July 11th, 2012
11:56 AM ET
9 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. gg

    they did not boo romney they booed his policy

    July 11, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. L. Farakhan

    four more years of my brother Obama in the whitehouse and my other brother Holder as AG and we will rule this country with a tight fist. we will take what we are owed and nobody can stop us. we took healthcare from you, and that's just the beginning. if you want to see what will happen next, you have to re-elect my man Obama. trust me, we have a plan and we intend to execute it. it takes american down to where it needs to be.

    July 11, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. columbus

    He keeps saying he'll toss out Obamacare, but as president he cannot do that, that authority belongs to Congress and repeal of the ACA law is unlikley unless the Republicans control both houses. Instead of repeating anti Obama rhetoric, why not campaign on what his alternative is, give us options to vote for. Obama is a weak leader, but this guy is too artificial.

    July 11, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    I have to say, it's refreshing to see so many GOPers/Teatrolls sto trying to hide their racism by just coming out and airing all the over-generalized assumptions and stereotypes upon which so much of their policy positions and perceptions of the issues in this country rests. Yes, we know, guys..."they're" all lazy and it's an insular community that wants one fo their own in the WH so he can give them all special treatment blah blah blah.....

    Now, go take your afternoon meds. It's nap time.

    July 11, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Omar dice

    Matthew 6:24: No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth

    July 11, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Yakobi

    Why bother going before the NAACP? It's not like those members aren't going to vote for Obama anyway.

    July 11, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. scmom

    So if Mitt knew he was going to get booed anyway, then why go? So according to some of you he already knew that they all vote Democrat anyway, so why did he do it? He makes all of his campaign stops to mostly white and republican crowds so what was the purpose? And to be so ignorant as to refer to the Healthcare Act as Obamacare a negative label made up by the hating republican congress. This man is truly a "special" kind of fool.

    July 11, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Mitt wanted to get booed, the right wing nuts will donate even more now."

    Fight the brown! Give more green!

    July 11, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Maurice

    Mitt: "a survey of 1,500 members of the Chamber of Commerce", Really?? Who are you fooling Mitt? The chamber of commerce is bought and owned by the republicans what good or realistic survey will they produce? the truth, LMAO?? O Please!! That's like Mitt saying " A survey carried out by FOX NEWS (FALSE NEWS) states that 95% believe Obama is the anti Christ" and you believe? Its from FOX NEWS, the home of Liars, Racists & NeoCons. To pay Mitt Romney back in his own republican coin, "YOU LIE, MITT ROMNEY.

    July 11, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Undercover Brother

    It took a lot of courage for Romney to appear before the single MOST RACIST organization in America today. Today's AfricanAmericans will be voting for Obama because he is : a Democrat and Black (or at least half_black) and that's it. Educated, informed and hard working blacks will vote for Romney.

    July 11, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. anagram_kid

    mike wrote, “They are booing because they want Obamacare it's another free item they have. Food stamps, disability, welfare, now obamacare. They don't pay for only people that work pa for it. They get it subsidized for free. So yeah they are booing they could care less. It doesn't cost them a penny.”
    I could point out that more white people receive the ‘free items’ he mentioned, but facts are meaningless when they interfere with the need to blame someone else for their own unhappiness and failure. Now tell us how you feel about women and foreigners. Bet is is about the same....

    July 11, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. BillyJoe

    This isn't surprising. Obviously blacks are going to support Obama as democrats tend to support more government assistance than republicans do. Why is the unemployment figure considerably higher for blacks than any other group in America? More than latinos, whites, asians etc. and many of them have been in the country for less time. It's an interesting question, and I'd love to explore why.

    July 11, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Tina

    I am ASIAN and when I saw the NAACP booeing Romney, I thought of NAACP Blacks as RACISTS towards non-Blacks. They are harsh to non-Blacks but they would adore Obama even though unemployment for blacks is higher than ever and family values on single parenthood and less education is also high on blacks and the current Black president Obama has done nothing - but encourage hand outs...hand outs...hand outs.. Is this all NAACP supports RACISM as long as you play by their rules of HAND ME DOWNS..

