July 11th, 2012
11:56 AM ET
2 years ago

Reacting to boos, Romney goes off-script

(CNN) – Mitt Romney was met with a round of boos Wednesday during his speech at the NAACP convention in Houston, after he voiced his goal to repeal "Obamacare."

"I'm going to eliminate every non-essential expensive program I can find. That includes Obamacare, and I'm going to work to reform and save," he said, before being interrupted by the unhappy crowd.

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The presumptive GOP presidential nominee paused for 15 seconds, as he looked out over the crowd hissing and jeering.

Instead of moving on to his next point, Romney went off-script to back up his claim.

Romney mentioned, as the boos began to fade, a survey of 1,500 members of the Chamber of Commerce, in which three-quarters said President Barack Obama's health care plan made them "less likely to hire people."

"So I say again," Romney continued. "If our priority is jobs, and that's my priority, that's something I'd change and I'd replace with something that provides to people something they need in health care, which is lower costs, good quality, a capacity to deal with people who have pre-existing conditions and I'll put that in place."

He then went on to make his next point, as listed in his prepared remarks.

The candidate had a few more boos from those who took issue with some of his positions. However, Romney also received some applause lines, as well as a few bursts of organ music during the remainder of his speech.

After the event, campaign adviser Tara Wall described Romney's reception as favorable, saying, "I'll take three boos out of thunderous applause over and over again."

Pressed by reporters if she really considered the applause "thunderous," Wall quickly walked back her remark.

"Okay, applause in general. I think there was a lot more, as I've said a few times, a lot more applause than there were boos. I will take the fact that there was acceptance overall with his speech," she said.

After the speech, the NAACP released a statement thanking Romney, "We are pleased that Gov. Romney addressed our convention today."

But then Chairman Roslyn Brock criticized Romney's policies, "This morning Gov. Romney laid out his policy agenda for this nation. Unfortunately, much of his agenda is at odds with what the NAACP stands for - whether the issue is equal access to affordable health care, reforming our education system or the path forward on marriage equality. We appreciate that he was courageous and took the opportunity to speak with us directly."

NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous also stated that Romney's plans did not meet the interests of the audience.

"His criticism of the Affordable Care Act– legislation that will improve the access to quality health care for millions - signals his fundamental misunderstanding of the needs of many African Americans," Jealous stated.

– CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • NAACP • Texas
soundoff (462 Responses)
  1. Stan

    As an African-American I could not fathom voting for a republican nominee given the racism that exists in their party that the party "leaders" are afraid to even acknowledge let alone denounce. African-Americans will vote for Obama in record numbers, i.e. 90 plus percent, as they do with every democratic candidate. And yes, I am upper middle class, work in private sector management, and I am very educated MBA. So save the typical republican criticisms.

    July 11, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. gg

    he,ll get rid of every thing that doe,s not keep the money flowing to the 1%

    July 11, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Tired of republican lies

    That was funny...He wants to get rid of everything that helps people...I booed him too when he walked out on stage.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    July 11, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    I will give Romney credit at least he tried...maybe in the future the GOP will do more to court the AA vote and realize that they just don't want handouts like some on the right seem to think.

    July 11, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Where is Mitt speaking tomorrow ?

    Maybe he will be handing out care packages to Confederate soldiers down in Biloxi, Mississippi .

    Mitt needs to make a stand on what he really believes in and who he really is.

    We have never in history wittnesd a candidate who is the enigma of brand .
    We are not electing a human being , we are electing a bar of soap , a mouth wash or a deoderant .

    Romney / a little dab'll do ya 2012

    July 11, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. judith

    Romney went over like a lead zeppelin–no surprise here. This disgusting, phony rich man has no idea of the suffering of many African Americans and other poor Americans. He hasn't a shred of empathy and his privileged arrogance oozes from every pore. Disgusting!

    July 11, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. morals

    Really, that would be like Gene Chizik addressing an audience of Alabama football boosters. Not exactly a home field advantage.

    July 11, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. CNN Fans

    I listen to the Romney's speech...he sounds like an idiot....If I was him, I should not say those stupid words...poor Romney..the guy always has trouble with his speech..that why i wonder why he doesn't like the meet the reporters...the more he talks the more people now that he is timid..

    July 11, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    So nice to see what the large majority of Americans think of Willard as a presidential candidate is reflected by those attending his NAACP junket. Hahahahaha !

    Give up.. you have no chance in Nov. Make this your 4th failure so you can REALLY move to the Caymans, along with your money!

    July 11, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. BEn275

    No black vote, no women vote, no gay vote, no poor vote. He better hope millions of rich white guys vote for him in Nov.

    July 11, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Ed

    "that's something I'd change and I'd replace with something that provides to people something they need in health care, which is lower costs, good quality, a capacity to deal with people who have pre-existing conditions and I'll put that in place."

    – something? when exactly does he tell us what?

    July 11, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Andrew Pearce

    The GOP should be booed. They do nothing for ordinary, hard working Americans and its great to see people finally waking up to this fact. The the party of NO, tax cuts for the rich and corporate welfare deserve to loose the house this fall.

    July 11, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Allison

    I was watching the news this morning and got to see one of the biggest acts of stupidity ever- Mitt Romney got booed for an obvious reason: The NAACP knows hate speech when they hear it. It's called the Affordable Healthcare act you dolt. Calling Obamacare to them is not a smart move at all.

    July 11, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. CHANGOMANGO

    @once upon a horse–he was discussing job creation and was booed when he talked about doing away with a "hand out"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. Steven

    He is sooooo clueless.

    July 11, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Orwell sees it, again & again

    First Mr. Corp, it is "ObamaCares".

    #2, it is essential. Your profit-first strategy is not financially sustainable.

    #3, your plan is not affordable to the poor, minimal health care that is.

    July 11, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. dizzylucy

    That must have been...awkward.
    Did he give any indication as to what his plans for doing such things would be? My guess is no.

    July 11, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    After spewing his lies and crap, when Mittens leaves the conference, they will call for 'a cleanup in aisle 5.'

    July 11, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Expat American

    Funny thing is, he would be cheered at a Republican Aryan Cross Burning for saying the same thing – and the folks in that audience would not even realize that Romney would be taking away all their govt. assistance!

    July 11, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oh Lord. The man forgot where he was, and who he was speaking to.
    But....Surprise! Surprise! He found the one thing that he is being made to be consitent about: eliminating Obamacare. Even if it costs him the election. Which it will.
    Boo hiss! Romney. Boo hiss!

    July 11, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    "So I say again," Romney continued. "If our priority is jobs, and that's my priority, that's something I'd change and I'd replace with something that provides to people something they need in health care, which is lower costs, good quality, a capacity to deal with people who have pre-existing conditions and I'll put that in place."
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    This is the message he needs to get out everywhere in the campaign. Yes we need accessible healthcare for everyone, including those with preexisting conditions. But we do not have to add to the cost problem or sacrifice quality of care to get there. This is unacceptable and Americans deserve better than what the ACA delivers.

    July 11, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Do teavangelicals know that Romenycare in MA pays for abortions?

    July 11, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    He got booed like he rightfully should have for saying something stupid. Repeal "Obamacare?" It's called the Affordable Care Act. So you screwed up by calling it "Obamacare" in the first place.

    July 11, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. jake

    romneys toast in nov. the writing's on the wall now. he'll never be president. no character, no couth, no style, no truth.

    July 11, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Norma Williams

    He never once addressed the suppressive voting laws that his racist Tearepuke cronies have instiuted in their backward states. The Willard of Oz doesn't dare address that! The extremists behind his curtain won't let him.

    July 11, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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