After nearly four years of Barack Obama in the White House, conservative radio and television host Armstrong Williams told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview that the president has created a “feeding plantation” among African-American voters.
“It’s not just because Barack Obama just happens to be black,” declared Armstrong in the Newsmax box overlooking the Republican National Convention on Thursday. “It’s the fact that he’s a Democrat. And the Democrats have created — and I hate to be so bold — a feeding plantation, where they have taken away the initiative, and the work ethic, and the pride and self-respect — not only from many blacks in this country — but from many Americans, where the government wants to be all things.”
Host of “The Right Side with Armstrong Williams,” the political commentator questioned the results of a recent Wall Street Journal and NBC News poll that found virtually no support among African-American voters for GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
“I find that hard to believe,” he said. “That’s virtually impossible actually . . . to say he draws zero percent.”
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Even so, Williams acknowledged that Romney and vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan will have an uphill climb to attract black voters in November.
But then again, the expectations are lower too.
“All candidate Romney has to do, if he were to get 6 to 7 percent of the American black vote, it would be an overwhelming and resounding defeat for President Obama,” according to Williams, one of the most prominent black conservatives in the U.S.
While much of the media attention has been focused on the lack of black support for Romney, Williams said that the media has made little effort to publicize the fact that President Obama’s support has eroded among blacks since his victory over Arizona Sen. John McCain, who received just 4 percent of the black vote.
“The president of the United States only has 86 percent – which is down almost 10 percent from the 96 percent he received four years ago, Williams bserved. “The media would rather focus on the negative for the Republicans rather than the positive.”
Williams attribute Obama’s declining popularity among blacks to his failed economic policies, which have had a disproportionate effect on African-Americans.
“There are many blacks in this country who are privately disenchanted with President Obama,” said Williams. “Unemployment — while it may be 8 to 9 percent for most Americans — is 27 percent for American blacks. And guess what? Almost 50 percent for young, black Americans.
"You would think that there would be less young blacks in the penal system but that number has increased by 22 percent. The dropout rate out of high school has increased by 19 percent. The promises made versus the reality of their lives don’t match up.”
In addition to exacerbating the already difficult economic conditions, Obama has disenfranchised black small business owners and church leaders.
“I have not talked to one small business owner privately who have said that they would vote for President Obama again,” Williams offered, adding that the president’s evolutionary thinking on gay marriage has created a rift with ministers.
“I believe a person’s choice is their choice, but in the black community it’s a very religious community. And a lot of these ministers have condemned President Obama in their pulpit on his stance on his pushing of same-sex marriages,” he said, noting that Romney has an unusual opportunity to gain traction as a result.
“If[Romney’s] advisors can direct him to those pivotal areas, where he can go in some of these churches like he did at the NAACP — or send some of his surrogates in there — I mean, it is ripe for the taking,” declared Williams. “All he needs is 7 to 8 percent and this is the environment to do it because . . . they are suffering more than ever and they want a change.”
As Romney prepared to take the stage to formally accept the GOP nomination, Williams said that the party’s standard bearer should acknowledge that he is different from black voters, but that he will help all Americans to a better life.
“Say ‘look, I know it is going to be tough for me to compete,” Williams advised. “’Like you, I am proud of America’s progress that we put the first — not because he is black though. But at that time we thought that he was the best — and time has revealed that he is not. Look at these numbers, look at what is happened to you. All I ask you to do is look at the promise he has made and look at the results in your own lives.”
Moreover, Romney should appeal to black Americans in terms they can relate to, Williams continued:
“’Listen to me. Listen to my platform and at least give me a chance, instead of being manipulated by the press and by his surrogates. I guarantee you if you give me a chance your eyes will open up because you are intelligent enough to compare rhetoric. I am telling you my policies will work for all Americans,’” the host said.
Williams, who has attended every GOP and Democratic convention since 1988, said that he was impressed with the atmosphere of “warmth” created in Tampa as well as the high energy level of Republicans there.
“There is no such thing as white guilt anymore, and that is not going to work on me,” Williams said. “Obama does not understand who we are as Americans. He is not understanding of our values — almost never had the American experience, the rugged individualism, building a business, struggling, and living sometimes out of cardboard boxes the way Paul Ryan talked about when his father died and that at age 50 his mother had to reinvent herself.”
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