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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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. HenryMiller

    "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.

    Yeah, because few of those African Americans are going to have to pay the Obamacare taxes. Bloody freeloaders...

    July 11, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Obama gets booed a great deal...CNN...where's the articles on that?"

    COMING TO AN ARTICLE IN THE NEXT COUPLE DAYS: MITTENS HAS PLANTS IN OBAMA AUDIENCE THAT BOO HIM WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT THE ACA.

    July 11, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Nascar

    Homestead Speedway..... Michelle Obama..... need I say more?

    July 11, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. pink hase

    Response to funny – Israel is not a terrorist nation but a great alli to the USA and many other countries. Get some fresh air, clear your head, and get your facts correct. Otherwise, I completely agree with your statement.

    July 11, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. John

    Mitt went and made his point to a left wing black organization. He knows that 99% of his audience is made up of Barack Obama supporters. There is nothing wrong with making the case though. With 15% unemployment amongst African Americans and almost half of young black men underemployed or unemployed, there is eventually going to be a reckoning with the black community. It is going to be hard to get massive turnout amongst blacks when blacks living in democrat strongholds like Detroit, Newark, D.C, Chicago, New York State etc.. are doing so poorly.

    July 11, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. paulm5545

    To RandyA: Funny, I was thinking the exact, same thing. If it had been a white crowd booing Obama, the race card would be all over the news. I'm tired of it all. Worn out and tired.

    July 11, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Kenny K

    Maybe Romney forgot that President Obama is black, and that Republicans have not been using the term "Obamacare" in a positive way.

    July 11, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Jason

    Of course Romney's agenda doesn't match the agenda of the NAACP. Romney wants to stop people from getting something for nothing. Different variations of that theme is the only thing they are interested in. How about getting a job and keeping it because you earned it, not because the color of your skin. The NAACP should not be allowed to exist. It stated purpose is racist.

    July 11, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Log Cabin

    Then Romney said, "It's OK, I like fried chicken, too!"

    July 11, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Darryl

    Romney was basically booed when he was talk to those attending the NAACP event like they didn't know he was talking about job creation when he sad his favor word is to tell people they are fired!!!!!

    July 11, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Georgia Tee

    @ doug, you just stupid, and respect your right to be just stupid..

    July 11, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Burned in Kansas

    I think Mr. Romney handled himself very presidenttal. He stopped his speech and let the boos die down. He wasn't backing away from what he believes and told the audience health care would improve. Congress has to do that anyways. I think he did a good job. No race card was played, unless someone else brought it up.

    July 11, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Ken in MD

    Oh good. Quote the Chamber of Commerce. They don't lean to the far right or anything.

    July 11, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. bill.x

    Now this is what you call "Real-Time Flip flopping" He states he will kill the health care reform passed and validated by the supreme court and when the crowd boos him for saying it he describes what he will do, which is what the presidents plan will do, and then some. i suppose come november 6th he will take credit for reelecting the president,

    July 11, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Malory Archer

    LOL at the tighty righties and their rightous indignation!!! President Obama was boo'd a few weeks ago for making a silly remark about a BASEBALL TEAM and the same folks who are now going apoplectic cheered, laughed and lapped it up like kittens on warm milk. Now that the shoe's on the other foot their hypocracy is glaring! Like it or not, it's called FREE SPEECH – deal with it!

    July 11, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. PIZAN

    I guess some people are addicted to Government dependency and taking it away from them causes anger! Sort of like what Europe is going through now!

    July 11, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    Didn't he mean to say the "Chamber of Reublicans"? Commerce has nothing to do with what they are propagandizing these days.

    July 11, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Wake up people

    @wannabe, if people that boo a presidential candidate are trash what does that make people that actually boo the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES??? They have to be worse than trash, and you're talking the entire Gop/bagger clan. Not only do they boo President Obama they call him liars, they disrespect him when he is speaking and plenty other things.

    Our President has been disrespected more times in less than 4 years than all other presidents combined. And don't get me started on their inauguration clan rally when they pledged to do nothing to assist President Obama. Hypocrisy and mendacity runs amok among the GOP/baggers.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 11, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Chipster

    "funny" makes a very good point: If Republicans hate government run health care programs so much, they can prove it by giving up theirs right now! And their big, fat pensions too!
    -----------------
    I see your point and raise you another. If Republicans hate government so much, why do they so badly want to run it?

    July 11, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    @wanabe - you've forgotten when crowds yelled hang him and Palin just stood there grinning. I'd say that was a LOT worse.

    July 11, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Confused and bewildered

    One has to wonder when, or if, Willard will stop using a poll that even the Chamber of Commerce states is flawed....The poll he refers to was an 'opt-in' poll and not statistically representative or accurate.

    But, what the heck, if it gets his talking point across....who cares about accuracy?????

    July 11, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    Free wars are not free - lost lives, and trillions of dollars down the tubes for nothing.

    July 11, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Doug wrote:

    The Democrats invented the klan, as bad as it was it is not close to their great society evil that they conduct against people of color today.
    ---------------–
    Yeah, and more Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act than Democrats. The people to whom you refer to were nicknamed "Dixiecrats" for their views on race. The the Civil Rights Act was passed, they quickly jumped ship and joined the Republicans who had voted against the Civil Rights Act. They are still a force in politics today.

    The klan used the bible to justify their views and actions. Today we call Dixiecrats the Christian Conservatives.

    July 11, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. TM

    The "Chamber of Commerce" has even less to do with actually creating jobs than Romney does. They currently function as little more than a PAC for the GOP.

    July 11, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. tellin it like it is

    >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.

    the path forward on marriage equality? the NAACPs big concern is gay marriage? but most blacks voted against it in california which is why it was defeated in 2008 when obama ran. so the NAACP has its own leftist agenda, which may or may not have anything to do with what the avergae black people wants. yes, i think that is a very accurate assessment.

    July 11, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19