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. CheJe

    Mitt Romney is a brave man.

    Today, at the NAACP National Convention, he was honest.

    He told his audience that he would repeal ObamaCare and cut every un-necessary, expensive, needless program in government.

    They booed him.

    He told them he would put into place laws that would provide jobs.

    They did applaud that.

    You cannot do one without the other, folks.

    Oh, he also told them the true un-employment rate for blacks since Obama took office: 14%.

    For black youths: 50%

    Don't know whether they booed him for that or not.

    But, it's true.

    Now, I'm telling you...that is one brave man.

    He spoke the truth. And, was booed.

    But, he did not back down.

    Good for him.

    July 11, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Guest

    I'm confused. He created this same plan in his own state. Does that mean he was responsible, due to this plan, of causing employers to be less likely to hire people?

    July 11, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door

    "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."
    ----------------
    Replace it? With what? What does "something" mean? It means lack of leadership, guts, and convictions. Like GWB, Romney will pursue whatever policies his donors and fund raisers want him to do. It's not that Romney has not plan. The problem is that he doesn't want to tell us what his masters have in mind, or they have yet to tell him.

    And the idea of "crossing state lines" is absurd when think about it. The GOTP is trying to make you think that the cost of health care calculated like a gallon of milk. The cost of insurance is based upon your personal issues, like whether or not you smoke. It works just like auto insurance. Age is factor. Where you live could be a factor. Smoking and drinking is definitely a factor. None of that changes no matter where you buy health insurance.

    July 11, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Chris:
    That was in fact THEN Chris,and this is NOW.
    We're NOT dealing with even a shadow of the Republicans of yesteryear. We're dealing with Tea drinking mutants; intransigent, demanding, dictatorial,greedy, and lacking in civic duty and basic human decency.
    Yes. That was then, and this is now.
    Your boy Reagan wouldn't recognize these things that call themselves Republicans today. He'd hang his head in shame, and so do I.

    July 11, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Clete

    I agree with the majority of the post. Mitt Romney, if elected, who be a disaster. He has no real policy, except to reverse what been done by the Obama administration, then go back to the policies of George W, not because they work for the vast majority of his countrymen and women, but because they work for the richer 1 or 2 percent of the country.

    I live in Utah, which, sad to say, is going to vote for him. So that all four of its electroal college votes will go to him, no matter how those, like me, vote. If he wants to change something, he should change the electroal college. It should have been abolished years ago.

    July 11, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. rvoter

    Anything free is the new thing, why work.

    July 11, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    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!

    I know. I'm tired of paying for uneducated leeching teabillies like yourself in those red states that consistently rank in the bottom of everything and always take more out of the federal governmnt than they put in. Places like MS, LA, AL, SC. Thank goodness people are wising up to the empty suit, corporate raider Myth Robme and are making sure that Obama keeps cleaning up the GOP mess from 2000-2008.
    Now go get some health insurance, freeloader.

    July 11, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Sal

    Me thinks he was speaking to the wrong crowd. Don't politicians think before they speak? 

    July 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Patriot Awesome

    Oh man he is such a tool.

    July 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. kimberly

    This guy is getting worse by the minute. I am not sure how ANYONE could vote for him. Every time I see him talking, and he has that perma-grin, I feel like I need to shower. He is just shady, and creepy!

    July 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Keith A. Sillsbury

    "that's something I'd change and I'd replace with something that provides to people something they need in health care." SOMETHING? SOMETHING? SOME? THING? What? What are you wanting to replace it with? tell us. Please tell us. what is it? do you have any idea at all? NO? The dead line has come and past for you to tell us what you would replace it with and you had nothing. A second and final chance is out there but come about Octoberish say the 15th, that door will be closed forever so if you want some of us to take you seriously about leading our nation you need to have your plans in print, spelled out and ready for the examination. Otherwise your just a joke as is the rest of the republican party. you might as well wear a skirt and move to Alaska.

    July 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Robert

    Why should Romney even try to get the black vote? The majority of blacks are going to vote for their savior Obama anyway so why even bother to waste time with them?

    July 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. The Other Dale

    "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."

    ---------------–

    It appears he got so rattled that he jumped from one end of his speech to another. "My priority is jobs, so I'm going to replace health care." What?

    Never mind the fact that he goes on to say that he will repeal the Health Care act in hopes of doing "something" at some point that will do exactly what the Health Care act is set up to do in the first place.

    July 11, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Evelyn

    The heavily Tea-Party influenced Chamber of Commerce has become just another shill of the Tea Party and Republicans. They have repeatedly contributed to all things anti-Obama. They are hardly a credible source for Mitt to be quoting.

    July 11, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Expat American

    Chris, the political landscape has evolved since the time that you are describing. And those Dems you initially refer to are the very ones who eventually evolved into present day Republicans.

    July 11, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. CheJe

    Did you know...

    After the SC ruling on ObamaTAX, businesses had employees coming up to bosses and asking:

    Now, my health care is free now, isn't it?

    Boy, did THEY get a surprise!

    SUCKERS!

    Hope more folks ask that of their employers before Nov. 6.

    If they do, Obama must might get a surprise, too! :)

    Wouldn't that be wonderful?!

    July 11, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. CNN Loud Mouth

    This election may be the greatest example of evangelical "Convenient Religion" and hypocrisy of all time. Evangelicals will say among themselves, and sometimes in public, how the Mormon religion is "dangerous", an "abomination", and how it's followers will be burn in hell. Therefore, will evangelicals really vote for a man that they honestly believe is going straight to hell, that follows a "perverse" religion? If he is so dangerous, why make him President giving him the bully pulpit to create an army of Mormons. Perhaps the evangelicals will save our souls by not voting for a Mormon. Certainly, the nations soul's are more important than the evangelical political agenda. No?

    July 11, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Al

    The Chamber of Commerce is mega anti-Obama and Romney uses it's respondents to represent how Americans feel? As usual, Romney and his party do anything to distort the truth. Their primary mission is to oust Obama and then run (ruin) the country for the benefit of their cronies. Lies and fear seem to be the only tactics the Republican party uses these days. Concern for all Americans is not for them. Pathetic!!!

    July 11, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. T. E. Lawrence O. A.

    YA SEE, Ascot-wearing 'Old Sport' that he is, Romney finds it very hard to 'relate' to THOSE PEOPLE.

    Seriously, do you think Romney associates African Americans more as 'Service Providers' (servants of one kind or another); OR as Business Peers and Colleagues?

    Bona Fide question, as Voters do NOT know much at all about Romney's past interaction with African Americans, who he knew/knows, how many, in what context?

    I missed the speech – so did he say "SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE LIKE 'YOU PEOPLE'!"

    July 11, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. demwit

    Romney is obvioulsy out of touch with the NAACP. As it the rest of America..

    July 11, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Ben

    "My priority is jobs."

    Sounds like John Boehner.

    July 11, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Darryl

    Stick a fork in him...he's done.

    July 11, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Publius Novus

    I would like Mr. Romney to explain why and how cutting goverment programs is going to produce jobs. Simple. Please explain that. In fact, cutting government programs will REDUCE jobs directly and immediately.

    July 11, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Lance

    Stay classy, NAACP.

    July 11, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    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.

    Sweet. So when President Obama wins again this fall, you can pack it on up and head over to Somalia. No strong government at all there. Make a living how you please. Got a boat? Might want one since piracy is an occupation that is thriving there. Word of caution though: think twice about going after a ship sailing under a US flag, President Obama has proven that he will have our Navy take severe action up to and including extermination of pirates. Bon voyage.

    July 11, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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