millions of families at risk and rolling back major victories we have fought for together,” said the email appeal to African Americans from Stefanie Brown, the National African American Vote Director for the Obama campaign. “Paul Ryan represents the most extreme elements of his party, and by selecting him as his running mate, Romney has doubled down on Ryan’s radical ideology.”
It is the first time the Obama campaign is making such a personal appeal to African Americans by scaring them about what it would mean to them if Romney-Ryan were to capture the White House. While the Obama team clearly wants to make sure the African American community is engaged and understands what’s at stake, perhaps the appeal is an indication that Obama is not taking the black vote for granted.
The email appeal does a point by point dissection of the ways Romney-Ryan would hurt African Americans with healthcare, education and the economy:
Repealing Obamacare could mean 410,000 African American young adults now on their parents’ health insurance plans would be uninsured, and 3.8 million fewer African Americans overall would be covered.
The Romney-Ryan budget would decimate funding for Head Start and early childhood education, and erase President Obama’s expansion of the Pell Grant program, which helps nearly half of all African-American college students.
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Romney-Ryan would eliminate tax credits that benefit 2.2 million working African-American families in order to implement massive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
“Romney and Ryan firmly believe in a flawed trickle-down economic philosophy that didn’t work before, and won’t work now,” the statement says.
The campaign has created an online forum for African Americans to discuss the campaign, called “African Americans for Obama on Dashboard.” At the forum, there is a list of some of the president’s accomplishments for African Americans:
• Lowered taxes for 20 million African Americans through the payroll tax cut, putting $800 back in the pocket of the typical African-American working family.
• Invested $3.4 billion in African American-owned businesses.
• Passed the Affordable Care Act, ending insurance company abuses and expanding access to preventive care, which will reduce health disparities for 41 million African Americans.
• Supported the early learning programs Head Start and Early Head Start, to reach an additional 64,000 children and their families.
• Doubled funding for Pell Grants, increasing the number of recipients and putting a college education within reach for an additional 200,000 African-American students over the next decade.
• Invested $2.55 billion in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other minority-serving institutions.
“In 2008, we changed the guard—in 2012 we must guard the change!” the appeal on Dashboard said.