(Newsroom America) -- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, in his address to the NAACP on Wednesday, plans to pitch jobs to the nation's top civil rights organization, in a bid to pry at least some votes away from President Barack Obama.
In 2008, Obama captured fully 95 percent of the black vote, but Romney's campaign said the former Massachusetts governor will deliver a pro-jobs message "at a time of 14.4 percent unemployment among African-Americans," The New York Times reported Tuesday.
For his part, Obama has declined an invitation to appear before the group; Vice President Joe Biden will appear instead, the White House has said.
Though blacks once more are expected to give Obama wide support, the president will have some difficulty generating the same level of enthusiasm he created four years ago, political analysts have said.
Part of that is due to the message Romney plans to hit upon: Unemployment around the country remains stubbornly high at 8.2 percent nationally, and the rate is much higher among African-Americans and Latinos, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Ben Jealous, president of the 103-year-old organization, said Romney had the potential to dramatically improve upon the Republican Party's last presidential candidate.
"Romney could do much better than John McCain," he said, as quoted by the Times, noting that it's possible support for Romney among blacks could rise to about 11 percent, figures not seen for a GOP candidate since George W. Bush's second election win in 2004.
Still, Jealous added, African-Americans have heard Romney's message on jobs and "it is not resonating with our base."
Part of that reason, he said, is that Romney's talk of deregulation and opposition to the automobile industry bailout conjures images of Wall Street excesses and GM bankruptcy.
"If he’s going to pick up more support in the black community, he has to send a message that he’s prepared to lead on issues that we care about," Jealous told the Times.
The NAACP leader also said states pushing voter ID laws are also widely opposed in minority communities because, he said, they have the potential to be abused, leading to voter disenfranchisement.
Republicans and supporters of voter ID laws say it should be standard procedure to prove you are a registered voter, in order to protect the integrity of elections.
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