Republican strategist Karl Rove says 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.
During a discussion with Politico’s Mike Allen on Monday, Rove made it clear that politics had actually become more racialized since the country elected its first black president.
“Obama has no chance of carrying Indiana,” the Fox News contributor explained. “I was having dinner with [Indiana Gov.] Mitch Daniels this spring, and I said, ‘Mitch, is there a white Democrat south of Indianapolis who’s supporting Obama who’s not a college professor in Bloomington?’ And he stopped for a minute over his green beans and says, ‘Not that I can think of.'”
“You know, Indiana’s gone,” he insisted, adding that North Carolina is also “gone” because “New South independents” — which The Atlantic‘s James Bennett says is code for “white independents” — and “racial moderates, economic conservatives, who in 2008 said this would be really good for our country, let’s put the issue of race behind us,” but now they are saying “we did the right thing” and the experiment failed.
National Journal‘s Ron Brownstein has argued that the Romney campaign is focusing on capturing at least 61 percent of white voters to give them a slim majority. Obama, however, needs 80 percent of minorities and 40 percent of whites to stay in office.
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.”
Watch this video from Politico, broadcast Aug. 27, 2012.