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Following the presidential election, a number of high-profile Republican voices have spoken publicly about the need for the party to attract more Latinos and African Americans. Citing controversial, racially inflammatory comments by former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and others, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said, "There's also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. What do I mean by that? What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities."
Powell is not alone in criticizing the party's track record on diversity outreach. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is white, said in a postelection interview, "I think Republicans have done a pathetic job of reaching out to people of color. That's something we've got to work on. It's a group of people that frankly should be with us based on the real policy of conservatism. But Republicans have acted as if they can't get the vote, so they don't try. And the result is, they don't get the vote."
Proving Huckabee's point, as noted in a previous column on The Root: "In 1996 Bob Dole won 21 percent of the Latino vote and 12 percent of the black vote. In 2000 George W. Bush won 8 percent of the black vote and 35 percent of the Latino vote. In 2004 George W. Bush won 11 percent of the black vote and 40 percent of the Latino vote. John McCain won 31 percent of the Latino vote and just 5 percent of the black vote. In 2012 Mitt Romney won 24 percent of the Latino vote and just 2 percent of the black vote."
Source: The Root | Keli Goff