WASHINGTON WATCH ROUNDTABLE: Will The 2012 Election Be Like 2000; AP Poll Finds Majority Of US Has Prejudice Against Blacks (VIDEO)

Will this election be like 2000? 2004? 2008? New AP poll indicates that the majority of the US has prejudice against Blacks. Plus, Romney surrogate John Sununu believes Gen. Colin Powell endorsed Pres. Barack Obama as a result of race.

MR. MARTIN:  Will this election be like 2000?  2004?  2008?

Well, one thing that Pre- — President Obama’s campaign is making clear is they want to remind people of that 2000 election and why you should vote.  Check this ad they put out.


VOICEOVER:  Five hundred and thirty-seven:  the number of votes that changed the course of American history.

NEWSCASTER’S VOICE:  Florida is too close to call.

VOICEOVER:  The difference between what was and what could’ve been.

So, this year, if you’re thinking that your vote doesn’t count, that it won’t matter – well, back then, there were probably at least 537 people who felt the same way.

Make your voice heard.  Vote.


MR. MARTIN:  I’ve always said you can get folks hyped to vote, or you can scare the hell out of ’em.  That is putting fear, saying, “You[’d] better vote, or else.”

MR. TRAYNHAM:  Yeah, this –

MS. CAMPBELL:  Well, that’s my home state.  I’m from Florida.  So, for Florida, that – it – it’s a reminder of what we need to do.  And I can tell you in Florida, our community’s coming out – on early vote.  If you look at what happened in 2000, it was the early vote.  It was all Souls to the Polls.  So, our young people – for instance, Black – [unintelligible] – vote and – and a lot of our other Black organizations – are working together.  So, you have FAMU in Tallahassee, who – FAMU and Bethune-Cookman who are – those young people are having their Souls to the Polls marches.

It’s about making sure – reminding people to “go ahead and do what you need to do,” ’cause history – you know, we – we can rewrite history.  They’re just reminding us of what happened –

MR. MARTIN:  A- — a- —

MS. CAMPBELL:  — and – and it could happen not just in Florida, but it could happen in –

MR. MARTIN:  — and, of course, the –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — many other states –

MR. MARTIN:  — but, of course –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — with voter I.D.

DR. MALVEAUX:  But you know –

MR. MARTIN:  — of course –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — what, Roland?

MR. MARTIN:  — that was Florida of 2004.  President Bush wins Ohio by –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  By 100,000.

MR. MARTIN:  — 110,000 votes.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  Right.  That’s right.

MR. MARTIN:  President Obama wins North Carolina by 14,000 in 2008, Indiana by less than 1 percent.

Basically, they’re saying, “Look, elections will be determined by small amounts of voters.”

DR. MALVEAUX:  And in North Carolina, where I recently lived as president of Bennett College, 15,000 votes – 3 votes per precinct.  Three votes per precinct is what made the difference.  So, you’re looking at Bennett College for Women, 700 votes; North Carolina A&T State University – 15,000 votes.

You’re looking at the fact that people have it in their hand.  Fifteen thousand votes, Roland, is an amazing razor –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — you know, it’s a –



DR. MALVEAUX:  — razor – [unintelligible] – set of votes.  You’re looking at Ohio, where people are shredding votes, where Tagg Romney owns part of the voting company that is dealing with this.  You’re looking at, as Melanie said, Florida.  You’re looking at places where people’s individual votes can make a difference.


DR. MALVEAUX:  So, yeah.  A lot of people are saying –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — “My vote doesn’t matter.”

Well, if you’re in D.C., probably it doesn’t ’cause, you know, hey – [chuckles] –

MR. MARTIN:  But –


MR. MARTIN:  — but there’s a whole lot of places your vote does matter.


MR. MARTIN:  And I’ll say I don’t care where you live.  You still should vote.  Or, as – or, as I always say, “If you don’t vote, shut the hell up.  Don’t complain.”


MR. TRAYNHAM:  No, we live in a red-and-blue America, unfortunately; and we’re so divided that, because this is going to be a base election – as you mentioned, in 2008 and 2004 – both sides obviously need to rev up the base as much as possible.

What President Obama’s campaign is trying to do is to remind voters and say, “See?  If, in fact, Al Gore would’ve won in 2000, none of this mess would’ve happened.” “See?  If, in fact, we would’ve done what we should’ve done in 2000, none of this stuff would’ve happened.”  And in the – and in that – there’s some sort of – [unintelligible] – in that – right?  You know, that’s what the – obviously, what the Obama messaging is.

