Greta Van Susteren interviewed Congressman Allen West (R-TX) last night, who quoted former Congressman J.C. Watts (R-OK) saying Blacks ‘share our values and stand with us on those issues, but they don’t vote for us.’ West hosted the Conservative Black Forum yesterday (see the video and partial transcript below):
WEST: So we’ve got to do a better job of communicating those conservative principles and why they can help to eradicate that astronomical number of 15.8 percent unemployment. And once again, we talked today about those urban empowerment zones, going back to Jack Kemp and also something that Art Laffer talked about. We can focus on economic growth within our inner cities because America cannot be any greater than the sum of its parts…
Let’s speak about the facts, and I think that’s what we have to be discussing here. And you and I talked about this last week, where we cannot have a situation in the United States of America where you believe that only certain people of a certain skin color can talk about a certain issue.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of getting the message out, in the last election, and many elections before that, the African-American vote is 95, 96, 97 percent Democratic. How do you intend to get your message out to a community that is — well, it certainly has not been very receptive to the Republican Party?
WEST: Well, I think that the fact that you and I are talking about it right now is a great indicator. We had about four major networks there at that Conservative Black Forum. It was covered entirety — in its entirety by C-Span. CNN was there. Black Entertainment Television was there. So that’s the first step.
Thirty-three percent of the black community identify themselves as being conservative. So as Congressman J.C. Watts said, they share our values but they’re not voting with those values. So we’ve got to break down that barrier.
Allen West on Black Americans and Conservatism (vidoe)