Romney faces NAACP, booed for hitting 'Obamacare'

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pauses during a speech to the NAACP annual convention, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, in Houston, Texas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pauses during a speech to the NAACP annual convention, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, in Houston, Texas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

HOUSTON — Unflinching before a skeptical NAACP crowd, Mitt Romney declared Wednesday he'd do more for African-Americans than Barack Obama, the nation's first black president. He drew jeers when he lambasted the Democrat's policies.

"If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him," Romney told the group's annual convention. Pausing as some in the crowd heckled, he added, "You take a look!"

"For real?" yelled someone in the crowd.

The reception was occasionally rocky though generally polite as the Republican presidential candidate sought to woo a Democratic bloc that voted heavily for Obama four years ago and is certain to do so again. Romney was booed when he vowed to repeal "Obamacare" - the Democrat's signature health care measure - and the crowd interrupted him when he accused Obama of failing to spark a more robust economic recovery.

"I know the president has said he will do those things. But he has not. He cannot. He will not," Romney said as the crowd's murmurs turned to groans.

At other points, Romney earned scattered clapping for his promises to create jobs and improve education. In an interview with Fox News after the speech, Romney said he had expected the negative reaction to some of his comments. "I am going to give the same message to the NAACP that I give across the country which is that Obamacare is killing jobs," he said.

Four months before the election, Romney's appearance at the NAACP convention was a direct, aggressive appeal for support from across the political spectrum in what polls show is a close contest. Romney doesn't expect to win a majority of black voters - 95 percent backed Obama in 2008 - but he's trying to show independent and swing voters that he's willing to reach out to diverse audiences, while demonstrating that his campaign and the Republican Party he leads are inclusive.

The stakes are high. Romney's chances in battleground states such as North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania — which have huge numbers of blacks who helped Obama win four years ago — will improve if he can cut into the president's advantage by persuading black voters to support him or if they stay home on Election Day.

As for Romney's contention that his policies would help "families of any color" more than Obama's, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president has pursued ideas that help support and expand the middle class after a devastating recession, and that as part of that black Americans and other minorities have benefited.

Obama spoke to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People during the 2008 campaign, as did his Republican opponent that year, Sen. John McCain. The president has dispatched Vice President Joe Biden to address the group on Thursday. Obama is scheduled to address the National Urban League later this month.

For the past year, Romney's campaign has sought to avoid any overt discussion of race. When the issue has popped up, as with talk in Republican circles about running ads about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's controversial former pastor, Romney's team has worked to quickly distance him from the topic. The campaign is mindful both of the sensitivities of Romney being a white man looking to unseat the nation's first black president and of Romney's Mormon church's complicated racial history, having barred men of African descent from the priesthood until 1978.

But on Wednesday, Romney confronted the issue more directly, with a bold assertion that he'd be a better president for the black community than one of their own.

Within minutes of taking the stage, Romney made note of his opponent's historic election achievement - and then accused him of not doing enough to help African-American families on everything from family policy to education to health care.

"If you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African-American families, you would vote for me for president," Romney said to murmuring from the crowd.

Romney added: "I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color - and families of any color - more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president."

It wasn't long after that the murmurs turned to boos when Romney pledged to repeal Obama's health care overhaul.

"I am going to eliminate every non-essential, expensive program that I can find - and that includes Obamacare," Romney said, standing motionless as the crowd jeered for 15 seconds. He then noted a survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as support for his position, and was greeted with silence.

Romney's criticism of Obama didn't set well with some in the audience.

"Dumb," said Bill Lucy, a member of the NAACP board.

William Braxton, a 59-year-old retiree from Maryland, added: "I thought he had a lot of nerve. That really took me by surprise, his attacking Obama that way."

And James Pinkett, a retired utility worker, said: "He must not know how much support there is in the African-American community for health care, and he comes in and calls it Obamacare. ... We just think it should be given a chance to work."

While more Americans oppose the law than support it, blacks are a notable exception. More African-Americans say in polls that they strongly support the law than strongly oppose it.

