This afternoon, I had the opportunity to speak to Glenn McCall, the South Carolina GOP’s first-ever African-American National Committeeman.
When asked if there is any temptation to vote for Barack Obama, McCall immediately responded, almost to cut me off, “No.” But he did add: “I am proud ... and it does show that in our society, if you work hard, people will buy into it ... and support you."
He finished up by saying:
“... I think at this point ... history has been made … and this is where I think it needs to end for this candidate … and for several reasons.”
His point was that he can be proud of what Obama has already accomplished -- which is historical -- but that Obama's lack of experience, as well as liberal positions, should disqualify him from winning the General Election.
Typically, African Americans vote overwhelmingly Democrat, but McCall's goal is to, "get 20 or 25% that vote Democrat to hear our message and take a second look.”
When asked about the several African-American Republicans who failed at their bids for higher office in 2006, McCall said he was, "really optimistic and proud of those who ran, like Ken Blackwell who gained African American support and opened the doors and had those hear their message … I think the timing wasn’t right," he said.
Regarding Bill Clinton’s remarks during the Democratic Primary in SC, about how Jesse Jackson won SC,” McCall said: “African Americans took offense to what he said. There’s a lot of pride with Barack Obama and his candidacy…I think it was a turning point in those states where there’s a large population of African American voters.”
McCall thinks South Carolina and African American’s should give McCain a second look because he is an experienced legislator. Touching back to his own military experience, McCall stated “he’s a proven war hero, and a resilient candidate.”
McCain’s resilience, he says, is what will win over independent voters. As for South Carolina in particular, McCain will appeal to their desire for low taxes and “we think he’ll address energy independence and allow us to tap into our untapped resources.”
McCall also stated: “We feel much more comfortable having John McCain appoint new people to the Supreme Court. Areas that should be important to African Americans is energy independence and lower taxes and making health care more affordable.”
Megan Henry contributed to this post.