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. tellin it like it is

    you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.... nothing proves the saying more than this romney naacp event.

    July 11, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Justice

    So,the blacks see it as the handouts will stop so they cry foul.I wonder if the real hard working,pay there bills black families feel that way. Naacp should move to Africa.No wait,then THEY would have to work to live and scrape by!!naacp is nothing short of a black clan!!! BOOOOOOOOOO!

    July 11, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. GOP Hate America

    Yeah Romney blowing out his hot hole how he will reduce spending all while tripling the military budget

    July 11, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Frolich

    I cannot believe Romney went to speak at the NAACP convention. Black folk are for Obama not because of any policy platforms, but rather because he is also black. It's that simple. They have waited hundreds of years for a black president, and this black president would have to be a convicted child abuser AND a drug addict before black folk would oppose him...it's that simple. There are times when race overrides everything else, and it seems reasonable to me that when you are talking about the pride that a race of people have in their first president, this is one of those times.

    July 11, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  5. scarf

    Romney wants to eliminate every "non-essential program?" Let him end all tobacoo subsidies, farm subsidies, foreign aid (including for Israel), and half of the defense budget.

    July 11, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. Jayson

    NAACP is a joke seeing as how they consider anything involving a black individual to be purely racist and ignore all the facts to the contrary.

    July 11, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. ronjayaz

    I think Rmoney (our money bec of 15% tax) cudnt lose by the boos!

    July 11, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. tellin it like it is

    Frolich
    this black president would have to be a convicted child abuser AND a drug addict before black folk would oppose him...it's that simple.

    not true. they would vote for him even then and claim he was framed. they still voted for Barry in DC and Rangel in NY even when they were caught violating the law. and yet we continuously hear how racist the white people in america are... as many say so often in here, i think it is projection.

    July 11, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. I love irony

    "Frolich

    I cannot believe Romney went to speak at the NAACP convention. Black folk are for Obama not because of any policy platforms, but rather because he is also black. It's that simple. They have waited hundreds of years for a black president, and this black president would have to be a convicted child abuser AND a drug addict before black folk would oppose him...it's that simple. There are times when race overrides everything else, and it seems reasonable to me that when you are talking about the pride that a race of people have in their first president, this is one of those times."

    Spoken like a true white man. haha, the irony in this post.

    July 11, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Jerry

    Frolich
    I cannot believe Romney went to speak at the NAACP convention. Black folk are for Obama not because of any policy platforms, but rather because he is also black. It's that simple. They have waited hundreds of years for a black president, and this black president would have to be a convicted child abuser AND a drug addict before black folk would oppose him...it's that simple.
    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    Mr. Obama IS a SELF ADMITTED drug user!!!

    July 11, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. CBR

    No one is applauding the NAACP members who booed. No one should condemn the whole group and call them racists.
    To back up his claims he used the 1600 chamber of commerce groups that agree with him. Would you call that a mandate!

    He needed to outline his own healthcare plan not just announce that he would repeal the Obamacare. It remains to be seen if this is really an option he will have./ It certainly does get some crownds greeting this statement with applause.

    Mr. Romney gave Massachusetts a healthcare plan which was voted in as law. It cost a great deal of money but it also got health insurance for the uninsured. Hospitals are coming out from under the debt incurred by hospitaks who were treating uninsured patients. That includes people who could afford insurance but chose not to purchase it. When they require surgery, emergency care after an accident or because of illness the hospitals do not send them away. This means that those of us who are insured are helping to pay the costs.

    It is fine to have all these crowd-pleasing statements but then there must be plans to meet the needs of the medical community and the patients.

    phugold's negativity and callous remarks were not necessary. In fact. they were downright nasty.

    July 11, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Retromike

    I'm a Independent. I make me laugh to see how bias people are for both parties. Both Political parties are wings off of the same bird. That bird cannot fly anymore because the wings have forgot how to compromise. In the past 4 years or so the wings only want to go in their own direction. If the Left and Right wings ever learn to compromise for the people America will soar once again.

    July 11, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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