Sen. Lindsey Graham: Republicans ‘not generating enough angry white guys’

By David Edwards
Thursday, August 30, 2012 12:28 EDT
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Lindsey Graham speaks to CNN
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is warning Republicans that the strategy of relying on “angry white guys” is eventually going to doom his party.

This week, the Republican Party, which is reportedly 92 percent white, has struggled to find minority speakers to take the stage at their convention. While former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, former Democratic Rep. Arthur Davis and Utah congressional candidate Mia Love all performed well, they were speaking to a crowd of overwhelmingly white faces. In fact, only 2 percent of Republican delegates are black.

Graham told the The Washington Post that it’s just a matter of time before changing demographics catch up with his party.

“The demographics race we’re losing badly [sic],” the senior senator from South Carolina explained. “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

Republican strategist Karl Rove admitted earlier this week that part of Mitt Romney’s plan to win the White House has to include getting “white Democrats” not to vote for President Barack Obama.

And pundits like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews see a strategy by Republicans to capture those votes by dividing the country with racial politics.

On Monday, Matthews blasted Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for playing the “race card” with birther jokes and falsehoods about ending work requirements for welfare.

“That cheap shot about ‘I don’t have a problem with my birth certificate’ was awful,” Matthews said of GOP hopeful Mitt Romney’s Friday embrace of the birther notion that President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. “It is an embarrassment to your party to play that card.”

“This stuff about getting rid of the work requirement for welfare is dishonest, everyone has pointed out that it’s dishonest,” he continued. “And you are playing that little ethnic card there. You can play your games and giggle about it, but the fact is, your side is playing that card. You start talking about work requirements, you know what game you’re playing, everybody knows what game you’re playing. It’s a race card.”

But CNN’s Fareed Zakaria noted earlier this year that the Republican strategy was unworkable going forward.

“[I]f you lose blacks, women, Latinos (and Republicans have probably already lost Arab and Muslim Americans), what are you left with?” Zakaria wondered. “You can’t win a general election with the angry, white, male vote. That’s clearly a core vote for the Republican Party but it’s not going to be enough.”

“Part of the reason for this is that the party is increasingly a Southern party reflecting the region’s concerns and passions,” he added. “So maybe this is an unstoppable phenomenon, but when you look at long-term demographics, it’s tough to see how you construct a majority adopting this policy.”

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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