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Boehner predicts minority and young people not a factor in November

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Afro American Newspapers

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, admits that the GOP doesn’t do well with Blacks and Latinos but said Aug. 27 that they don’t have to.

He predicted at a media lunch at the Republican National Convention that he doesn’t expect a repeat on November 2012 of the massive turnout at the polls by Blacks, Latinos and young people that keyed President Obama’s 2008 victory.

“This election is about economics,” he told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor lunch when asked about the Republican Party’s standing with Blacks, Latinos and young voters. “These groups have been hit the hardest. They may not show up and vote for our candidate but I’d suggest to you they won’t show up and vote for the president either then.”

His statement drew a media reaction claiming that Boehner is dismissing the minority and youth voters. The headline in the online Atlantic Wire said “Boehner says out loud he hopes Blacks and Latinos ‘won’t show up’ this election.”

“It’s not much of a reach to say that Boehner hopes Republicans will win, and when he was asked to explain how that might happen despite polls showing historically low minority support, he predicted that low turnout for those groups means the polls won’t matter,” Elspeth Reeve wrote for the Atlantic Wire. “His prediction, in other words, is what he hopes will happen.”

Conservative publications denounced the Atlantic Wire’s inference. Matt Vespa of Hotair.com called it “desperate” and asked, “Does anyone else feel we talk about race too much?”

“They construed this story to make the GOP look racist, even though the minority vote isn’t where the election will be decided,” Vespa wrote.

Despite Vespa’s assertions, GOP officials nationwide continue to push for voter ID laws, which will disproportionately affect minorities. In Pennsylvania, where the law was upheld earlier this month, State House Speaker Mike Turzai admitted the law could prove beneficial to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

“Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” he said at a Republican State Committee meeting in June when speaking of his state party’s accomplishments.

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