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  The alternative message is – is that Republicans are obviously saying the same, exact thing:  “See?  If, in fact, you would’ve got[ten] off your butt, and you voted for McCain-Palin, none of this mess would’ve happened over the last four years.”

So, at the end of the day, it’s the same message –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — to very different constituencies.

We’ll see who wins.

MR. MARTIN:  Before we go, Sonya shared with us a new study by the Associated Press, out today, on race in America.  We got a sneak peek – or, an exclusive look at it.  The findings are both expected, and – but – and also shocking.

They found that 51 percent of Americans expressed explicitly anti-Black attitudes, up from 48 percent in 2008.  So much for that “post-racial America.”  56 percent of Americans expressed implicitly anti-Black attitudes, up from 49 percent in 2008.

Now, Sonya, how do you get these numbers?  And what do they actually mean?  You also broke down also views on Hispanics as well.

MS. ROSS:  Well, I mean what – what they mean, according to the experts, is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  We got this – these numbers through research conducted by NORC and the University of Chicago, Stanford University and the University of Michigan – folks who crunch the numbers very well, who know how to do this stuff.

And we – what – what this study basically found is that, over the course of the four years that President Obama has been in office, there’s been no improvement in racial attitudes, both in terms of what people explicitly are saying or thinking, or what they may not even be aware –

MR. MARTIN:  Now, in this –

MS. ROSS:  — of –

MR. MARTIN:  — study –

MS. ROSS:  — thinking.

MR. MARTIN:  — you – they – they were shown images, or words, or whatever.  It was word association.  And how did they arrive at determining what’s –

MS. ROSS:  Well, they were –

MR. MARTIN:  — “anti-Black” or –

MS. ROSS:  — they were asked a set of questions that speak to belief, and they also were – this thing was conducted online.  And the reason for that is because it’s generally assumed that people are more honest –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. ROSS:  — and revelatory online.

MR. MARTIN:  Now, it showed that there could be a – a loss of potentially 5 percent of the vote for President Obama at a res- — as a result of this, but because also this survey showed there were pro-Black feelings, there was a plus-3 percent.  So, really, you’re looking at a – a –

MS. ROSS:  A net of –

MR. MARTIN:  — a net loss of -2 –

MS. ROSS:  — right.

MR. MARTIN:  — m- — two – a loss of 2 percent could very well be the –


MR. MARTIN:  — difference in a –

MS. ROSS:  Margin.

MR. MARTIN:  — national election.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  But you know what’s –


MR. TRAYNHAM:  — funny?  You know what’s fu- — interesting, Roland?  It’s not funny; it’s ironic.  What’s telling about this is that Barack Obama’s half-Black and, obviously, half-White.  He is from Kansas, and so inarguably, his candidacy back in 2008 was so transformational from a race relations standpoint.  Remember that speech he gave in Philadelphia and so forth.

So, what I find fascinating about all of this is, number one – to your point, Sonya, about how forthright a lot of people are behind closed doors in terms of how honest they really are with their conscience – but also, number two, ironically, how transformational Barack Obama was –

MR. MARTIN:  President Barack Obama.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — President Barack Obama was –

MS. ROSS:  Thank you, Roland.

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — in many ways, he really wasn’t transformational.

MR. MARTIN:  Well, becau- —

MS. ROSS:  Well, now –

DR. MALVEAUX:  [Crosstalk] –


MR. MARTIN:  — but – but one s- — one second.

But keep in mind, though, first of all, he got 43 percent of the White vote in 2008, which mean that he didn’t get 57 percent of the White vote.  That’s first.

Also, after he was elected, we saw – whether it was Glenn Beck’s rally, whether it was the Tea Party – I mean we – which – and we saw largely White folks involved there as well.  And that is – all of a sudden, we had what I call this “White fear” that was gripping this country.  The nation is changing.  It’s becoming more minority, and so all of a sudden, it was heightened; and – Julianne, speak to this point.  When you have economic issues, Whites respond differently because, frankly, I mean Whites as a whole – frankly – let’s be honest – can’t handle these – these economic un- — uncertainty.  Black folks are like, “Look, we” – “we can deal with this.”

OFF CAMERA:  Right.  [Crosstalk.]

MR. TRAYNHAM:  What do you mean “can’t handle” that?  I don’t –

DR. MALVEAUX:  But you know –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  — understand.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — what?  Here’s –

MR. MARTIN:  No, no.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — here – here –

MR. MARTIN:  No.  In terms of when you –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — it’s – [crosstalk].

MR. MARTIN:  — whe- — when you’ve had – when you – when you had – when you’ve had economic problems, you have seen a much larger pushback or response from White America to the angst at what’s going on.  We’ve seen it in California in the past and other states as well, and so I think African-Americans –

OFF CAMERA:  That’s right.

