If you believe the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Mitt Romney doesn’t have any support from Black American voters. But that’s news to me and the Black coalition members for Mitt across the country.
Certainly it’s no surprise that Barack Obama draws significant support from Black voters. After all, his election was a momentous event in our nation’s history. Electing a Black president speaks volumes about how far our country has come in this generation — and how much progress we’ll be able to make in the coming years.
But just because Obama is our nation’s first Black president doesn’t mean he has been a good president or that he’s delivered the results he promised Black America.
Far from it, in fact.
Since Obama took office, Black unemployment has increased dramatically. More than 300,000 more Black men and women are out of work today than when he took office in January 2009. Now, 1 in 5 unemployed Americans is Black, and our unemployment rate has risen to 14.1 percent – nearly 6 points higher than the population overall.
Even leading Democrats recognize that these conditions are simply unacceptable. My colleague and former Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Maxine Waters said, “Our people are hurting… Unemployment is unconscionable… We don’t know what the strategy is.” The reason she and other Black leaders don’t know the strategy? Because there is no strategy.
Throughout his first term in office, Obama has consistently relied on higher taxes, more regulations on job creators, expensive bailouts for his political allies and other big-government, liberal economic policies. Not only have they failed to deliver the results he promised – the 6 percent unemployment rate his advisers told us to expect from the taxpayer-funded stimulus package is nowhere in sight — but they prove that he doesn’t really understand how to grow the economy and create jobs.
Worst of all, Obama hasn’t shown any indication that a second term in office will yield anything but a disappointing repeat of the first.
Like all Americans, Black voters care most about pocketbook issues. We want jobs, we want opportunity, and we want to know that our children will have better futures thanks to our hard work. And the fact that Barack Obama hasn’t delivered any of these is why I’m supporting Mitt Romney for president.
Romney is uniquely qualified to guide our nation through this tumultuous economy. His record of job creation both as governor of Massachusetts and in the business world is unparalleled. Not only did Massachusetts’ unemployment rate fall below 5 percent on his watch, but the state added more than 40,000 jobs during his final year in office — the best year of job growth for the Bay State in the last decade. Companies he helped start during his time at Bain Capital have gone on to create more than 100,000 jobs.
Romney’s private-sector experience also means that he knows how to create jobs and that he will champion policies to support the nearly 2 million Black business owners nationally who contribute more than $130 billion to our economy every year.
If we want to stay on the path of progress charted by the generations of Black leaders who came before us, then we need to take a stand for jobs and for economic growth. Only then will we be able to achieve true equality of opportunity for our children and grandchildren.
Unfortunately, however, President Obama hasn’t delivered the kind of tangible hope and change Black voters expect and deserve. Mitt Romney has the right record, the right experience and the right plan to turn the country around and get Black America working again.
And that’s why we must stand with him this November.
Rep. Tim Scott is a Republican congressman from SouthCarolina.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
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(Photos from left: REUTERS/Mike Segar, Win McNamee/Getty Images)