Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Republican Leaders Turn Down Chance To Speak At Washington March

Republican leaders, including John Boehner, Eric Cantor, John McCain and Jeb Bush, declined invitations to speak at today's 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. One does wonder, of course, what they could possibly say at such an event. Today's Republicans, after all, are taking advantage of the Supreme Court's unfortunate gutting of the Voting Rights Act in order to suppress the vote of African Americans, among other Democratic-leaning voters. Still, it is a measure of what today's Republican Party has become that their leadership chose not to speak at a commemoration of one of the most important events in American history:

That wasn’t a wise choice, said Julian Bond, a renowned civil rights activist, in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday afternoon.

“What’s really telling, I think, is the podium behind me, just count at the end of the day how many Republicans will be there,” Bond told news anchor Alex Wagner. “They asked senior President Bush to come, he was ill. They asked junior Bush, he said he had to stay with his father.

“They asked a long list of Republicans to come,” Bond continued, “and to a man and woman they said ‘no.’ And that they would turn their backs on this event was telling of them, and the fact that they seem to want to get black votes, they’re not gonna get ‘em this way.”

...“This was truly a bipartisan outreach effort,” said a spokesperson for the event in an email statement to CQ Roll Call. “All members of congress were invited to attend and the Republican leadership was invited to speak. Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office was very helpful in trying to find someone to speak at the event. Making this commemoration bi-partisan was especially important to members of the King family, too.”

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