Al Sharpton is starting off his annual Action Network conference with a panel discussion about politics, asking panelists what’s the most pressing issue in the 2012 presidential campaign.
Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr., said it’s about jobs, the debt and external factors.
Politically, the landscape is trickier for the president, he said. Although Republicans “at this point have no viable candidate,” Ford said, “Republicans are going to rally around our candidate” the way Democrats did around George W. Bush in 2008.
New York Times columnist Charles Blow said it’s about “security.” Feeling secure in your homes (mortgages, foreclosures), in your neighborhoods (aggressive police tactics) in your pocketbook (the economy) and in your country (immigration).
Blow said the Tea Party movement, is fueled by people who feel insecure and who are acting out.
Political consultant Roberto Ramirez said immigration can’t be overlooked. Kirsten Foy, a top aide with the Natiional Action Network who also works for the NYC Public Advocate, said there is an “assault from the right” on just about everyone.
The upcoming presidential campaign is really is about “stopping our ability to organize forever, in this country.” Foy added, “it’s about attacking all people of color in this country forever” and “it’s us versus them, rich versus poor.”