In his speech, Romney also said much more must be done to improve education in the nation's cities, and he vowed to help put blacks back to work. Citing June labor reports, he noted that the 14.4 percent unemployment rate among blacks is much higher than the 8.2 percent national average. Blacks also tend to be unemployed longer, and black families have a lower median income, Romney said.

Looking to heal wounds on civil rights, Romney said, "The Republican Party's record, by the measures you rightly apply, is not perfect." He added: "Any party that claims a perfect record doesn't know history the way you know it."

He also highlighted his personal connection to civil rights issues. His father, George Romney, spoke out against segregation in the 1960s and, as governor of Michigan, toured the state's inner cities as race riots wracked Detroit and other urban areas across the country. The elder Romney went on to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he pushed for housing reforms to help blacks.

Romney worked to connect with the crowd with religious references, noting the hymns that were played before he was introduced and telling the group that his father was "a man of faith who knew that every person was a child of God."

Left unsaid: any comments on a series of contentious new voter ID laws that critics say are aimed at making it harder for blacks and Hispanics to vote. At the NAACP convention a day earlier, Attorney General Eric Holder labeled those laws as "poll taxes" - a reference to the fees used in some Southern states after the abolition of slavery to disenfranchise black people.

Romney expressed support for such laws during a late April visit to Pennsylvania, which now has one of the toughest voter identification statutes in the nation. "We ought to have voter identification so we know who's voting and we have a record of that," Romney said then.

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Comments » 48

romneygate writes:

He neglected to tell them that they are all equal now in the eyes of his religion and him. Their vote counts as one like everybody else's. (
that's if they have a photo ID)

HAP writes:

The liberal reporter neglected to mention that he received applause throughout the event and a standing ovation at the end. Wow. Where's the truth? Never find it with the liberal press.

malcolmlandry writes:

Most democrats and naacp members are racist. They don't like white folks. They worship the black man. There is nothing wrong with that.

jbm9 writes:

in response to HAP:

The liberal reporter neglected to mention that he received applause throughout the event and a standing ovation at the end. Wow. Where's the truth? Never find it with the liberal press.

remember, the idiots that jeered him are the ones who are getting everything for free tahnks to the middle class who get off there butt and find a job sometimes two jobs to support their family. here is how it works,when obamacare kicks in you claim you are to poor to afford insurance. you don't get fined but get a voucher from the goverment and is paid for by the rest of us middleclass working slobs. i would have voted for herman cain because i likes what he offered and race is not an issue but some of these idiots are voting based on color and half of them couldn't tell you what obama did before he became president.

Colorado (Inactive) writes:

in response to HAP:

The liberal reporter neglected to mention that he received applause throughout the event and a standing ovation at the end. Wow. Where's the truth? Never find it with the liberal press.

Bull. Where did you get your info, Fox?

almasonlybar writes:

in response to Colorado:

Bull. Where did you get your info, Fox?

HAP's right. Watched it on CSPAN.

SWFLUSMC writes:

After watching this today, the story's headline just reaffirms the bias of those who offer it. One issue raised boos, the rest of the speech drew applause, organ music, and he received a standing ovation at the end. The tell here is the liberals know they have "trained" blacks better than to listen and agree with a conservative. They could not believe any minorities clapping for anyone not speaking the old words and program that has kept them down for decades. If Obama's performance on behalf of minorities is objectively measured, then Romney is correct, he would do more to help blacks than the current office holder. I would offer most anyone with the right intentions would. Most every opinion liberals have in regard to minorities is racist. From not being able to care for themselves, achieve comparable success as whites without programs offering advantages, and even their inability to obtain a picture ID. You would think they are speaking of children. Racist and sad is what that is. That is why Allen West, Robert Johnson, Herman Cain, J.C. Watts, and countless other successful black men scare liberals and draw their ire, they made their way on their own. After years in the Marines serving with all people from all backgrounds, I know one truth above all, everyone has potential and everyone needs the opportunity to use it. Everything else that has entered into the public discourse is keeping all of us from finding a better place. Everyone who thinks "all blacks will vote for Obama" is racist by definition. If people only voted by skin tone, the world would look much different, not better...

