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. Gianni

    The man is nothing but a cardboard cut-out politician who has no spine, no core, no values, no heart. Did he actually expect to be welcomed by this crowd whom the Republican'ts have turned their back on decade after decade??

    July 11, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Notarichboy

    What do you expect? Romney speaking at a an NAACP event is the same as Obama speaking at a Tea Party event!

    July 11, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. GripDog

    How else did we expect the ignorant to react? A hand out is hard to give up to those who have lived by handouts all their life! Time to step up and make your own way through life and stop sucking the country dry. What has failed in Europe will fail here, but faster. They vote 90+% because they've been enslaved by the Democratic Party since the 60's through handouts, welfare and an education system that has kept them down. One would hae to wonder if they will ever wake up!

    July 11, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Bill in Florida

    Governor "47th-in-job-creation" Romney talking about creating jobs - what a joke!

    July 11, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Republican Class Warfare

    If ya can't beat 'em, disenfranchise 'em!

    July 11, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Peter

    Although I believe that the NAACP audience should have been more respectful, I believe their fear (and that of many) is that when the Republicans were in complete power of all three branches (2001-2006), health care costs were spiraling out of control and they did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT IT. Now, after Obamacare, they are suddenly paying attention. It took Obamacare for the Republicans to address health care costs. Not a party that seems to be proactive on health care cost management.

    July 11, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Never tells you how only that he will. He has no plan whatsoever all he is doing is going over talking points. Talking points won't do a lot of good to the masses! Liked to have had a live mike on the man as he walked away back to his people!!

    July 11, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Mary Nelson

    "No, really, Romneycare is bad for you guys." – Mitt Romney

    July 11, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. anoel2005

    what I will never understand is how anyone thinks Obama is going to help African Americans ( or anyone else) when his policies have not done so in 4 yrs.

    July 11, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. Rogue351

    Instead of being vindictive and going after obamacare why doesn’t he try and make changes to it that will make it better for Americans. He could get the money by cutting the amount this country spends on war. Oh, that’s right he can’t, because all of his rich buddies benefit from war and have insurance.

    July 11, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Your headline is misleading CNN. I saw the clip but I saw no sign of him going off-script when he got booed. He just stood there with that ingratiating grin of his. Bless his heart.

    July 11, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Creepy

    Romney has very nice hair.

    July 11, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    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 higher people."
    -------------
    Once again, Mitt Romney is cherry picking the facts. What he does not say is more important than what he actually says. What he left out is that the Chamber of Commerce has rejected their own survey as "unscientific". The "survey" was actually a page on their web site that a "button" web surfers could click on. They could clck yes or no. Only visitors to their web site would be aware of it, or participate in it. In other words, the survey group was not neutral.

    July 11, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Cliff Marusich

    Actually I don't think that using a survey completed by the Chamber of Commerce was a good move, considering the oppose almost anything the President does.

    July 11, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Peikovianyi

    Ironic how many of you are on the down low.

    July 11, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Lemone

    You see there were no handshakes afterwards... He knew better than to talk bas about OUR President and shake one of our hands! too funny!

    July 11, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. ruth

    Rommey is the one that is financially supported by all the Banks and financial institutions that are responsible for the mess we are in today in USA. The have messed it up royally! So if Rommey wins he will have to continue to favor their decision making that was based on cheating, greed and irresponsibility towards all the people of America. Real estate is in the mess we are in due to the Banks and their greed. Thousand of people are today living in poverty due to bad policies of the banks. God help us if ROMMEY IS ELECTED.

    July 11, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. zago

    One of the richest man in the Land who can buy health insurance for his entire family for a million of years vows to take health insurance from those who can afford it the least. So immoral.

    This guy wants to be president of a country where he wont even invest his money for job to be created: so unpatriotic! America can do and deserves better.

    July 11, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. John

    Yeah we can credit Romney for being brave...But do you think he will ever side with the majority of Americans who need affordable health care, affordable education, and the opportunity to move up the social spectrum. The middle class investments more and is more entrepreneurial because they want to move into the richer classes. That creates JOBS! The upper class mostly look for ways to send money overseas and find tax shelters much like Romney does. Who's interests do you think will keep him awake in the middle of the night?

    July 11, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Ben

    Way to keep it classy, NAACP...

    July 11, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Chris

    Stan – I stand in amazement at your comment "could not fathom voting for a republican nominee given the racism that exists in their party". Take a look at history. The democratic party was founded on and supported by racists since its inception. Ku Klux Klan, George Wallace, etc. The Democratic party pushed back on the Civil Rights Act and other programs that were meant to help. So, before you vote, know what you are saying.

    July 11, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    "I'm going to eliminate every non-essential expensive program I can find."

    So healthcare for the "unwashed masses" is non-essential and they should do what - just go die quietly and quickly. OK Willard.
    Romneycare = Obamacare. Willard can't run from it, try as he might.

    I wonder if he would find any non-essential expensive costs over at The Pentagon; I know senior advisors in the Pentagon did, but Willard would like to increase defense spending.

    July 11, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. John The Electrician

    Rich people just can't get enough power.

    July 11, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Ginger

    At all costs, I'm praying Mitt Romney will win this fall. I, personally, have no desire to reside in an increasingly hand-out, socialist, govt-controlled nation. Capitalism has its faults but it is the best system on earth......ask anyone from a socialist or communist country. Also, reading the above comments reminds me of when, a few years back, whites who didn't vote for Obama were labeled racist. Let's see, so how come blacks who don't plan on voting for Romney are NOT racists. Hmmmm....interesting hypocrisy.

    July 11, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. Phil

    "Ha ha!" says Nelson Muntz.

    July 11, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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