Mitt Romney gave a speech before the annual NAACP convention in Houston this morning in which he made the argument his policies ”would help families of color and families of any color more than the policies and leadership of President Obama.” Despite his best efforts, Mr. Romney was booed by the crowd when he criticized the president’s performance and vowed to “repeal Obamacare.”
“Of course, you know the opposition charges that I and people in my party are running for office to help the rich. Nonsense. The rich will do just fine whether I’m elected or not,” Mr. Romney said. The president wants to make this campaign about blaming the rich and I want to make this a campaign about helping the middle class in America. I’m running for president because I know that my policies and vision will help millions of middle class Americans of all races, will lift people from poverty and will help prevent people from becoming poor in the first place.”
Mr. Romney began by complimenting the organ music that played as he took the stage.
“I do love that music. I have to tell you, I do love listening to that organ music, and the piano and during the prayer hearing ‘Sweet Hour of Prayer’ being played, that was a wonderful thing,” he said.
Mr. Romney then explained that he believes he is the best choice for African American voters in this presidential election though the black community traditionally backs Democrats.
“With 90 percent of African Americans who typically vote for Democrats, you may wonder–or some may wonder why a Republican would bother to campaign in the African American community and to address the NAACP,” Mr. Romney said. “One reason, of course, is that I hope to represent all Americans of every race, creed and sexual orientation….There’s another reason. I believe that, 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 American–African American families, you would vote for me for president.”
Mr. Romney went on to explain that the economic issues facing the country have been “worse for African Americans in almost every way” including ”unemployment rate, the duration of unemployment, average income, and median family wealth.” He also promised to “defend traditional marriage.”
For much of Mr. Romney’s speech, the audience responded with a smattering of polite applause. However, there were loud boos when he vowed “to eliminate every non-essential, expensive program I can find–that includes ‘Obamacare.’” He was also booed when he said the president’s “record of the last four years” proves he cannot improve wages or unemployment.
“My agenda is not to put in place a series of policies that get me a lot of attention and applause. My policy will be; number one, create jobs for the American people,” Mr. Romney responded.
The Obama campaign countered Mr. Romney’s speech by distributing a statement entitled “MITT ROMNEY: THE WRONG CHOICE FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES,” which claimed, among other things that Mr. Romney has “consistently opposed efforts that have helped create jobs for African Americans” and would “raise taxes on at least 2.2 million African American families.”
“This election offers African American voters two fundamentally different visions of how to grow the economy, create middle-class jobs, and pay down the debt. President Obama believes that we need to grow the economy from the middle out by investing in education, clean energy, infrastructure and energy. Mitt Romney and his allies in Congress believe that if you let Wall Street write its own rules again, take away rules that protect consumers and workers, and cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans, the market will somehow grow from the top down,” the statement said. “For African American communities, this choice has significant consequences.”