CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- President Barack Obama's campaign said there is a sense of urgency for African- Americans to come out and vote in November. During a recent roundtable briefing with Black journalists at the Charlotte Convention Center, Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told the roundtable of journalists that the assault on voting rights should motivate Blacks to get to the polls in November. “The fact that laws are being made difficult should motivate people,” Jarrett said. “Whatever the new laws are it should motivate people even more than ever before to exercise their right to vote.” The wave of new voter restrictions and requirements in key battleground states, according to critics, has been a ploy to decrease the voter turnout for Obama among African-Americans. Some of the new voter laws requiring photo ID has drawn the watchful eyes of the U.S. Department of Justice with Attorney General Eric Holder suing states putting more voting requirements ahead of the November election. She said Holder has “been vigorous in fulfilling his duties for the Voting Rights Act.” Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the Democratic National Committee, said the campaign is very much aware that it would score big among African- Americans, Latinos, Asians and other minority groups because of the issues that are at stake for those communities. When pressed to give an overview of what a second term under Obama would mean for minorities, Gaspard only said the political interest of those communities will speak for itself. Taking a swipe at Gov. Mitt Romney, Gaspard said the Republican nominee has been trying to “appeal to the worst elements in that party.” On President Obama's support of same sex marriage, which has upset some African-American ministers, Gaspard said, “I respect those pastors but I don't think they are representative of their congregations' views.”
Broderick Johnson, a senior adviser to the Obama campaign, said a majority of Black pastors are urging their congregation members to go out and vote.
However Johnson said the campaign still takes seriously the concerns of those ministers opposed to gay marriage. “There is great enthusiasm out there and we have great voter engagement. So we are going to make sure people get out and vote," Johnson added.
Asked about the impact of the economy in the Black community Jarrett said “A lot has been done that has greatly benefited the Black community,” citing investments in small businesses, stimulus and the saving of the auto industry.
She said a Romney/Ryan plan would be devastating to the middle class, and decimate the Department of Education.
President Obama is really looking forward to having the chance to debate Romney, Jarrett added.
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