Missteppin’ Mitt Romney Gets Booed By NAACP

July 14, 2012

Watch Mitt Romney address the NAACP above [Video credited to NAACP]

Governor Mitt Romney was invited to speak before an audience of NAACP members at an annual convention on Wednesday, offering his plea for their support in November.

He was respectfully received and inspired polite, reassuring applause at first, but it was the pledge to repeal Obamacare that led to his swift demise.

The audience proceeded to “boo” him for 14 seconds, which I’m sure felt more like an eternity.

But the mere mention of Obamacare was not his only downfall- his controversial assertion that he would be the best president for the African-American community in light of the first black president earned mixed reviews.

NAACP Chairwoman Roslyn Brock gave a statement on the behalf of the organization, concluding, “Unfortunately, much of his agenda is at odds with that which the NAACP stands for, whether the issue is equal access to affordable health care, reforming our education system, or the path forward towards marriage equality.”

However, if you ask Romney, the hospitable standing ovation at the end of his speech, coupled with the support of an ambiguous group of “black leaders,” signify the start to growing his support among blacks.

There are conspiracy theories circulating that argue Romney wanted to get booed, spoke beyond his audience on purpose- that he was actually speaking to his conservative right base outside the room in order to show his policies won’t simply bend to the will of the black community.

But this theory is far-fetched, as he has no reason to rile up that base any longer- he’s got the nomination, so he’s got them already.

Mitt Romney clearly made attempts to portray himself as an inclusive candidate too often to validate such theories.

For instance, he implored the audience to “look into his heart,” to trust his good intentions for the country and for African Americans, specifically.

He explained, “I hope to represent all Americans of every race, creed and sexual orientation; from the poorest to the richest and everyone in between.”

He tried to talk to them and not beyond them and was successful for a time. But it was the hostile language of the word “Obamacare-” a derogatory term created by its opponents on the right that was an absent-minded, insensitive and personal dig at the president who most of the audience supported in 2008.

Had he stuck to the official title of the health care bill, continued on to say why it should be repealed and what bill would take its place, he would’ve garnered a much more positive response.

It was a matter of respect, not only to the president, but the representatives of a community that largely approve and benefit from the provisions implemented by the ACA.

Regardless of Romney’s language blunder, his speech left much to be desired.

In true Romney fashion, he stuck to vague generalities, leaving his speech empty of any specific policy details.

No details on how a replacement health care bill would function or how education in the impoverished communities would explicitly improve from his future administration.

Even so, at the very least, many would’ve appreciated some general comment on the subject of voter suppression in this country and how it’s disproportionately impacting black voters.

Or perhaps a vague mentioning that he’s aware of these voter purges going on in vital swing states across the country and has some half-hearted intention to put an end to it, despite the fact that such purges work greatly in his favor.

Maybe if he made this speech about respecting the black vote, no matter which way it goes, and not just about collecting it, it would’ve been a true success.

If the idea behind an NAACP appearance was to garner black votes, perhaps a brief discussion on their overtly challenged, constitutional right to cast a ballot is in order.

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One Response to “Missteppin’ Mitt Romney Gets Booed By NAACP”

  1. Greg Says:

    Couldn’t of said it better.


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