President Barack Obama joined Rev. Al Sharpton on the “Keepin’ It Real With Rev. Al Sharpton” radio show to discuss why African Americans, who skew heavily Democrat, cannot afford to sit out this year’s election. He also addressed how he feels about Democrat politicians who don’t want to be seen with him on the campaign trail.
With regard to voter turnout, President Obama said among the efforts at risk if the base doesn’t vote are raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women, improving our infrastructure and early childhood education.
“The bottom line is, during the midterm elections Democrats too often don’t vote, Black folks don’t vote, young people don’t vote and we can’t afford to be sitting at home thinking the midterms don’t matter,” said Mr. Obama.
“I’ve got two years left in my presidency and I want to make every single one of them count. I need a partner in Congress, and the truth is in most of the states, most of these congressional districts, if we have high turnout we win. When we have low turnout, we lose.”
Citing the fact African American voter turnout during mid-term elections is generally under 50 percent, the president said, “I know people are trying to stop you from voting and make it harder to vote, but the truth of the matter is, most of the time we stop ourselves from voting.” The result, he said, is too often Democrats lose winnable elections. Black voters ought to approach the mid-terms with the same urgency as they did the last presidential election, President Obama said.
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Mr. Obama also addressed the use of voter ID legislation and efforts to suppress the Black vote, saying his administration would continue to challenge those laws. “Most of these laws are not preventing the overall majority of folks who don’t vote from voting. Most people do have an ID, most people have a driver’s license, most people can get to the polls.”
Addressing the fact that some Democratic candidates are avoiding him as they campaign, President Obama noted that many of them have supported his agenda and simply are in states where the GOP can use his presence “to fan Republican turnout.”
“This isn’t about my feelings being hurt,” he said. “These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me and I tell them, ‘You know what? You do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn out.'”
Hear what else President Obama had to say in the audio clip above.
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