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Biden tells NAACP the election is a fight for 'heart' of America

July 12, 2012|By Christi Parsons

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden warned of a gloomy four years for civil rights if he and President Obama are not reelected, summing it up in ominous tones by uttering two words: Robert Bork.

Speaking to the NAACP at their convention Thursday, Biden asked delegates to close their eyes and picture an administration under Republican Mitt Romney -- and then led them straight to the conservative jurist whose proposed appointment to the Supreme Court by then-President Reagan many of them fought to defeat.

Imagine the Supreme Court after four years of Romney appointments, Biden told the crowd.

“Imagine what the Romney Justice Department will look like,” Biden said. “Imagine when his senior advisor on constitutional issues is Robert Bork.”

Earlier this year, Romney named Bork to head his Justice Advisory Committee, thrilling the party base with his choice of the conservative standard bearer.

But at the convention of the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, Biden’s mere mention of the name drew groans. Old-guard activists remember the defeat of the Bork nomination in 1987 as a highlight of the movement.

A day after Romney was booed by the NAACP, Biden urged them to turn their concern into action. A failure of black voters to turnout in large numbers, as they did in 2008, would be a blow to Obama’s chances of reelection.

This is a “fight for the heart and soul of America,” Biden told the crowd in Houston on Thursday. “These guys aren’t bad guys,” he said of the Republicans, “they just have a fundamentally different view," elongating the word "fundamentally."

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christi.parsons@latimes.com

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