MR. MARTIN:  — handle it a lot differently in terms of what’s going on –

MR. TRAYNHAM:  [Crosstalk.]

MR. MARTIN:  — in the country.

DR. MALVEAUX:  Well, here’s the deal, Roland.

MR. MARTIN:  Julianne, go ahead.

DR. MALVEAUX:  Here’s the deal, Roland.  If you –

MS. ROSS:  [Crosstalk.]

DR. MALVEAUX:  — look at the demographics, what you’re seeing is a rising number of people of color – not just African-Americans –


DR. MALVEAUX:  — but people –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — of color –


DR. MALVEAUX:  — who are beginning to – you know, D.C. is not “Chocolate City” anymore; it’s chocolate chip.

MR. MARTIN:  Compton’s now 75 percent Hispanic.

DR. MALVEAUX:  Hello!  And what you’re seeing is people pushing back among White America, asking questions about, “Where do we belong?”  That really is a question:  “Where do we belong?”

A lot of people felt that, with President Obama’s election, it was race-neutral; but it has never been race-neutral.

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

DR. MALVEAUX:  It wasn’t race-neutral when we got here in 16-something.  So –


DR. MALVEAUX:  — you’re really looking at a situation where you’re seeing people push back about what’s going on, and the pushback has been that White voters who supported President Obama in 2008 are not supporting him in 2012 because they’re looking at what their situations –

MR. MARTIN:  Now –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — are.

MR. MARTIN:  — befo- —

MS. ROSS:  Well, two –

MR. MARTIN:  — the- — the- —

MS. ROSS:  — things.

MS. CAMPBELL:  [Crosstalk] –

MS. ROSS:  Two things –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — but the one thing –

MS. ROSS:  — about –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — I’d like to – to point out is also, getting back to the election itself, look what just happened with Co- — Colin Powell –

MR. MARTIN:  — actually – and –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — right?

MR. MARTIN:  — actually –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — the – and the –

MR. MARTIN:  — hold – ho- —

MS. CAMPBELL:  — response –

MR. MARTIN:  — a- — actually –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — was what?

MR. MARTIN:  — I – I –


MR. MARTIN:  — I want you to hold that one second.

Here’s what John –


MR. MARTIN:  — Sununu –


MR. MARTIN:  — former governor of New –


MR. MARTIN:  — Hampshire, of course, Mitt Romney’s surrogate, had to say in Piers Morgan when he was asked about Colin Powell’s endorsement of President Obama.


MR. PIERS MORGAN:  Colin Powell has decided to opt for President Obama again, despite apparently still being a Republican.  Is it time he left the party, do you think?

MR. JOHN SUNUNU:  Well, I’m not sure how important that is – and, frankly, whe- – when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues, or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama.

MR. MORGAN:  What reason would that be?

MR. SUNUNU:  Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being President of the United States — I applaud Colin for standing with ’im.


MR. MARTIN:  “… when you take a look at Colin Powell….”  Of course, I – I laughed at that whole deal, because – and I think Black folks are like, “Oh, wow.  So, you” – he didn’t listen to anything Colin Powell had to say, where he – where he systematically broke down Mitt Romney when it came to his foreign policy shortcomings.  Colin Powell, on CBS – this morning’s show – he gave hi- — where he announced his endorsement, also laid out the President when it came to the economy. And so, in – in essence, what Sununu is saying [is] Black folks can’t critically think in terms of who we would support.  It simply comes to him –


MR. MARTIN:  — being a brother –


MR. MARTIN:  — or not.



DR. MALVEAUX:  — General Colin Powell.


DR. MALVEAUX:  It is General Colin Powell.  These –

OFF CAMERA:  That’s right.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — White people think they can reduce Black people to a first-name basis, because they have no respect.  It is General Colin Powell who served these Republican

OFF CAMERA:  First –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — presidents.

OFF CAMERA:  — yeah.

DR. MALVEAUX:  And how dare that man


DR. MALVEAUX:  — go there and talk about, “Oh, Colin”!  They[’re] not in that –


DR. MALVEAUX:  — ‘sitcheeashun.’


MS. ROSS:  Well, this –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — well, it –

MS. ROSS:  — is what makes the findings of the poll so telling.  The experts say two things.  [The] first thing they say is that this fits into a historical pattern, as in whenever there’s progress, there’s backlash.

OFF CAMERA:  There’s pushback.

MS. ROSS:  Whenever there’s a step forward, there’s a step – or maybe two – backward.