Beachglow writes:

It took guts to get up before that group and speak. Truth hurts, ergo the booing. This group is the biggest welfare/medicaid/medicare/social security disability - government subsidized crowd there is. Of course, they don't like to hear that they might have to work for a living.

Captian_Cataracts writes:

HOUSTON—During an address Wednesday to the National Association for the Advancement of White People, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a lengthy standing ovation from the group of 2,000 Caucasians who had gathered to hear him speak. The NAAWP, a 400-year-old organization with a membership of nearly 8 million whites nationwide, is expected to be firmly in Romney's camp come November. "Thank you, thank you so much," said Romney, whose speech was repeatedly interrupted by wave after wave of raucous applause and numerous chants of "We love Mitt!" "I love you, too. Really, this is too much." Romney’s reception came in stark contrast to the welcome given to President Barack Obama, who spoke to the NAAWP last Thursday and was loudly booed for saying, "Hello, thanks for having me."

Ruger writes:

in response to RobinofLocksley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No real argument eh?

Look at how desperate they are folks!

LOL!!

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/...

Obama camp cites 'scheduling conflict' for NAACP convention no-show...

Romney received a pretty cordial reception from the crowd at the George R. Brown Convention Center. When he talked about charter schools, and when he said he would “defend traditional marriage,” he was applauded.

joeblow writes:

Tell me one black person that is NOT going to vote for Obama???

BillyBob1 writes:

in response to RobinofLocksley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That would be you John. Feel free to leave any time. We could use one less carpetbagger.

BillyBob1 writes:

in response to joeblow:

Tell me one black person that is NOT going to vote for Obama???

Byon Donalds, Allen West and Herman Cain. There you have three.

unfatcat writes:

Who cares what the NAACP thinks? It does not represent the view of the people. That is all that matters.

To joeblow: There are many black people who are not voting for Obama this time; not including the people who are receiving benefits, but those who have jobs. And others will likely not vote at all.

It is interesting that certain people call other people racist, when they would re-elect someone to presidency, who has shown no leadership and represents policies that hurt the U.S; simply because he is half black. Isn't that true racist?

worldspan writes:

Romney specifically set up the NAACP to come across to the far right of his party as "Mr. Macho Man" because so many are in doubt that he is not a closet liberal. So Romney in effect "used" the NAACP audience for his own purposes.

Only problem is that if he wins (and the black man is out of the way) you Republicans are in for a rude awakening the day Romney is inaugurated President. And he will "use" the American people as he has done with so many others throughout his life including that NAACP audience yesterday!

Worldspan
(Ex-Republican)

newzhound (Inactive) writes:

Not surprising, the AP doesn't mention that Romney received a standing ovation at the end.

Max_Headroom writes:

in response to ISPEAKFORGOD:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Since when did it become politically incorrect to strive to be a millionaire?

anicou writes:

in response to Beachglow:

It took guts to get up before that group and speak. Truth hurts, ergo the booing. This group is the biggest welfare/medicaid/medicare/social security disability - government subsidized crowd there is. Of course, they don't like to hear that they might have to work for a living.

Yep! As soon as these welfare people hear the word "work" they have a panic attack!

romneygate writes:

in response to Max_Headroom:

Since when did it become politically incorrect to strive to be a millionaire?

Right. Materialism is all that counts. Where's my lotto ticket?

romneygate writes:

in response to anicou:

Yep! As soon as these welfare people hear the word "work" they have a panic attack!

Right! No free boulabaise for them. Get in line.

romneygate writes:

in response to newzhound:

Not surprising, the AP doesn't mention that Romney received a standing ovation at the end.

When they got up. did they leave the hall or were they just stretching?

