Ben Stein is mincing no words when it comes to the politics of race and President Barack Obama, telling Fox News in an appearance Sunday that he thinks the commander-in-chief is selling lies to black voters as his own party struggles in tough midterm elections, Talking Points Memo
"What the White House is trying to do is racialize all politics and their especially trying to tell the Africa-American voter that the GOP is against letting them have a chance at a good life in this economy, and that’s just a complete lie," Stein told "America's News HQ," according to TPM.
"I watch with fascination — with incredible fascination — all the stories about how the Democratic politicians, especially Hillary, are trying to whip up the African-American vote and say, ‘Oh the Republicans have policies against black people in terms of the economy.' But there are no such policies," he said.
Stein's comments come as Democrats are using race in an attempt to drive turnout in Southern states, where candidates are struggling as backlash against Obama harms their campaigns. Some have used the politics of fear against Republicans, invoking images of violence perpetrated against blacks to arouse anger, The New York Times
"It's up to us to vote to protect President Obama and his legacy as the first African-American president," one flier sent to Georgia voters noted as tough races loom in places like North Carolina and Arkansas.
Black voter turnout, in particular, is seen as crucial in tight races, particularly in the Southern states, but some wonder if tepid enthusiasm for the president's policies will stymie would-be voters who turned out in record numbers in previous elections.
At least one media outlet is questioning whether this election cycle marks the end of the Democratic Party holding sway over black voters.
A Daily Beast headline
in a story about sagging support ponders, "Is This the Beginning of the End for Blacks and Dems?"
"While President Obama made history by becoming the first black president in 2008, black voters made history four years later. In 2012, for the first time ever, black voter turnout nationally surpassed that of all other groups. But that is unlikely to happen in tomorrow’s election," notes Beast writer Keli Goff in the story published Monday.
"An even bigger question to consider, however, is whether it will ever happen again," Goff wrote. "Black voter enthusiasm has been at an all-time high during the era of the first black president, but will this enthusiasm last in the post-Obama era?"
Stein, a conservative pundit, was forceful in suggesting that Obama's tactics have been divisive.
"It’s all a way to racialize voting in this country," Stein told Fox. "This president is the most racist president there has ever been in America. He is purposely trying to use race to divide Americans."
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