WASHINGTON (AP)—John Kerry suggested Saturday night that Republicans may try to keep black voters from casting their ballots to help President Bush win in November. “We are not going to stand by and allow another million African American votes to go uncounted in this election,” the Democratic presidential nominee told the Congressional Black Caucus.
“We are not going to stand by and allow acts of voter suppression, and we’re hearing those things again in this election.”
Kerry has a team of lawyers to examine possible voting problems to try to prevent a repeat of the 2000 election disputes. He also has said he has thousands of lawyers around the country prepared to monitor the polls on election day.
“What they did in Florida in 2000, some say they may be planning to do this year in battleground states all across this country,” Kerry said. “Well, we are here to let them know that we will fight tooth and nail to make sure that this time, every vote is counted and every vote counts.”
Bush-Cheney spokesman Steve Schmidt said the campaign would not respond to Kerry’s “baseless, divisive attacks” until Sunday. “Today is a day of remembrance,” he said.
The Massachusetts senator also criticized the president for failing to meet with the caucus since his first month in office and for what he said was a failure to meet the Biblical standard set by the Good Samaritan to help others in need.
Blacks are one of the most loyal Democratic voting blocks, and Kerry needs to bring them to the ballot box if he is to overcome his trail in the polls and defeat in Bush. Kerry opened by joking about how CBC Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., has an easier race ahead than he.
“The latest survey has him up 80-20, so I said, “Want to trade?” Kerry said.