July 11th, 2012
11:56 AM ET
8 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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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. Malory Archer


    That is fine that Romney received boos, that is their right. My question is, if Obama received boos we would be considered racist.


    Except that President Obama WAS boo'd a few weeks ago and nobody (except the voices in your head) made any mention of racism. Projecting?

    July 11, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Mojobutta

    Romney would cozy up faster to an Al Queda member than a black man or woman. Oops.. that's even if he could get a booty call from the woman. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree. His father was a notorious bigot.

    July 11, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. Investment Advisor

    @ Padraig... I agree, Its the only way to defend oneself against these baseless accusations.

    July 11, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Tere

    "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."

    Yea Right!!! Chances are they didn't hire before Obama AND "ObamaCare", and they WON'T be hiring even if it's repealed!

    July 11, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Lord Vokk

    Sadly, people that think Obamacare is a good thing, only see "25 million Americans will now have heathcare insurance"

    They don't ask the question like "Who is going to pay for the new 25 million Americans getting this heathcare?" The healthcare fairy isn't simply going to show up and sprinkle some magic powder.

    This country is already in debt up to its eyeballs....so this heathcare will be paid for by the people already paying, this in turn will take money out of the economy, thus slowing the consumer economy (the economy system that keeps America's wheels turning.) America will go into another recession or people will join Premier healthcare units that only cater to middle class and upper class.

    July 11, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. grvol

    At least Romney has the balls to tell them what they need to hear not what they want to hear. Like "O Blow Me" always does.

    July 11, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. tigerakabj

    All he did was use the NAACP for a prop. His advisor even admitted it. He wasn't there to start addressing what Ed Rollins talked about the other day with regard to their demographic problem. He was there to give winks and nods to the tea party base that he is one of them and to the moderate crowd with the "I tried" (to be inclusive) tone.

    What's funnier than that is that this stunt he just pulled is going to backfire for this simple reason - people are not stupid. Does he honestly think one speech is going to rectify his problems and that of his party? Did he not think that such a venue, with over 95% of the AA population supporting President Obama, would produce that kind of reaction when he would go after the President's signature achievements?

    This was a Palin-pick stunt that ended up alienating the very people McCain thought he was conning, not to mentioned getting many GOPers to sit out last election and others to vote for President Obama.

    Romney thinks we are all stupid and that we can't read between the lines. Based on his falling poll numbers in most of the swing states, I hope he keeps it up.

    July 11, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Wake up people

    I'm still trying to figure out what he thought he would accomplish by calling the ACA Obamacare?? Is this man REALLY this stupid??? And anyone with a computer or a cell phone knows how to google. Does he think blacks are that stupid?? We know mormonism considers being black a curse, actually any dark skin. I swear if this wasn't so serious it would be hilarious. This man that stands for nothing, that thinks his cult is the only real religion is a heartbeat away from being POTUS, simply because people don't like the current POTUS because he's black.

    I'll tell you something else, say what you want to say about us, but we blacks do not teach our children to hate other races, nor do we raise them to believe they are superior to other races because of their color. We raise our children to treat everyone equally.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 11, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. snowdogg

    The Chamber of Commerce is a Right Wing front/mouthpiece for the GOP... no credibility in their survey.

    July 11, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Sam Smith

    And we wonder why the 2 parties cannot get along. Listen to you intolerant people writing these posts!! They are taking their cues from you! Look in the mirror!!

    July 11, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Mike

    "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."

    So NAACP, are you not interested in jobs? I guess not because it's not in your top 3.

    July 11, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Bob

    Romney should stick to the audience that appreciates him: rich old white men.

    July 11, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |

    Any working person that votes for Romney, should understand they are voting against their own interests. Romney with a Republican controlled congress would guarantee another Great Depression.

