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Romney’s NAACP Speech: I’d Have Booed Too

Mitt Romney’s speech to the NAACP Wednesday deserved derision, because it illuminated the problem with Mitt Romney: a failure to lead with a principled program.

How do you go before the nation’s premiere African American organization and say you will eradicate the signature achievement of the nation’s first black president without outlining exactly what you’d replace it with?

I will reduce government spending. Our high level of debt slows GDP growth and that means fewer jobs. If our goal is jobs, we must, must stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we earn. To do this, I will eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare.

A “non-essential program?” It’s much worse than non-essential. It will ruin the practice of medicine in this country. But how will Romney help the uninsured? Get off your jet ski and tell us!

The booing at his mention of eliminating Obamacare was immediately followed by applause when he actually offered up a concrete proposal, albeit on a different issue: means testing Medicare and Social Security.

With the exception of education, where there were at least suggestions of things he might do because he did them as governor of Massachusetts, the speech was mainly platitudes, China bashing, and the Keystone pipeline.

And pandering:

Many barriers remain. Old inequities persist.

If equal opportunity in America were an accomplished fact, then a chronically bad economy would be equally bad for everyone. Instead, it’s worse for African Americans in almost every way.

So is there still rampant racism in America that keeps black people down? Who’s going to create equal opportunity – the government? I thought conservatism was about fighting discrimination where you see it but otherwise providing opportunity for all, not special groups.

The people in this audience are no different than anyone else. They want to know what Romney will do.

As you may have heard from my opponent, I am also a believer in the free-enterprise system. I believe it can bring change where so many well-meaning government programs have failed. I’ve never heard anyone look around an impoverished neighborhood and say, “You know, there’s too much free enterprise around here. Too many shops, too many jobs, too many people putting money in the bank.”

Wonderful, Romney is for free enterprise. So, is he going to cut taxes or fight attempts to raise them? Well, you wouldn’t get the answer from Romney’s speech. Even though low taxes are, according to conservative thought, the main driver of economic growth.

A few in the audience might even be swayed if he moved from generalities to explaining exactly how conservative proposals will help the black community, rather than just asserting the miracle of the free enterprise system.

Romney is not going to be loved by the black community – not in the near term, anyway. But he might have earned some respect yesterday. And yes, even some votes.

Black people know things are bad in their communities. Nearly a half century of rapidly expanding social programming hasn’t helped. They might have been open to a different message. Had they gotten one.

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42 Responses to Romney’s NAACP Speech: I’d Have Booed Too

  1. I guess you are not a big Romney fan, Keith, but I appreciate Romney more and more. I like his somewhat dry ,correct and straighttalking style, he is the kind of politician that could be elected over here as well.I am highly suspicious of politicians sounding like bombastic, emotional preachers ( Obama). I think Romney earns respect for this speech, he told them what he thought about Obamacare good and clear. I don´t think he pandered to the audience but I might not be so good at seeing it. He shouldn´t care about any black voters at all, they will probably vote for Obama anyhow. But it would of course be great if some of them actually listened to Romney and switched side.

    • I am with you! It took guts to go there and speak the truth. I guess you know who didn’t because he had nothing to promise them.

  2. I believe that Romney was invited to the NAACP convention only so they would have fresh meat with which to criticize him.
    That being said, I’m glad that people like Keith are pushing Romney to get more specific. He does need to tell the American people what he is actually for, not only what he is against. I don’t think he can win otherwise.

  3. The ACA doesn’t have to be replaced with anything.
    Asking MrRomney what “he” plans to install in place of Obamacare is a Dem talking point.
    PresidentRomney can’t replace any law or tax with anything, Congress has the sole duty to do so if they wish.

    The audience at the NAACP is most decidely different than the majority of Americans. They believe that the sorry state of their children’s education, their personal financial status, and every miserable part of their lives are directly the result of some anonymous White person’s racist practices. Today, they believe that requiring a photo ID at a polling place is a racist plan to prevent them from voting, as if obtaining such a thing is only available to White people.
    The polls all show that 95% of the people who were in the audience at the NAACP gathering are going to vote for MrObama. They believe that any opposition to MrObama is based on racial hatred.

