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Urban Issues Not Priorities for GOP Presidential Contenders

There's not a lot of talk about cities or urban issues among the Republicans running for president, according to this piece from Salon.

None of the GOP's presidential contenders is much of a city-dweller, and few have made comments suggestive of urban-centric policy should they be elected.

"'Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods,' mused Gingrich, 'have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash,' unless it's illegal.'

Gingrich's comment is an example of surviving remnant of dog-whistle politics that demonize urban residents; recent examples include new state laws to drug-test those on public assistance and the ongoing effort to cut food stamps (and Gingrich did call Obama the 'food stamp president'). The specter of the black ghetto still scripts urban dwellers as villains (often as thieves robbing the citizen either directly, or as in this Rick Santorum comment, indirectly: 'I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them other people's money'). But unlike the era of Ronald Reagan's welfare queen, today cities are more ignored than attacked. And this goes well beyond Iowa.

'The core of the Republican constituency in metropolitan America are the growing, racially and economically exclusive ‘outer suburbs' whose privileged status Republicans seek to protect at all costs,' says former mayor of Albuquerque David Rusk, now a consultant. He cited New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as an exemplar of the trend," writes author Daniel Denvir in Salon.

Thanks to Nate Berg

Full Story: Iowa-centric candidates ignore the urban crisis

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Professor Lisa Schweitzer's response to Mr. Denvir

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