Bush Tries to Lure Black Voters

The New York Times is reporting: "President Bush tried on Friday to sow doubts about Democrats' commitment to black Americans and told black voters 'there is an alternative this year' -- him. At the same time, Bush acknowledged, "Listen, the Republican Party has got a lot of work to do. I understand that.'''

"Bush's speech to the Urban League, his third since becoming president, came as a new poll showed overwhelming support for John Kerry among black voters. The poll also showed black voters have yet to entirely warm up to the presumptive Democratic nominee."

[...] "The speech, coupled with the announcement of an unusual partnership with a special-interest group to nurture minority businesses, was as an election-year bid to use government resources to reach out to black voters. It also served as a slap at the NAACP, a group Bush snubbed last week because he believes it has been hostile to him.

[...] "He did not mention his opposition to affirmative action in a case that touched off opposition in Michigan and nationwide. In January 2003, Bush asserted that a program of racial preferences for minority applicants at the University of Michigan was 'divisive, unfair and impossible to square with the Constitution.' He took a position against the program in a Supreme Court case and did it on the birthday of civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr."

"Blacks supported Democrat Al Gore over Bush by a 9-1 margin in the 2000 election, and the poll released this week by BET/CBS News showed their backing for Kerry is almost as strong. Nine out of 10 black adults surveyed believed the Iraq war was not worth the cost in lives or money, and the same proportion believed the country is headed in the wrong direction."

[...]"The BET/CBS poll showed Bush's image still suffers among black voters for the 2000 election recount in Florida. More than four in five blacks believe Bush did not legitimately win the election, and two-thirds think deliberate attempts were made to prevent black voters' ballots from being counted, the survey found. A Republican state lawmaker in Michigan stoked those resentments this month when he said the GOP would fare poorly in this year's elections if it failed to 'suppress the Detroit vote.' ''


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