President Bush told African-Americans on Friday he wanted their vote and acknowledged his Republican Party had "a lot of work to do" to win the support of blacks, who rejected Bush in 2000 by a margin of more than 9 to 1.
Two weeks after he rebuffed an invitation to speak at a gathering of the nation's oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP, Bush struck a chord with some blacks when he urged them not to allow the Democratic Party to take their support for granted in the November presidential election.
But he appeared to face a tougher sell when he asked members of National Urban League, a group focused on civil rights and economic issues affecting blacks, to consider whether his policies might better serve their interests than those of the Democratic Party.
"I'm here to ask for your vote," he told the attendees, who numbered about 1,200. "I know, I know, I know," he said, when the blunt appeal appeared to catch many off guard.
"The Republican Party's got a lot of work to do. I understand that," Bush said.
But apparently, for some reason, he can't even get some actual, live black people to sit with him for a picture this time.