With just two weeks left to the presidential election, a Seattle-based conservative group is trying to erode President Obama’s strong support among black voters by running a 30-second ad criticizing the President for not paying advocating specifically for African-Americans.
The ad, paid for by Pivot Point, a political action committee launched this year, are running on BET in Seattle and the extremely important swing state of Ohio.
David Weigel of Slate spoke with Dave Shemwell, a scientist who runs the PAC part time.
“I’ve been working with a fellow named Wayne Perryman, a local black evangelical pastor in Washington state who’s been active in gang outreach and various religious outreach programs,” said Shemwell. (The PAC chairman is white.) “Since he’s also a Romney supporter, I said I want to reach out into communities that are not Republican. I started talking about jobs, and all the things that people have in common, and he said: You’re not going to reach anyone that way.”
The 30-second spot criticizes President Obama for “cutting aid to black colleges,” black businesses, and supporting marriage equality, calling the President’s support for gay marriage rights “a slap in the face.”
Shemwell says he bought the ad for a rock-bottom price and could have run a national ad on BET for just $2000, but chose to focus on Ohio because “50,000 votes in that state could be a big deal this year.”
This isn’t the first time Conservative groups have reached out to black voters to try to get them to “vote their values.” Earlier this month a religious group called God Said began imploring black voters to vote their “Biblical Values” and presumably choose Mitt Romney.
While the President has not been very outspoken on policies that would specifically target black folks (possibly because many of our issues are the same as other Americans), it is foolish to believe the Romney administration would take a stronger stand on our issues.