ESPN's Smith says Democrats take black vote 'for granted,' suggests African-Americans vote GOP

ESPN radio and TV commentator Stephen A. Smith is urging fellow African-Americans to vote for Republican candidates, arguing the Democratic Party has taken the black vote“for granted.”

Smith said the black community is at fault as well, arguing many members have allowed the situation to persist and last week argued that they should vote Republican in at least one election cycle.

Defending his argument over the weekend, he told CNN,“We’ve given one party our vote because they’ve successfully gone about the business of convincing (us) that the Republican Party is completely against the interest of the black community. We bought it hook, line and sinker.”

Smith said the combination of Democrats assuming they would get the African-American vote and Republicans essentially having stopped trying has left the black community under- represented.

“We end up finding ourselves devoid of any representation whatsoever because nobody is really competing to garner our support,” he said.

Smith acknowledged that Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul, a potential 2016 candidate, indeed appears to be asking for the black vote.

The Libertarian-minded Paul, in part, has pushed to reform federal mandatory minimum sentencing on drug convictions, which has disproportionately impacted African-American males.

Smith suggested to CNN that Paul could go beyond what he has already done by “surrounding himself" with African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities and by “highlighting the inconsistencies” that the Democrats might be putting forth.