I think it's pretty clear now that whatever mythical outreach to minorities, particularly blacks that the GOP was engaging in is exactly that — a myth.  At one debate focused on black issues, the only GOP candidate that showed up was Tom Tancredo. The candidates also passed on a Univision debate. For the Tavis Smiley-hosted forum coming up at Morgan State in Baltimore, Mitt, Giuliani and McCain are going to be no-shows. (USA Today):

“No one should be elected president of this country in 2008 if they think that along the way they can ignore people of color,” said Smiley, host of radio and TV talk shows. “If you want to be president of all America, you need to speak to all Americans.”  Arizona Sen. John McCain, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney have declined to participate in the Sept. 27 debate at Morgan State University. “I feel good,” Smiley said, about the odds of getting former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson. Five candidates trailing in national and state polls will be there.  The Univision debate, co-sponsored by the University of Miami, was scheduled for Sept. 16, but canceled after only one candidate — McCain — accepted. “We're looking for a new date,” said Univision spokeswoman Rosemary Mercedes. However, Romney and Giuliani already have declined.  Republican campaigns blamed scheduling conflicts for their candidate's absence from the Baltimore debate, citing, for example, a McCain speech on Iraq and a flurry of fundraising events before the third-quarter deadline on Sept. 30. All eight Democrats participated in their PBS debate at Howard University — and that was on June 28, a similarly frenetic fundraising period.

Some searing commentary from Jack and Jill Politics:

This is not an isolated incident. In forum upon forum, the GOP has come up missing when it comes to speaking and presenting in front of Black audiences. ONLY TOM TANCREDO has bothered to present himself to a Black Audience, where he was received well.  Tavis did a 'Shout out' to his fellow Black Republicans, asking them why they were so silent on this matter. They keep on yapping that the GOP is a valid alternative for Black America, yet, when a nationally televised forum is put together so that GOP Candidates can present what they believe are GOP answers to concerns of the Black community, three of their Major Candidates don't even bother to respect Black Americans with their presence.  Why aren't these Black Republicans CHALLENGING their own frontrunners to appear in front of a Black audience?

Yes, where are they?

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding