President Barack Obama implored black voters to turn out for Hillary Clinton just as they did for him in both of his elections, remarking Wednesday morning that “the African-American vote right now is not as solid as it needs to be.”
“I’m going to be honest with you right now, because we track, we’ve got early voting, we’ve got all kinds of metrics to see what’s going on, and right now, the Latino vote is up. Overall vote is up. But the African-American vote right now is not as solid as it needs to be,” Obama said in an interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, a syndicated radio show that plays mostly R&B music and caters to a largely black audience.
Early voting among African-Americans is indeed down sharply relative to last year, a bad sign for Clinton, whose lead over Donald Trump has narrowed in recent days. In North Carolina, an all-but-essential state for Trump if he is to win the White House, the number of black voters casting ballots early is down 16 percent relative to 2012 while the number of white voters doing so has increased by 15 percent, according to the New York Times. That same Times story reported that the number of African-Americans voting early in Florida is down 10 percent compared to four years ago.
Obama said Trump’s “only agenda is to reverse everything I’ve done over the last eight years, reverse everything Michelle’s done over the last eight years,” highlighting progress on jobs, college affordability, early childhood education, global warming and other issues that Trump might imperil. The president said that if he is succeeded by the Manhattan billionaire, Americans can “immediately” expect tax cuts for the wealthy, the removal of millions of people from Medicaid and cuts to support for Pell grants and historically black colleges and universities. If Trump is elected, Obama said, “right away, I guarantee you they’ll dig up Michelle’s garden.”
Faced with Trump as his successor “because folks stayed home,” Obama joked that not even a vacation on one of Joyner’s famous cruises, which this year will feature performances by R&B stars Mary J Blige, R. Kelly and Anthony Hamilton, would cheer him up. “Even going on the Tom Joyner cruise won’t help me then. I mean, if I was on the Tom Joyner cruise, I might jump off.”
“I know that a lot of people in the barber shops and the beauty salons and, you know, in the neighborhoods who are saying to themselves, ‘well you know, we love Barack. We especially love Michelle. And so it was exciting and now we’re not excited as much,’” the president said. “You know what, I need everybody to understand that everything we’ve done is dependent on me being able to pass the baton to somebody who believes in the same things that I believe in. so if you really care about my presidency and what we’ve accomplished, then you are going to go and vote.”
Date Posted: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 , Total Page Views: 2514
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