For one African-American Republican attending his party’s convention in Tampa, there is one pressing question: Where are all the Black people?
Raynard Jackson, who is president and chief executive of his own public relations and government affairs firm, said the current Republican National Convention is less diverse racially than any of the previous three GOP gatherings he has attended.
“There seem to be few if any Black faces here,” Jackson said, in an interview with BET.com. “It seems to me that the party has made a decision that they are not going to pursue the Black vote.”
Jackson said that because President Obama has secured nearly all of the African-American vote, according to public opinion polls.
“The real problem is not the fact that Obama is Black and that most Blacks support him,” Jackson said. “The real problem is that the Republican Party has not done much to engage the Black community.”
“My view is simple: Don’t blame Obama for your lack of interest in pursuing the Black vote,” Jackson said. “If the Republicans would have someone on the ticket like a Chris Christie or Condoleezza Rice, they would get 15 to 20 percent of the Black vote.”
Jackson criticized Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, for having few if any African-Americans in influential positions on his staff. He said the same was true of former party chairman Michael Steele, who is Black.
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(Photo: The Washington Post / Getty Images)