Obama dispatches election lawyers 'all across the country'

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Politics Digest

President Obama's reelection campaign, openly concerned that his supporters will be turned away from the polls, is offering legal help to voters who see problems.

The president today said in an interview that the campaign has enlisted an army of lawyers to clear hurdles away for his supporters, telling American Urban Radio Networks, "If people have problems voting, we can solve those problems. We've got lawyers all across the country."

Urging supporters to vote early, as the president himself did in Chicago last week, he told black radio host April Ryan that voters should contact his campaign if they are prevented from voting. "If you try to vote early and you see that problem, we've got time to fix it," said the president.

Democrats have been worried that new election laws requiring voters to show identification are meant to block minorities and the poor at the polls. In Chicago, the president provided his license as identification before voting.

What's more, he said that by voting early, the campaign can shift its attention to those who wait until Election Day and help them get to the polls.

Ryan, a long-time White House correspondent known for her news-making interviews, also pressed the president on the high joblessness among blacks and Hispanics. The president responded by saying he would focus on "communities of color" in his second term because those two groups are the "future workforce" of America.

But as he has throughout his four years in office, the president said that would be part of a larger effort to put all Americans back to work. He told Ryan: "My target is anybody who is out there, wants to work but doesn't have the skill set to do it. When you look, a lot of those communities are communities of color and we're going to be putting in resources to make sure that we are training those folks up. And, by the way, that's good for America generally. If we don't have black and Hispanic kids who can compete, you know that's the fastest growing population, and that's our future workforce and America will decline economically unless everybody is able to get the opportunities that they deserve."