MR. MARTIN:  Um-hum.

MS. ROSS:  The other thing is that the suggestion here in the findings is that Americans feel rather comfortable engaging in what’s called “subtyping,” which means that they can look at President Obama perform in his job and quantify it thusly.  “Okay, well, he’s not really exactly one of” – “one of your typical Black Americans.  He is” –

MR. MARTIN:  “He’s different.”

MS. ROSS:  — “Black-White” –

MR. MARTIN:  “He’s exceptional.”

MS. ROSS:  — “biracial.  He has degrees from Harvard.”  So, I – in watching him do his job, I’m not really learning anything more about Black Americans, in general, that I didn’t already know.  Therefore, it’s com- — they can feel firm in their beliefs about Black people, in general.  The subtyping combined with the history of the United States, dating back – probably further back than the Civil War –

DR. MALVEAUX:  But, sister – [crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  A- — and – no, whoa, whoa.  Hold –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — what you’re –

MR. MARTIN:  — one s- — but, no.  No!  Hold on.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — saying to me –

MR. MARTIN:  No, one s- — one –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — though –

MR. MARTIN:  — second.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — let me say –

MR. MARTIN:  One second.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — but when she’s not –

MR. MARTIN:  No, one –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — saying anything –

MR. MARTIN:  — second.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — about – [crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  One second.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — first name –

MR. MARTIN:  One second.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — [crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  I – I – I want ourselves to be clear.  Look.  There are people – Sam Jackson has said, “I voted for the President ’cause he’s Black.”  There are people who say that.

I asked the question, “John Sununu, did you support Mitt Romney because of his Whiteness?”

See, what ha- — what happens is whenever we talk about African-Americans, oh, you reduce it to race, as opposed to qualifications.  It’s a whole lot of Black folks –


MR. MARTIN:  — who did not support Reverend Al Sharpton in 2004 –


MR. MARTIN:  — didn’t support Senator Carol Moseley Braun [in] 2004.  So, if it’s all about race, then why not there?  And the l- —

DR. MALVEAUX:  It’s abou- —

MR. MARTIN:  — a- — and the last point is –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — but –

MR. MARTIN:  — let the person who says “why I’m voting” determine “why I’m supporting somebody.”


MS. CAMPBELL:  Well, the bottom –

MR. MARTIN:  Melanie –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — line –

MR. MARTIN:  — go ahead.

MS. CAMPBELL:  — the bottom line still goes back to it’s a close election, and you want to make sure – in – in the paper today, they’re talking about what?  Why is it in the paper today they’re talking about there’s a race – there’s a – there’s a racial tone to this election a week out?

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. CAMPBELL:  So, we need to be real – really careful about what’s really, really going on.  It’s – you – if you – if you’re going after White –

MR. MARTIN:  You’re saying –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — men –

MR. MARTIN:  — campaign – [crosstalk].

MS. CAMPBELL:  — say the right kind of thing.  So –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. CAMPBELL:  — he can understand –

MR. MARTIN:  Folks –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — you need to go that way.

MR. MARTIN:  — I am –

MS. CAMPBELL:  And so –

MR. MARTIN:  — absolu- —

MS. CAMPBELL:  — the bottom line –

MR. MARTIN:  — I’m out –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — Black women –

MR. MARTIN:  — of time.

DR. MALVEAUX:  It’s a fork –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — have to –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — in the road –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — turn out –

MR. MARTIN:  I’m ou- —

DR. MALVEAUX:  — Roland –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — in record –

DR. MALVEAUX:  It’s a fork –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — numbers –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — in the road.

MS. CAMPBELL:  — so that we could do what we need to do for our community.  Black –

DR. MALVEAUX:  It’s a fork –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — women will carry the –

DR. MALVEAUX:  — in the road.

MS. CAMPBELL:  — the – carry the women’s vote – women of color, young women.  That’s what needs to happen this –

MR. MARTIN:  Final –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — election.

MR. MARTIN:  — comment.

MS. CAMPBELL:  We’ve got to –

DR. MALVEAUX:  Fork in the –

MS. CAMPBELL:  — turn out.

DR. MALVEAUX:  — it’s a fork in the road.  Do you want to move forward in terms of social and economic justice?  Do you want to move backward?  You can put race under it.  You can put anything under it.  President Obama is not perfect.  He’s kicked the can.  This man will take us all the way back.  Women in the kitchen, gay folks in the closet, Black folks at the back of the bus.

MR. MARTIN:  All right.  Sonya, Julianne, Robert, Melanie, we appreciate it.  Thanks a bunch.