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Complete with a gospel choir singing the Black national anthem “Lift Every Voice,” the RNC tried to sway Blacks to jump onto the GOP bandwagon at its recent third annual “RNC Black Trailblazers Luncheon” at the Howard Theatre in Washington DC.The theme was not only to shine light on Black political trailblazers, but also to try to get more Black voters to support GOP candidates, which is a major goal for the RNC says Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. The luncheon was sold out.

“I think we can do much better with Black voters for our Republican candidate if we do the things that I’ve been talking about for the last three years and that increase can be an impact increase that people can point to, and say: See, this is what happens when you fight for every vote.” Priebus told The Washington Post. He added, “Money isn’t the answer, it has to be long-term engagement.”

While Black voters turned out in historic numbers in 2012, the GOP candidate Mitt Romney only received six percent.

This time around the Republicans don’t want to take any chances. They have set up officers in various key swing states to register more Black voters and they are reaching out to Black media. And they are making strong use of Back Republican elected officials such as Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) and Reps. Hurd and Mia Love (Utah) to lure in Blacks to the party.

Outreach will have to be backed with action, however, to counter some of the GOP’s tactics to actually stop the Black vote, such as the passing of and promoting voter ID laws. In most cases, these laws prohibit minorities and young voters from going to the polls. Republican politicians have actually bragged that voter ID laws have resulted in fewer votes for Obama.

As Chris Matthews of Hardball reported in his roundtable on the Trailblazers luncheon, “Reince Priebus says he wants Black votes. That’s a mighty tall order when your party suppress Black votes.”
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