Republican president candidate Mitt Romney continued his outreach to African Americans with the release of a new campaign ad (see below) aimed at black voters.
Romney has been making entreaties to the black community despite President Obama’s overwhelming support by African Americans, who favor him in most polls by margins well above 90 percent.
In the commercial, called “We Need Mitt Romney,” Romney’s speech to the NAACP convention earlier this month (minus the boos) is used as the backdrop for Romney building his case that the country needs a change in leadership because of our economic woes. As the rousing music starts, the viewer sees a succession of African Americans solemnly addressing the camera.
“Governor Romney’s speech hit the nail on the head,” one woman says, as the screen cuts to Romney speaking to the NAACP. “We have a nation that’s suffering economically. He wants to provide an opportunity for every American.”
During his NAACP speech, Romney says, “Americans are asking when this economy will finally recover. And you in particular are entitled to an answer.”
Next we cut to another black woman saying, “We need in our next president someone who will be honest, open and transparent.”
Though the commercial never mentions Barack Obama, he is clearly the foil—as the speakers’ statements imply that Obama is none of these things. The commercial ends with the NAACP crowd rising to give Romney a standing ovation. Apparently the Romney campaign was not deterred by an accusation from an NAACP official that the standing ovation came from people the Romney campaign had imported to the convention for the speech. But that story and accusation was ignored by most of the mainstream media.
While polls have consistently shown the percentage of black Republicans as under 10 percent, in a race as close as this one is expected to be Romney has apparently calculated that he would be well-served by giving black conservatives a reason to feel good about voting for him.