By Judy Kurtz – 04/23/12 06:44 PM ET
It shouldn’t come as a total shock to others when they learn which presidential candidate Jordan Cruger is rooting for come November. After all, the student at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice is vice president of his school’s Republican Club. He has also volunteered for several prominent party members.
Nonetheless, Cruger says at this point he’s used to getting a “surprised reaction” from his peers when he reveals which side of the aisle he’s on: “I’ve been getting it since 2008. Anytime you tell them that you’re Republican, they’ll look at you very strangely, saying, ‘Are you out of your mind? What’s wrong with you? Why are you supporting [Mitt] Romney?’ ”
His ardent support for the former Massachusetts governor might surprise even some of those who share his political beliefs. Before long, Cruger explains why that might be: “I’m one of a few African-Americans at any Republican event.”
The 20-year-old New York native is the creator of a Facebook group called “African-Americans for Mitt Romney.” The group’s mission, as stated on the page, is simple: “Gathering African-American support for a real job creator — Mitt Romney!”
It’s accrued about 80 followers since its creation back in January. “It has gained a lot more traction than I thought it would,” Cruger says.
Saying he thinks Republicans have been very good to African-Americans and he’s “very proud” to be a part of the party of emancipation, Cruger exclaims, “I think more people of my race should be Republican because I believe the Republican Party has been looking out for black people a whole lot.”
A college freshman, Cruger has no qualms about championing a candidate different from the one he says many of his classmates have chosen, contending that many of his African-American friends “were merely supporting [President Obama] because he was black.”
In 2008, Obama won 95 percent of the black vote in the race against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Cruger adds, “Even right now when the black unemployment rate is up in this country, the highest it’s been in years, I keep getting the same type of reaction from them.
While he might get flak from a few friends, Cruger — who says he could be interested in running for public office someday — feels right at home with fellow Republicans: “When I go to any Republican event I’m treated like a regular Republican and everyone is welcome. I don’t get any funny looks, like, ‘What are you doing here? We haven’t seen one of you in a long time.’ Anytime I speak with them, they like my presence there.”