What was that 14 second (booing) pause all about? Why did Romney BASK in the tumult like a martyr? Very effective!
The radical right can take pride in their new "hero".

swfljim writes:

In a related story, Romney plans to march in this weekend's Gay Pride parade in San Fransisco as he continues to try and broaden his support beyond white, heterosexual, tea party Republicans.

naples759 writes:

in response to HAP:

The liberal reporter neglected to mention that he received applause throughout the event and a standing ovation at the end. Wow. Where's the truth? Never find it with the liberal press.

i guess you're right....

fox news = liberal press

???????

maybe all liberal press except fox news which is on a totally higher level.

wasn't the first lady booed at a nascar event???

that was reported by the liberal media too.

go ahead, put your spin on it.

jvic47 writes:

There are some blacks out there that "get it". The media does their best to keep this guy down. His name is E.T.Williams.His videos are all on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cng8Yq...

Ruger writes:

in response to romneygate:

When they got up. did they leave the hall or were they just stretching?

What was that 14 second (booing) pause all about? Why did Romney BASK in the tumult like a martyr? Very effective!
The radical right can take pride in their new "hero".

Is this the best spin you have ET?

Pathetic!!

Therealist writes:

NAACP? What's the C stand for?

MisterK writes:

Jobs are an important issue, but healthcare is as well. I think its importance is being underestimated. People are sick of seeing big pharma and the insurance industry bully healthcare costs and healthcare delivery. The industry itself by its own irresponsibility ultimately brought about the new health care law.

WadeGarrett (Inactive) writes:

in response to Therealist:

NAACP? What's the C stand for?

Whitie can't say that.

romneygate writes:

in response to Damyankee:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You "think"? LOL

romneygate writes:

in response to Ruger:

Is this the best spin you have ET?

Pathetic!!

C'mon Willoughby, Romney is the only pathetic subject to dwell on.

lb5361 writes:

in response to HAP:

The liberal reporter neglected to mention that he received applause throughout the event and a standing ovation at the end. Wow. Where's the truth? Never find it with the liberal press.

Truth. Here's the truth. The cheering during the speech was from 200 AA that Mittens paid and bused in with the help of the Tea people. And those "high level" AA's that Mittens was espousing he met with and are for "him" in November on FukNews last night, bought and paid for too. Now, here is the truth I want to know. Did Mittens committ a felony with his Bain SEC filings from 2000-2003 OR is he simplying lying to the American people like he does daily?

Can you handle the "truth"?

Obama/Biden 2012!

lb5361 writes:

in response to swfljim:

In a related story, Romney plans to march in this weekend's Gay Pride parade in San Fransisco as he continues to try and broaden his support beyond white, heterosexual, tea party Republicans.

Is he going to be wearing his "magic underwear"?

Quietcat writes:

It was nice to see a politician stand up and say 'this is what I'm going to do. Vote for me or don't, that's your choice'- instead of pandering and tailoring their speech to their audience. Why are there "black issues", "women's issues", "hispanic issues", etc.? Doesn't everybody really have the same "issues"? When did this nonsense start?

Quietcat writes:

in response to lb5361:

Truth. Here's the truth. The cheering during the speech was from 200 AA that Mittens paid and bused in with the help of the Tea people. And those "high level" AA's that Mittens was espousing he met with and are for "him" in November on FukNews last night, bought and paid for too. Now, here is the truth I want to know. Did Mittens committ a felony with his Bain SEC filings from 2000-2003 OR is he simplying lying to the American people like he does daily?

Can you handle the "truth"?

Obama/Biden 2012!

What's with the "Mittens" thing?

fightback writes:

in response to Beachglow:

It took guts to get up before that group and speak. Truth hurts, ergo the booing. This group is the biggest welfare/medicaid/medicare/social security disability - government subsidized crowd there is. Of course, they don't like to hear that they might have to work for a living.

This was his ploy to get his rich base up in knots. That is why he went right into a fundraisng event saying he expected a booing. Why the group showed him any respect is what surprised me. Romney doesn't deserve respect from any of the 99% of people he will work AGAINST.

jvic47 writes:

in response to jvic47:

There are some blacks out there that "get it". The media does their best to keep this guy down. His name is E.T.Williams.His videos are all on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cng8Yq...

