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. glorydays

    What on earth made the GOP choose such an out of touch candidate?

    July 11, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Jerry

    The whole world calls it obamacare. Mitt did a great job!. The boos are no big deal. Obama is in real trouble. Here Romney is neck and neck with him in the polls, and Romney hasn't even been to the convention yet. Romeny will make a great president. He was brave to even speak at the Naacp.

    July 11, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Romney hate middle class

    Romney deserve to get boos..African american depends on obama healtcare plan..Romney is so arrogrant.

    July 11, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. louis perez

    Willard looks like a piece of meat too the crowed, look how stun he is, seem too me he afraid of blacks, Willard you were better off swimming with sharks.

    July 11, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. rs

    This might be proof that Mr. Romney is more clueless than Mr. G.W. Bush. Mr. Bush ignored the NAACP convention for 8 years, probably realizing thet for the GOP, that was a lost audience. Did Mr. Romney think his message was going to resonate with them at all? Doe he think they bank in th Caymans perhaps?

    July 11, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. hannah

    Of course he is going to try to repeal our new health care law. He has health care, what does it matter to him and all of the other Republicans in congress. Who would vote for a man who has built an elevator for his many cars in California; only the wealthy.

    July 11, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Kodi good point and I concur wholeheartedly.
    I posted the same sentiment, but my spin was that he should've re-read what his puppet masters gave him to read off of a TELEPROMPTER (thought that should be pointed out!).
    Using a derogatory term for healthcare reform that employs the name of our first African-American president in a predominantly African-American audience was one of the stupidest things that Romney has done in the land of disconnect to date. And he's done many.

    July 11, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. The Film Professor

    Some organ music to accompany his speech was perfect - was it like the "dadadadatada" they play at the baseball games? He should have just said, "vote for FOXie Mitt to guard your chicken houses; I will guarantee you that all your chickens will end up in rich white men's pots!"

    July 11, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    Larry L
    @Four and The Door

    "Yes we need accessible healthcare for everyone, including those with preexisting conditions. But we do not have to add to the cost problem or sacrifice quality of care to get there."
    ------------------–
    You were clearly not a math major... If the healthy part of the population does not pay into the pool insurance companies could never offer the provisions Americans need.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    You are correct. I was not a math major. ( chemical engineering and then graduate business school, but not math ).
    But where do you see me or Mitt Romney disagreeing with the individual mandate? I also think it is necessary, but it is the many other parts of the ACA that don't make sense both financially and with quality of care. We can do better.

    July 11, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. Ed

    First, I give credit to Flip-Flop-Mitt for giving a speech to the NAACP and further demonstrating how out of touch he is. Replace ACA with WHAT? It sounded like he was starting to outline RomneyCare, I mean ObamaCare, oh whatever. Do Republicans actually expect Romney to help repeal a program he pushed as late as 2008 in both op-eds and speeches. Do you really, if so I have a bridge for sale you might be interested in.

    Flip-Flop-Mitt went on to say that the national debt is a drag on the economy and job growth, but says nothing about the unfunded mandates (no child left behind, medicare part D), wars (Afganistan and Iraq) and tax cuts that help create the debt in the first place. I hate to say it but these programs make freeloaders of us all. The responsible (conservative) thing is to pay for these programs with increased revenue (yes taxes) balanced with responsible cuts. With regard to cuts Flip-Flop-Mitt said he would cut non-essential programs, but did not say what those programs are, while supporting the Job Creators (ie himself and his wealthy cronies). How can the American People not see how self-serving Flip-Flop-Mitts candidacy is? Give them more tax breaks, allow them to take more risks with your money, environment and health and HEY we might give you a job! Hey sounds good, Romney 2012.

    July 11, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. SOLYNDRA - FAST AND FURIOUS - MF GLOBAL

    Romney is the best chance for the African-American community to genuinely prosper in this country. If people choose to continue to live on the Liberal-Democrat plantation, then it is no fault but their own.

    July 11, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Doug

    Health care reform isn’t about money, it is about human lives. Republicans see it in terms of dollars and cents. I see it in terms of human beings.

