The good news is Mitt Romney spoke before the 103 Annual NAACP convention in Houston, Texas. The bad news is Mitt Romney spoke before the NAACP convention. Romney gets points and credits for appearing before the NAACP. He came to speak to a hostile crowd and got boos in some of his remarks. He loses points and gets demerits for his presentation before the NAACP. A good speaker and politician knows the crowd that they are addressing. Knowing that the NAACP is not going to necessarily be an open and inviting crowd, Romney could still win points if he addressed the concerns of African Americans. Romney claims he intended to give the same speech to the NAACP that he gives to everyone. As a trial attorney, I don’t give the same closing argument to an all white conservative jury that I would give to a black jury. That’s called knowing your audience, if you want to score points and get votes. But Romney didn’t care to score any points or win any votes at the NAACP convention.
And it certainly didn’t help that Romney openly discussed his desire to overturn the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). Seven million African Americans are presently uninsured and will benefit from President Obama’s work on reforming health care in this country. And Romney addressed the crowd on the same day that his party in Congress was voting to repeal the Affordable Care act. It’s hard to believe that Mitt Romney came to the NAACP to advocate for the repeal of health care reform. He didn’t really come to address the crowd. He came as a political stunt. And many of those present in the audience knew the difference. He didn’t come to speak to the NAACP crowd about repealing health care but to appease his supporters.
Mitt Romney also wants to eliminate or drastically reduce Pell grants. President Obama supports increasing Pell grants upon which many African American students rely on. Speaking of students, Mitt Romney wants to increase class size. Many already know that Romney has low regard for our teachers. But, even second graders know that class size matters. Everyone knows that you can get more attention from a teacher if he or she has less students. It seems like a no brainer to everyone except Mitt Romney.
Then Mitt Romney tried to attack President Obama’s record with African Americans. But he never addressed how a Romney presidency would benefit African Americans. Well maybe he did. A Romney presidency would eliminate health care for those uninsured and with pre-existing conditions; decrease Pell grants; increase class room size. Romney declared that he would do more for African Americans than President Obama. But, he didn’t attempt to make any points with the crowd on his lackluster performance. The only people that Mitt Romney was speaking to were not in the room—his supporters.
Mitt Romney’s presentation served to remind many in attendance of the need to support President Obama. We cannot let Romney turn us back.
Post Script: On the same day, Mitt Romney appeared before a private fundraiser with press present and made comments about the NAACP. He said that he doesn’t give different speeches to different groups. That further emphasizes his inability to understand that not all Americans are exactly alike. But he made a disparaging racial remark saying if you want more free stuff, go vote for the other guy. Later on air, Rachel Maddow stated that Romney seemed like he wanted to get boos to wear as a badge of honor around his neck for his conservative crowd.