Last Thursday, Tavis Smiley moderated a Republican presidential forum on PBS, where candidates — for the first time — answered questions from “a panel exclusively comprised of journalists of color.” The only problem was the four Republican frontrunners skipped it – Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain , Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said he was “embarrassed” and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) felt “outrage.”
Giuliani held a $2,300 per plate fundraiser with Bo Derek instead. Smiley has been pretty vocal about the snub saying that the conservatives are “trying to go through this entire primary process and never have to address voters of color and never queried journalists of color.”
Of course, it’s up to the minority voters to make the candidates pay attention by turning out in larger numbers at the polls. It’s the ballot box that is the ultimate control over those seeking office.
The Conservative Religious Right gets the attention of the GOP because it got out the vote of GW Bush. Fred Thompson hopes that they will do the same for them.