Later Lindsey was heard muttering “did I really say that out loud?”
As Republican convention emphasizes diversity, racial incidents intrude
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Jon Cohen, Published: August 29
TAMPA — From the convention stage here, the Republican Party has tried to highlight its diversity, giving prime speaking slots to Latinos and blacks who have emphasized their party’s economic appeal to all Americans.
But they have delivered those speeches to a convention hall filled overwhelmingly with white faces, an awkward contrast that has been made more uncomfortable this week by a series of racial headaches that have intruded on the party’s efforts to project a new level of inclusiveness.
The tensions come amid a debate within the GOP on how best to lure new voters. The nation’s shifting demographics have caused some Republican leaders to worry not only about the party’s future but about winning in November, particularly in key swing states such as Virginia and Nevada.
“The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
On Tuesday, convention organizers ejected two attendees after they reportedly threw peanuts at a black CNN camerawoman and told her, “This is how we feed animals.” Organizers called the conduct “inexcusable and unacceptable.”
That followed an on-air shouting match between MSNBC host Chris Matthews and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus over whether presidential nominee Mitt Romney was injecting race into the campaign by joking about President Obama’s birth certificate and attacking his record on welfare reform.
“There’s no doubt he did,” Matthews declared.