    July 11, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. Allen

    I would like to know where was the thunderous applause which Tara Wall was referring? I understand that people who are on psychotic drugs often hear imaginary noises. Perhaps Ms. Wall can be lumped into this category. I listened carefulfully at the flip floppers speach to the NAACP and the only thunderous noise I heard and I believe anyone else with normal hearing heard was the booooo to willards comments on repealing the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA). hmmmmmm! Go figure.

    July 11, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Brian in TX

    He is such a tool. Everyone knows he embraces the Ryan plan to gut Medicare and Social Security.

    July 11, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. miketofdal

    Only Romney could want to rescind a law that was based one that he fully supported when Governor of Massachusetts. Does the word hypocrite have no meaning anymore?

    July 11, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Brad

    Romney pushed for this healthcare plan. Encouraged Obama to support it as well. He got it. Now he's a (crappy) candidate for president, he reverses his position and undoes what he's worked for? Hard to get more hypocritical than that. Doesn't even believe in what he does. So sad, such a poor reflection on the GOP.

    July 11, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Terry

    No surprise that he got booed but at least he stepped up to the plate...now lets see the Pres speak at an NRA event and see what kind of response he gets.

    July 11, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Woman In California

    As much as I can't stand the sight or sound of Willard, I probably would not have booed. Having said that, when did Willard ever ask that the TP trash disagree but respect our president? Maybe, just maybe the NAACP has had enough over the last 3 1/2 years of watching our president called a liar (on national television), depicted as an ape and the list goes on but the most disgusting action (even for republicans) was calling our First Lady names on the House floor. So before you start to point fingers at the NAACP, take a long hard look at your party and see what they have become. Saboteurs. All of them. They're only interest has been in destroying the president even if the country goes down in the process. So why on earth would I, or anyone vote for a party who makes me suffer just to get at our nations leader? As far as I am concerned Willard is not worthy of respect and is reaping what he sowed.

    July 11, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. Really??

    One comment mentioned he should no his crowd. So he shouldn't say ObamaCare at a NAACP convention? Your assumption is beacause Obama is black and they are black that they would be offended with the term ObamaCare. Odd that so many whites voted for Obama in 2008 and yet 90% of the black population voted for Obama. Who's really the racist?

    July 11, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. Nettie Christine


    "Why bother going before the NAACP? It's not like those members aren't going to vote for Obama anyway."

    Following your rational Willy shouldn't bother speaking in front of anyone. Hopefully he will take your advice

    July 11, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. Nathan

    Here is the real problem with the right and the racist in this country. They hate that a black man sits in the oval office. They hate that a black woman represents womanhood in America. They hate that a black family inhabits the White House. They hate that the one area they thought would never be inhabited by someone other then them is now inhabited by a black family. What they hate the most is that he dosen't become the person they think he should be. They would love for Obama to come down to their level and gutter fight by responding to their racist rants and their overt and covert racism. They hate the fact that the first black President actually has an inside track to understanding their world because half of him came from that world. They hate the fact that this family smashes every sterotype they live and breath about black people in general which means their must beothers who smash thay sterotype as well. Hence " take our country back" has become the rallying cry for we don't want Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad we want Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. Sorry to disappoint you folks but that world is never coming back and good riddance to it.

    July 11, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Ghandi

    I read on another web site that stated "UH-OH ..... Romney Receives Standing Ovation for Straight Talk at NAACP Convention. Obama may be in trouble". So whats up with CNN? Are they again changing the reality to fit their dream?

    July 11, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Chris

    "Hello NAACP which is backed by African Americans. When I am in office, I will start by taking away healthcare for blacks. Vote for me..." – Mitt Romney

    July 11, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. California Gary

    I'll give him credit for showing up........but he really hit some sour notes and didn't help himself any. I'd like to hear which agencies and programs made his list of "non-essential".........I think that would be a real eye-opener for a lot of folks.

    July 11, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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