    The Civil Rights Act, Affirmative Action programs and everything else our government enacted to bring the Black community into the mainstream has failed. They are outliers who refuse to join anything, who refuse to be part of the American experience, but dwell in a seperate place of eternal victimhood that demands special treatment.
    MrRomney didn’t tailor his campaign speech to the NAACP group, and why should he? He didn’t pander to their singular grievances, but assumed that they want what we all want; a prosperous country with opportunity for all.

    • srdem65, one of the best analysis I’ve read yet. The body language and facial expressions in that audience told the story; arms crossed across the chest, sullen, mocking. What the audience members showed me was how brainwashed they are, not willing to honestly listen or extend any courtesy really. How sad that we don’t see even one of Dr. King’s aides from the 60s in any other mindset today. What an insult that they never picked up his mantle. Not a free thinker in the bunch…such wasted potential. Guess the gravy train was too tempting for Lewis, Jackson, et al. We can’t afford to join their pity party…which is what they have turned civil rights movement in to.

    • One more in agreement…
      Listening to his speech I felt he was attempting to evate the dialogue. It will be interesting to see if any of those in that room felt anything new. People have to stop patronizing them and declare an end to the race war. This may not yet be the reality we see in front of us but it is where most Americans want to be.

    • srdem65, Very good indeed, besides talking to that particular audience Romney was as well delivering from there a message to the conservatives that there was no change or flip flop in his commitment of repealing the obamacare. It was a clever move.

    • If you think about it…technically Obama didn’t put Obamacare together either. He doesn’t know what’s in it any more than we do. If you ask Obama what he’d do he wouldn’t know. So what does Romney need to know?

  4. He was sunk before he opened his mouth everyone knew how it would play
    out no surprises at all. Why bother even if he had a ten point plan on this audience waste of time. If I had plan the NAAP would not be where I’d debut
    it at least he went and got booed. Nothing to see here move along I’d vote for
    him no matter what 4 more years of Obama is a nightmare I wish to avoid.

  5. Keith, you are correct in your analysis.
    It’s not enough for us to repeal President Obama. We need to know what we are replacing him with.

    Romney isn’t a conservative. He’s not DeMint or Paul Ryan.

  6. fact is that 40 or 50 years of Progressives, Media, Hollywood, etc telling blacks that they are victims of Whitey is damn hard to overcome in a speech. at least Mitt did address the NAACP and that’s to his credit.

    the fact that black unemployment under B.O. and the dems is higher than ever is irrelevant; that crime and random murder in places like Chicago is sky-high, and getting worse, doesn’t matter. it’s all Whitey’s fault. Progressives play the card ad nauseum, of course, but it still works, so they will keep playing it.

    90 per cent of blacks will vote for B.O. for one reason and one reason only, because he’s black; out of misplaced loyalty for one of their own. B.O. knows that and exploits it for all it’s worth.

    sad but true. maybe one day blacks will realize they are being used, but that day is a LONG way off.

  7. After the Civil Rights Movement there was a time when AfAms could have pursued joined the American mainstream. Instead some became captivated by the empty military rhetoric of the Black Panthers, etc., and others failed to stop that sh*t dead in its tracks.

    The lightest weights have floated to the top and seized leadership. Thus, we now have people such as Al and Jesse who insist that a black surgeon and a black drug dealer are part of the same “community.” A shared racial heritage is NOT automatic membership in a real community.

    If there is community it is because AfAms allow themselves to be intimidated by others in the name of the “community.” Those who do not want to be yoked with everyone who is black are criticized, ostracized, and made to feel that they are traitors — they are, in fact, individuals who pursue the American Dream and are Americans first.

    I am sick of hearing about the “black community.” There is no such thing. There is only “black conformity.”

  8. Well, well, well a video message from Obama did show up. Was this planned all along? I thought Holder and Biden were his surrogates?

    Wonder what was keeping him so busy today? He was able to zip out and back to Cedar Rapids for a day. To campaign. Will be spending the whole day tomorrow hop scotching around Virginia.

    Interesting he chose a high school in my city that has the highest Free Lunch program to student ratio.

  9. I agree with you most of the time Keith, but not this time. I thought this was a pretty good speech. It took a lot of guts to go in there knowing they already hated him just because he’s not Obama. What did you expect him to do lay out his 59 point plan? And those who are upset by him being on a jet ski need to get a grip–I know where you can rent a jet ski for $30 an hour–that’s hardly a rich man’s recreation activity.

    I really like what he said about the schools–the money following the student part. Now, how that will all be implented is another story and it will be very difficult to do since there aren’t enough slots in the better schools for everyone.

