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. Nate

    Romney is a drone trying to convert non supporters. That is like going to fenway park in a yankees uniform.

    July 11, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. 333maxwell

    Maybe with this crowd he should of saved the Obamacare nonsense by using the name of the legislation..

    Maybe just maybe, he should of has a better stump speech than 'I will repeal Obamacare and replace it with 'something'.

    Houston, we have real communication problem here.. the Governor isn't THAT out of touch is he?

    July 11, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Pam from Iowa

    Love it!!!!!!

    Obama 2012 !!!!!

    July 11, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Herbal Tea Party

    Mr Romney – Specifics please.

    July 11, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Sealteam2ret

    The GOP is trying to destroy a whole generation of young people (white, black, asian, hispanic, etc.) with policies only designed to make more money for the 1%. Period!

    July 11, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. mikle

    No matter what Romney would say, You Obama lovers would bood Romney. Where is yes we can, change, debt ,job, in drain. But you vote for him anyway.. It show your blindest.

    July 11, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Every Non-essential Program?

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

    Well, why didn't you just say so in the first place? "Every non-essential program I can find." Well that narrows it down now, doesn't it?

    The problem here, Mittens, is that not everyone happens to agree on what is non-essential. Your rich cronies at Exxon-Mobil probably think that their corporate welfare payments from the government are extremely essential. Your new friends via Newt Gingrinch will probably have some pressingly essential needs for his international gambling empire.

    We already know you are taking a tax deduction that is larger that most people's salaries for your Olympic hobby horse, but now more than ever, I am really going to need to see your tax returns to find out just what you think an essential program imight be.

    July 11, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. unlok

    Really, he can't leave well enough alone? So many other things and he has to pick on health care without even a replacement in mind. All of his massive family have good health care. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    July 11, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. Tiz

    Mitt stood up on that podium and told the crowd exactly what he will do if elected president..... you got to give him credit for having the cubes to do that...

    July 11, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Laverne

    MItt Romney has no attention of helping the african american community, not be because they are black, but because he only intention is to cater to the rich and richer! He is so out of touch he continued to refer to blacks as people of color. This guy probably has never had a black person in his home not to mention the cult organization be belongs to did not allow blacks in leadership positions or to become members until the 70"s when he was well into manhood and he stayed in this racist organization, but no one in the republican clan is yelling about that like they was calling Jeremiah Wright a racist. Such double standard with regard to religion, Obama's birth place, his father's birthplace, healthcare that Romney orgestrated first, hiding money offshore. All these things are okay as long as you are a white president, sad but true!!!

    July 11, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. DJ

    Lets be honest her, no matter who the candidate was going up against Obama, this was going to be a tough crowd. At least Romney held his ground and continued to state his position on Obama-care.

    July 11, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Sealteam2ret

    What's the difference between "taxes" and "fees".....Nothing......they have been refusing to say the word taxes but have been raising all kinds of fees for years!!!! GOP is totally phony!!!

    July 11, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Terry

    The something he would put in place is Obama Care, but his handlers (the 1%ers)are the ones telling this puppet what to say and what to do. And he wants to lead the country!!!!! He is nothing but a shill for the 1%

    July 11, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. TPF

    God Bless Romney, he's a great man!

    July 11, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    Uh oh. The great mis-communicator RMoney was using a (gasp) teleprompter.

    July 11, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. tibs

    Romney is pretty slimy.

    That being said, Obamacare is an absolute disgrace. It is a law written by insurance company lobbyists, 2000 pages of it. It is essentially a bailout bill for the insurance and pharma industry with 400 BILLION dollars worth of subsidies. Along with excemptions for terminally ill children so that parents can frantically bankrupt themselves trying to save their kids.

    This is the society the corporate state creates. And it can only come into existence alongside a giant over-powered government. We need limited government and free markets, REAL free markets. The free markets that built this country, the monetary policy that encouraged savings, and the freedom that lit this fading beacon.

    July 11, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. edog

    Funny how Mitt mentions the Chamber of Commerce stats killing jobs for Obama care... Hmm... wouldn't that mean Romney care killed jobs in Massachusetts! Mitt also talks about how he learned his values from his father, but Senior Mitt was the pioneer of showing 12 years of tax returns while Mitt will only show 1 year. Mitt talks about how "politicians" want it both ways when dealing with Education, but he wants it both ways when he talks about Obama care. Mitt talks out of both sides of his mouth. Obama car bad for the country, Romney care great for a state.... Crazy!

    July 11, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. demwit

    Romney should have just lied and told them what they wanted to hear..., worked for Obama.

    July 11, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. Pam from Iowa

    Ben:
    that WAS classy!!!!!

    July 11, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. lightbrownis

    Oh please Ben, like Republicans don't boo, lie and cheat!!! How else are they supposed to show their opposition? They should have thrown eggs at him. He could care less about blacks or the middle class for that matter. He has health insurance and could care less if anyone else has it . . . . and I won't even mention the fact that he dodges paying taxes to a country he now wants to lead . . . SO UNAMERICAN!!!!

    July 11, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Commentary42

    For Chris and others who would point out that historically Dems have been more racist than the GOP. When it comes to voting TODAY (or in November) I am looking at who is representing the full spectrum of US citizens TODAY, not fifty years ago. Every proposal from the GOP benefits the 1% and throws the rest of us under the bus. You are right in one respect, the GOP is oblivious to color when it comes to the poor and middle class – they have no use for any of us except as low wage labor.

    July 11, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. Newmoon2

    I guess affordable healthcare is non-essential if you already HAVE insurance. Way to keep that ol' safety net strong, Mitt!

    July 11, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. AnnoyedByPolitics

    Kind of disappointing that CNN decided to only post the clip up to the point of the booing, but failed to allow the video to play on to show the "off script" portion of his speech. Agree with Romney or not, you should at least listen to what he has to say before deciding.

    July 11, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Jesus Christ Superstar

    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."

    Ok, so the Conservative group Chamber of Commerce, said they won't hire if Obamacare stays in. It kinda sounds like a 7 year old who didn't get to play so he's taking his ball and going home. Republicans need to grow up.

    July 11, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. CoJo

    You really think the GOP house will allow Romney to do anything regarding health care other than repeal it? The GOP house (hell house) has already publically stated they will take their seat old time to come up with a replacement IF THEY COME UP WITH ANYTHING. Boehner already stated this as much.

    July 11, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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