Campbell, 62, who immediately kicked off her pumps once she sat down, said she tries to explain to voters that electing another Democrat to Congress will help President Obama. “I say, ‘You had his back in 2012. Do you have his back in 2013?’ "
But Colbert Busch has flaunted her independence from a president unpopular in most of the district, assailing his budget plan for raising taxes, not cutting enough spending and meddling with Social Security. “Not only does President Obama’s plan fail to put our finances back in order, it would cut benefits for our seniors, which is wrong,” she said in a statement. Colbert Busch also declined to say whether she would have supported Obama's economic stimulus plan in his first term. “She’s trying to be all things to all people,’’ said Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer.
Interviews with black voters on Sunday found few knew much about the businesswoman and political novice -- beyond the fact that she’s the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert. If they vote, disgust with her Republican opponent, former Gov. Mark Sanford, is more likely to be the driving force. The governor left office in 2011, over a year after admitting he disappeared from public view for several days to visit his girlfriend in Argentina.
“We don’t need people like him who set a bad example,” said 78-year-old Virginia Rosemond, her wide-brimmed, red hat shielding her from a drizzly rain as left the Baum Temple AME Zion Church. Will she vote for Colbert Busch? “If I get a ride,” she responded.
Fellow churchgoer Charles Logan, 67, said he “might” vote for Colbert Busch. “I’m not messing with him,” he said of Sanford. “He left his wife. He left his office. What makes you think he won’t go to Washington and do the same thing?”
Colbert Busch’s campaign did not respond to e-mails and phone calls about its outreach to African-American voters. Appealing to moderate Republicans and independents is also crucial to her success, so there is a political risk in appearing eager to court black Democrats. When she campaigned at historically black Burke High School in Charleston last week, the event was billed as a rally for women voters.
But the campaign’s radio ad linking Sanford to allegations of voter suppression makes her intentions clear. With Isaac Hayes’ soundtrack from the 1971 movie about a black private detective as backdrop, the ad assails a new South Carolina law that requires voters to show photo identification. A federal court blocked the law from going into effect until after the 2012 election. “Somebody doesn’t want African Americans to vote, and it doesn’t take Shaft to figure out who,” a narrator says in the radio spot. “Tuesday May 7th is your chance to show them they can’t get away with it.”
The spot doesn’t mention that the ID law was signed after Sanford left office by Gov. Nikki Haley. A spokesman for the Sanford campaign, Joel Sawyer, released a written statement when the ad first aired earlier this month that called it a “negative radio ad with some very unfortunate overtones.”