    I just think you were a bit too tough on him!

      • Well appararently the date didn’t go all that well. Dad totally disapproved — some guy from the NAACP (Dad) — that organization of reasonable people who deserved more detail (the object of Mitt’s wooing) — railed against Romney on O’Reilly. Now admittedly I turned it off when I saw the direction it was going so I can’t provide the necessary details. But it didn’t sound good for Mitt. Maybe it’s all that chatter about Mitt maybe being a felon and all.

  10. Romney did a good job given the circumstances and the audience. I respect him for what he did. He respected his audience, and all in all they respected him, applauding for what they liked and disagreeing with boos when they did not. He opened a door and laid a foundation. It was a move toward what we have all been clamoring for, “civility”. Further, consider the lack of respect that Obama showed for his largest voting block by not showing up despite his vacant schedule and sending Biden, who is pandering and race baiting as fast as he can. We have been purposely divided by this Administration and any effort to even consider a better America rather than party or person or further division works for me right now. There is time and place for details. Consider it a first date Keith.

  11. You’re just trying to get a rise out of us aren’t you Keith? I’m not his biggest supporter either but I saw a different speech. Romney was honest with the audience. He didn’t try to sound like a black preacher, and he didn’t pander too much in my opinion. Agree with srdem on ObamaTAX. We don’t need a replacement. Just pull the thing up by the roots and we the people will decide whether we want the government to involve itself into our healthcare decisions any more than it already is.

    Romney’s latest ad makes me think he’s going to start going after Obama like he did Santorum and Gingrich. It actually calls President Kardashian out as dishonest and a liar. Just wish they would go after more substantial lies like how we can keep our doctors, or no new taxes, but it’s a start.

    • Well they shut down both sides of the freeway from the airport to downtown Houston for Plugs arrival and departure. It’s possible most of the drones were stuck in traffic. Houston did get a real downpour at the same time. The rain was a welcome sight here in central Texas where we have been in a drought for most of the summer.

      • Fair points (and good luck with the God awful weather!) but an efficiently run campaign would have rescheduled him, delayed it, etc. They gave a photo op to their opponent, likely because they do not take Biden seriously. But we should?

        • Agree with you Rick. For people so concerned about optics, an empty auditorium is the kiss of death. They’re probably counting on the sycophants in the press to make sure that photo doesn’t make it on the national news…

  12. I am constantly hearing that Romney has to provide specific details of how he will replace Obamacare.I keep thinking of what happened to Paul Ryan when he provided a plan for a Medicare fix.He was slimed by Obama and the democrats with the enthusiastic assistance of Obama’s media friends(which is basically 90% of the media).So Romney details his plan and then is attacked by the sharks,right?Uh,no.He should do what Obama does everyday.That is,sit back and not get played by his enemies.There will be plenty of time to fix the damage that this president has done since he’s been let lose on the country.The biggest goal should be to get rid of a healthcare bill that hands over one sixth of the economy to the federal government.

  13. While you do make excellent points, please allow me to voice an opinion. During the Republicans debates, the media encouraged, instigated, and promulgated all voices of dissent. Later, they used those voices against each candidate. Obama’s minions took all those points and sharpened the edges. Not only that but also used any positive ideas anyone spoke about and claimed them as his own : ex: Rubio’s idea about immigration.

    So you want Romney to show HIS cards yet No one is calling on Obama to show his. Way to fall in line with msm.

  14. Well, I enjoyed reading your opinions!

    Still, I think Romney missed a real chance to spell out why conservative views should appeal to blacks. The Republican Party was founded in opposition to slavery. I don’t accept for a minute that blacks cannot ever be brought back into the fold. And if Republicans ever get a candidate in the future who truly embraces conservative principles, maybe he can start a conversation that will really begin to change the outlook of black America, or at least a portion of it. The only way to do this is to get into specifics and detail explanations that go beyond platitudes.

    Romney fail.

    • Specifics, details, principles, common sense, even rational thought fall by the wayside when the fires of “racism” are stoked.
      Those in positions of power or influence over the black race will not risk losing what they have by allowing any black to think for themselves or vote for anyone that just might give them independence, self respect, and freedom.
      If anyone doubts this, listen to the talking points being parroted over and over and over. When a black leader does stand and speak openly and moves against the flow, the smears begin.