    My mother worked as a nurse, taking care of patients and paying into her health insurance for 20 years. Then she got breast cancer and her insurance company promptly dropped her- they called it a pre-existing condition. They basically told her to go home and die. Their strategy was to delay the legal fight until she died. Friends and family helped with her bills while she fought them in court, at the same time she was going through chemo, etc. She won both fights, thankfully. She told me that the insurance company caused her more stress than the prospect of dying. I sincerely thank Obama and the Democrats for making the insurance company's action of dropping her illegal. And I am appalled at the Republican party for fighting this law in the past and for wanting to repeal it now. The Republican party is as cold, unethical and inhumane as the insurance companies that they work for. Their hatred for Obama is their number one priority- even if it means shooting down their own proposals. Romney practically invented Obamacare, but now that it has Obama's name on it, he hates it.

    July 11, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Boomer

    That once great organization is nothing more than a hate group now. If you are not black – they hate you.

    July 11, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Lagos

    normajean, you seem to be confusing health INSURANCE with heath CARE. Health INSURANCE is useless without health CARE. Obamacare does little to address the issues with healthCARE in this country, and simply injects millions into the already broken health COVERAGE system and compounds the issues with health CARE in this country. Before you whine and cry about the Republicans, try getting basic terms right and take a look at some of the Republican proposals during the leadup to the current bill, that actually addresses issues with how healthCARE is practiced in this country, availability, and prices. That's not to say that they didn't have terrible ideas as well, but Obamacare is a jobkiller that simply compounds the existing issues.

    July 11, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. Richard

    VIEWYSCREW
    Maybe you should ask what Romney position has he enumerated. All he says is the other guy is doing a bad job and I'll do a better job. And no doubt he will do a bette job a giving more money to the rich and $crewing the middle class. He doesn't worry about the poor because there is a safety net. He should ask the poor how that safety net is working. As he says, he doesn't worry about the rich, he will give them more money, so why should he worrry!

    July 11, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. anagram_kid

    VIEWYSCREW queried, “Can anyone tell me something specific about the positions Mitt Romney has taken on issues that would prevent him from being an adequate President? Something other than wanting to repeal "Obamacare". Anyone?”
    --------–

    First of all why would we settle for ‘adequate’ when we have a great president already? Secondly, it does not matter what Gov. Romney states he will do or what his policies are as his positions change with notable frequency.

    July 11, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. Orwell sees it, again & again

    The priority is good health, not jobs you fool.

    Go back to planet kolob and repeal minimum wage. More profits and jobs in kolob.
    Take Newt and his moon bases with you.

    July 11, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. TAK

    ... but they didn't call him a "liar,' did they?

    July 11, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. TownC

    Mitt faces an audience of people where almost all of them are political opposites of him. He showed courage and a willingness to communicate with those politically different then him. This quality will serve him well when he is president. We need a president who will unite us and not divide us...a president who wont play one set of Americans against another to further his agenda.

    July 11, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    Mitt is just another Republican who will say anything to get elected-remember the 2010 teaparty was all jobs, jobs, jobs-and once elected all they have done was say NO to everything and jobs-not another word after election-Romney talks jobs, jobs, jobs-BUT in his chance at creating jobs as an elected official was 47th of 50 in Massachusetts-DON'T BE FOOLED

    July 11, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. ksmary

    He uses a 'snarky' , anti-Obama term for the PPACA and expects a positive response from the NAACP. Who in the heck vetted his speech?

    July 11, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    At least no one at the NAACP convension called him a socialist, a communist, a half breed, a terrorist, a muslim, etc! And at least no one asked him to show his birth certificate or called for him to be assassinated, all of which the teapublicans have thrown at the President for four years!

    July 11, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. WatchDawg

    @ lagos, again, PLEASE turn off Faux news...AHC does act against the insurnace companies. They will now have to prove monies received are going to HEALTH CARE and not investors. Turn the page...read, learn, digest and understand.

    July 11, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Lisa P

    Boomer

    That once great organization is nothing more than a hate group now. If you are not black – they hate you.
    July 11, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Unless you are John McCain running for President in 2008, as other commenters have already pointed out.

    July 11, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. T. E. Lawrence O. A.

    ***

    YEAH, BUT why did they REALLY boo Romney? What kind of meaningful interaction with the Black Community has Romney had these past decades?

    As 'Service Providers' (servants)? Business Peers? Colleagues? OR merely "Those People"?

    July 11, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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