    July 11, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It should be standard practice to expand abbreviations and acronyms the first time they are used. I had to Google NAACP
    It IS standard practice in well-written pieces by journalists that take pride in their research, the product of their labor and the information they purvey.
    What you fail to realize Sepp is that THIS is CNN.
    Much like the Republican Party there is little left of the original and its' standard operating procedures.

    July 11, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. AgrippaMT

    Mittens Rawmoney needs to be roundly booed at every campaign appearance from now on. Don't miss the opportunity to boo him if he comes to your town.

    July 11, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. judith

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has become an arm of the Republican Party. Of course, they'll say or do anything to defeat Obama. As for Romney, he hasn't a clue. He can't understand economic struggles because he's never struggled one day of his privileged life. Also, this hypocrite tries to court the African-American vote when his party is trying to suppress that vote as much as possible. What a disgusting human being. Romney is a disgrace to his father who was a moderate Republican who actually worked hard for civil rights.

    July 11, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -Investment Advisor

    @ Padraig... I agree, Its the only way to defend oneself against these baseless accusations.

    Like the ones you make every day? Haven't you got some offshore accounts to create for some trust fund baby, or are you urging people to buy junk bonds again?

    July 11, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    So when I complain about Obama from now on, I will say I am complaining about him on the caucasean side of his family lineage
    That was funny! Now learn to spell caucasian and you'll be all set.

    July 11, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Liar, and I can prove you are a liar with just two words, Robert Byrd. Robert Byrd life long Democrat, died a Democrat Senator and klan member, almost ran for president, one of the most powerful Democrats over the last 40 years as well. Go to youtube and type in Robert Byrd N word, klan man using the n word and every Democrat fully supported it."

    Byrd also publicly renounced the Klan and his own membership in it and changed his ways greatly over the years. Most Dixiecrats switched over to the GOP after passage of the Civil Rights Act because they were so mad about it, which is why there's a general trend of red-states down south now. Why else do you think the GOP loves the "southern strategy"? Why would it even exist in the first place? People trying to claim "Dems are the real racists because of what happened 60+ years ago" need to really get a clue. The reality is, those racist Dems from 60+ years ago are what made the current GOP what it is today.

    July 11, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Mor Man NO!

    Romney needs a taste of brown sugar............................just saying

    July 11, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. JomoDaMusicMan

    A Fifthy Rich White Republican trying to tell a crowd of mostly black everyday citizens that they don't need health care. What a F- JOKE! Is he that stupid, to had expected a standing ovation. Every person in the audience had someone in their family that was sick and didn't have Health Care therefore they supports the President's Health Care Program. I KNOW I DO

    July 11, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Mj Notton

    Good for him to go ahead and lay out his plans. Would you rather him pander to the NAACP? The NAACP doesn't have the final say for every black person and how they should choose to vote. It is a predominantly left leaning organization. Romney went there to say the democrats offered change and nothing has changed but the economy getting worse, so Romney is offering a solution. A solution that in November I will choose to vote for!

    July 11, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. BradKT

    As a Black man, I don't like the fact that he was booed at the NAACP convention. First of all, he was invited to speak there. The audience should have listened respectfully and either had a speaker follow him to engage him with the reasons why they disagreed with him...

    ...or they could have declined to applaud him.

    Booing him was wrong and shows a lack of class.

    July 11, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Sam Smith

    I can see that all of you posters have learned well the talking points from each of your parties. You all are repeating them very well! Not willing to think for yourselves or accept the other's point of view! Seems to me for all democrats, Romney had a no-win situation here. With this kind of hyper-partisan people that we have, god help us! Wevare getting exactly what we deserve.

    July 11, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. bob

    TO Malory Archer; how about when joe wilson called the president a liar when jan brewer stuck her WICKED finger in the presidents face, how about when the repubs were fighting in the primary for the top spot and all the nasty INSULTS romney , santorum, gingrich and paul turned a blind EYE to these RACIST INSULTS HURLED at the PRESIDENT! YES BOOOO to romney! & to you TOO RACIST!

    July 11, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19