But, as we have seen since the beginning of that president's term in office—since before he was elected, in fact—there's more going on than merely twisting the president's words into a meaning they do not have. He's viewed as just not like "real" Americans.
A new poll by the Washington Post shows that this is not just a perspective Republicans maintain about President Obama. They hold the same attitude regarding African Americans in general. No surprise given that 90 percent of Republican voters are white, a proportion that has not much changed in 30 years even though the proportion of the U.S. population that is white has fallen over that period.
When asked "what's the reason you think most black voters support Democratic candidates?" the most common answer was "don't know." But among Republicans who answered the Aug. 15-19 poll, the next most common replies were:
Government dependents/want something for nothing/welfare: 59
Supportive of welfare entitlements: 36
Parents voted Democratic/taught to vote Democratic: 17
More helpful to African Americans: 15
These are raw numbers, not percentages. But these responses, which stink of stereotypes of layabouts collecting free stuff, fit perfectly with the lecturing, hectoring mode of Mitt Romney at the NAACP meeting in July telling blacks what they should think. And not unlike the lecturing Ann Romney recently laid on Latinos, patronizing them with a lecture on what's best for them.
If the GOP actually had something to offer, African Americans would be registering in droves as Republicans and there wouldn't be an endless sea of white delegate faces in Tampa.
For contrast, among Democrats polled:
Issues of poverty/help poor/represent little guy: 48
More helpful to African Americans: 35
Party represents average people/workers over business: 35
Issue of civil rights/help minorities: 29
Democrats more helpful to society as a whole: 16
Independents, unsurprisingly, fell in between with their responses.
Republicans will always have fellow-travelers like Herman Cain to bolster their false perceptions of black entitlement. The one-time presidential candidate claimed on the Daily Show that the reason a recent poll showed Mitt Romney with zero percent support among African Americans is because blacks who do back the Republican candidate have jobs and were working when the pollsters called. Implying the others were presumably at home watching cable and waiting for Gallup to ring them up.
Thus does Cain reinforce Republican haters and give them ammunition to fling more nuts.