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. manyote

    The professional panderer has no bounds.

    July 11, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    -Wannabe

    What trash to boo a presidential candidate? Stop blaming everyone else for your problems. The nanny state is over!
    ****************************************************
    I could not agree more: let's end corporate welfare so they can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. By the way, would the NRA and CPAC members agree to stop doing that EVERY time the president's name is mentioned, or will they still mindlessly parrot back whatever Nugent, Rush and the rest of the draft-dodging Rightie idiocracy says?

    July 11, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Sepp

    A lot of foreigners read these articles on CNN. It should be standard practice to expand abbreviations and acronyms the first time they are used. I had to Google NAACP before the article and the comments made any sense.

    July 11, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. jorge washinsen

    With a limited speech range ,and slim knowledge of subject, a "boo" is quite an accomplishment I would say.

    July 11, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. monomial

    What a Joke!!! Blacks have the highest rate of welfare, the highest rate of incarceration, the highest rate of unemployment, the lowest rate of savings, the heighest rate of single parent families, the lowest rate of HS graduation on and on and on.... This is a failed race and they continue to blame everyone but themselves. They are a total waste of time, why even bother with groups like the NAACP???

    July 11, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. jorge washinsen

    I hit a nerve,I love it.The border is open.

    July 11, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Lewis Vuitton

    Maybe they booed him because Mitt farted in someones purse. Maybe.

    July 11, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. hannah

    I am voting for Obama/Biden in November. I am voting for health care and jobs and the country getting on track for the middle class.

    July 11, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Gisabun

    So Romney wants to chop anything that is expensive? Try his limo, his staff, his security. Sounds to me that if he gets elected President he will become the "no frills" president. "OK. Strip out all the cannons on the new destroyers except one. Ah. those new subs can use just forward and aft tubes for missiles."
    I guess the Republic party prefers to let 32 million have no healthcare at all. If I was one of those 32 million, the Republicans won't get my vote.

    July 11, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. vet in tx

    It's wrong to boo Romney at the NAACP event, but it's OK to boo Michelle and Jill at the NASCAR event..........Interesting.

    July 11, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Gisabun

    @Wannabe : And to boo the ACTUAL President of the United States? Let alone a congessman who yelled at him during his speech around a year or so ago?

    July 11, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Republican Not Voting For Romney

    Oh I wish the election was over already. Our Prez will be re-elected as Romney is a horrible candidate.

    July 11, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Jonsie

    I'm not surprised, he's speaking in front of the biggest group with their hands out in the US and they are a bunch of racist! If an all white audience would have "booed" Obama, CNN and all it's liberal friends would be in a feeding frenzy!

    July 11, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Retired Army

    Well.....at least he spoke at the NAACP Convention.....which is more than could be said about 'W'.

    July 11, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. brian in denver

    Whoever advised speakers to "Know your audience" knew what he was talking about. Mitt came off as arogant & condescending, his audience responded. I predict an Obama landslide in November...

    July 11, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. HappyMadison

    Romney Translated: I will repeal Obamacare and replace it with something exactly like Obamacare but better because I did it.

    July 11, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Dean

    From a Conservative point of view, the economy and healthcare are exactly where they should be. Massive "no limit" profits and never ending price increases. It's called "capitalism" and is what republicans live and breathe. Why pay more people when that will decrease profit? Unless you reduce your entire pay structure to accomadate more employees.

    July 11, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. via2

    I'm black and I did NOT vote for Obama and I'm not going to vote for him this time either. But black people should understand that everytime someone disagrees with the President, they're NOT racists. I'm black and I say the President is WRONG on a great many things. Am I a racists too? I can tell you one thing, all those people say at that NAACP meeting was a white face. They heard NOTHING the man was trying to say and THAT is sad.

    July 11, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Alois

    These members in the naacp would will vote for crackhead even knowing that he is a huge failure . They will vote for loser obama because he's black.period .

    July 11, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Doug

    Unlike Obama, Mitt Romney does not want to punish his fellow Americans who happen to disagree with his politics.

    Obama stated that every American who is not a Democrat are his enemies and that they must be punished, google Obama's interview with Univision in 2010, these are Obama's exact words, words chosen because he knows his lib base are all about hate and division, the common bond of all National Socialists.

    Be aware of what your Democrat neighbor wishes they could do to you and your family, it's ugly and not what we expect in America but we can no longer deny their true intentions and the fact that hate and lies consume every Democrat, which today means National Socialist.

    July 11, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Flyboy7588

    Funny, I remember Obambo criticizing McCain when he spoke before the NAACP as a candidate. I get it, one just can't criticize a Black man, eh, even if that Black man is a total failure when it comes to improving the lives of Black Americans. No wonder the majority of Blacks have not made any socio-economic progress in 150 years.

    July 11, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. scmom

    Seriously "Wannabe" you think it was trash to boo a "presidential candidate" and I guess it's okay to boo the President. This country is no better than it was 60 years ago. The hate is blinding and unbelievable.

    July 11, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Namechuck

    Who is Romney and where was he when the american people really needed help since he is such a superman

    July 11, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. bill.x

    romney knew that what he said would have that type reaction with a black audiance. he wanted to stoke the white racist vote a little to get them motivated to go out and help him whip the black rowdy black folk on election day. it was a calculated approach to get a sertain type group, at large, excited for him because he told the black crowed to f-off.

    July 11, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Doug

    "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."

    Liar, and I can prove you are a liar with just two words, Robert Byrd. Robert Byrd life long Democrat, died a Democrat Senator and klan member, almost ran for president, one of the most powerful Democrats over the last 40 years as well. Go to youtube and type in Robert Byrd N word, klan man using the n word and every Democrat fully supported it.

    July 11, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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