All you hypocrites who comment here should pay attention to this man.

fightback writes:

in response to Beachglow:

It took guts to get up before that group and speak. Truth hurts, ergo the booing. This group is the biggest welfare/medicaid/medicare/social security disability - government subsidized crowd there is. Of course, they don't like to hear that they might have to work for a living.

Are you NOT aware that most people on food stamps are not black? turn of fox propaganda and listen to real news, furthermore, are you not aware that the REPUBLICAN dominated HOUSE did not allow a single vote on job creation that was not pregnant with AMENDMENTS that had NOTHING to do with job creation?

fightback writes:

in response to Quietcat:

It was nice to see a politician stand up and say 'this is what I'm going to do. Vote for me or don't, that's your choice'- instead of pandering and tailoring their speech to their audience. Why are there "black issues", "women's issues", "hispanic issues", etc.? Doesn't everybody really have the same "issues"? When did this nonsense start?

Mitt is the KING of pandering. He has no backbone. He is the KING of tailoring his speeches to his audience. This is why he puts his foot in his mouth when a reporter asks him questions. He only goes to fox to talk. And he attended the NAACP to solidify his base. He offered NOTHING, no specifics just like he does every time. He is NOT running on HIS record as governor now he wants to run on his DADDY'S RECORD.

GTR5 writes:

Why did he waste his time going there? He will not even get one vote from them.

Captian_Cataracts writes:

All I can say is thank Gawd-DUH Obama is running unopposed.

He has now lost:

The gay vote

The black vote

The Hispanic vote

The womans vote

The unemployeds vote

The uninsureds vote

He has the vote of:

Religious cultists

Rich grey haired white men

Do the math.

And I cannot wait for the debates to begin. I suspect Flip Flopney won't even show up.

checkbook_ira#259750 writes:

in response to Captian_Cataracts:

HOUSTON—During an address Wednesday to the National Association for the Advancement of White People, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a lengthy standing ovation from the group of 2,000 Caucasians who had gathered to hear him speak. The NAAWP, a 400-year-old organization with a membership of nearly 8 million whites nationwide, is expected to be firmly in Romney's camp come November. "Thank you, thank you so much," said Romney, whose speech was repeatedly interrupted by wave after wave of raucous applause and numerous chants of "We love Mitt!" "I love you, too. Really, this is too much." Romney’s reception came in stark contrast to the welcome given to President Barack Obama, who spoke to the NAAWP last Thursday and was loudly booed for saying, "Hello, thanks for having me."

^5

checkbook_ira#259750 writes:

in response to fightback:

Mitt is the KING of pandering. He has no backbone. He is the KING of tailoring his speeches to his audience. This is why he puts his foot in his mouth when a reporter asks him questions. He only goes to fox to talk. And he attended the NAACP to solidify his base. He offered NOTHING, no specifics just like he does every time. He is NOT running on HIS record as governor now he wants to run on his DADDY'S RECORD.

He is no different than obama! Bet the truth hurts, yes!

checkbook_ira#259750 writes:

in response to WadeGarrett:

Whitie can't say that.

Hmmmm.....a few jokes come to mind but the censors are still awake:)

CarpeVeritas writes:

in response to Beachglow:

It took guts to get up before that group and speak. Truth hurts, ergo the booing. This group is the biggest welfare/medicaid/medicare/social security disability - government subsidized crowd there is. Of course, they don't like to hear that they might have to work for a living.

Of the many postings I've read on many subjects, yours is the most disgusting pile of manure.

"That group...they don't like to hear that they might have to work for a living."

You are simply ill. Sick in some terrible way.

naples759 writes:

if romney would possibly get elected i for one would have a field day for the next four years bashing him. he's the perfect target.

just to look at him, you can tell he is just tolerating southern white folk...

Ironbutterfly writes:

The NAACP would rather listen to Biden as he channels the Rev. Wright.
What a show stopper, an idiot pandering to other idiots.

urdaddy writes:

What would one expect from the entitlement nation. What, you mean I have to work to get money ?!

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