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.

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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. Tim

    Mj Notton
    "Good for him to go ahead and lay out his plans."

    Hogwash! He didn't lay out any plans at all. Repeal and replace! Replace with what? Total garbage.

    July 11, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. fred

    He looked great and showed great courage entering the den of the black capos.The Dems have made a racket of poverty.Their job is to keep the "peeps"poor.You want a check,I demand your vote.
    500,000 died freeing the slaves from the Democrats.The KuKluxKlan was an invention of the Democrats and Robert Byrd was the last Kleegle.Eisenhower liberated Little Rock.20% more Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Laws.
    In 1964 LBJ passed the War on Poverty legislation.Out of Wedlock births among Blacks were 7%.The rate is now 70%(90% down the ghetto)If you want to help the poor reintroduce the Daddy and end Welfare(slowly).And allow the guys a Voucher for the schools.

    July 11, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. patw2100

    If elected Romney will be the second most liberal president in America history. We need real conservatives to restore God to America so our country will be great again.

    July 11, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. JPM

    I am sure that Romney will be called a racist though. If Obama is booed it is an international incident.

    July 11, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. fernace

    So let me get this straight! Romney is going to repeal the ACA & like Bohener stated, "rip it out by the roots"! Then he's going to replace it w/Something (we don't know what) that sounds excactly like.....the Affordable Care Act! WHY? It makes no sense unless he's nuts or green w/envy! This is how out of touch he is w/the African-American community: He thinks he can relate to Blacks because his ancestors Owned Slaves! He referred to Blacks as Freeloaders, who need to be Told to work hard! Those are his own words & they're pretty obvious! A poster called him Willard of Oz; what an appropriate nickname! He's painting a utopia of his presidency, but wont say how it will be implemented or who will foot the bill! Smoke & Mirrors & downright lies!! Obama 2012!

    July 11, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. Sam Smith

    The hatred that we see here from a lot of posters (from both parties) is scary! I thought we were all americans. I don't see any willing to compromise. How can we expect congress and the president to do the aame? God help us!

    July 11, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. patw2100

    Of course, I am in a State facility and a little crazy. God talks to me and told me that I should be the President of the United States of America! I love Obama. I KNOW he'll win because I hate the GOP! They are a bunch of God loving freaks.

    July 11, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. PaulMN

    Why does Romney waste his time speaking at an NAACP convention? He will not gain any Black votes anyway... Obama has the Black vote. Romney should spend his time speaking to groups that he might possibly sway his way.

    July 11, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Serious?

    @wake up poeple...YOU are the problem with America today!!! When will you people (you must be dense) get it through your head that is it not because he is black??????? His POLICIES have failed, take a beginning course in economics and maybe you could think for yourself!!! I am an economist and all the data points to his failing policy no matter how hard you want to believe it hasn't!!! And you are actually the bigot with your comment about Mormons!!!! I am not a Mormon but live in Utah and know many African Americans in the religion. You show your true bigotry with your comments!!!

    July 11, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Oliver

    Sam Smith, there is a difference between being a moderate and being a panderer. Romney has shown that he clearly has no convictions of his own. Proof? How about the fact he is rallying against a health care plan he created. The crowd may have been partisan to boo him, but he deserves boos to begin with. At least with Obama, you know he is coming from a place of compassion, that he believes strongly in equal opportunities and that while willing to compromise to get things done, his convictions to these values drive his decisions. The modern GOP is just the opposite, a bunch of whiney children more interested in driving American families into the ground because it bodes well for them in election season. Romney is the most moderate option they had. A flip flopper does not a moderate make.

    July 11, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Stephen614

    Wow...racist crowd!

    July 11, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. Steve

    The lack of intelligence that I am reading on this board really disappoints me, and almost makes myself ashamed of the lack of desire to be educated in the U.S. People can keep blaming it on the system all that they want, but this is the 21st century. There is so much free information and tools available. Get out there and pick up a book for christs sake... Wow... just wow.
    It's sad that all someone has to do is post a comment about Romney and his offshore bank accounts, and uneducated Americans start calling it "hiding money". It's not hidden. If it was hidden, then we wouldn't know about it. It's called diversification and you learn it in Finance 101, or by googling "what is the best policy to invest my money" or something of the sorts.
    And the idiots on the other side calling for Obama's birth certificate in the last election... Come on people. Seriously. Grow up, put on your big boy or big girl pants and let's stop the B.S.

    July 11, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Aprophet

    @Ginger keep praying, but from your post I can tell, you have to first pray for forgiveness and attonement of your sins. put Christ first in your life. People tend to vote for their best interest. As for Mitt he could careless for minorities, and the poor. He said so himself. Why would someone who has healthcare expect appause by threatening to take healthcare away from those who can not afford it?

    July 11, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Ronald Reagan

    Of course he is going to get booed in a room full of racists.

    July 11, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. J Talhouk

    How come politicans always have a "Sister Solja" moments when addressing Blacks. For Romney to have a "Sister Solja" moment, he should say in Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania that denying people the right to vote is WRONG. He should tell Mississippi that denying women safe abortion is WRONG. Dare to tell North Carolina that discrimination against Gays is not acceptable. Will Mr. Romney find the courage to do that? I doubt it.

    July 11, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. blahahahaaaa

    He is always quick to say he has a plan... but pretty dadgum slow at telling anyone what it is. I wonder if he is lying? LOL I know he is.. but I wanted to sound objective.

    July 11, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "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. "

    Yes, everything;s the same. There is no difference at all between the parties. Nobody is actually voicing an opinion they arrived at on their own, even when they're citing numbers, data, evidence, historical record, expert opinion, etc. Yep. All the same. The equivalency is plain. There's absolutely no difference between repealing the ACA or trying very hard to implement it well. There's absolutely no difference between more and more and more atx cuts for the wealthy and getting rid of Medicare/caid and SS because we can no longer afford them versus raising gov't revenue because past tax cuts have put us in an untenable position and trying to fix the cost of health care rather han simply blaming Medicare/caid as though they are part of the problem, not the solution staring us in the face. Yep...no diffeences whatsoever. When 50 posters are all saying the exact same thing and someone else comes out with a unique statement that agrees with one side or the other, it's still a "talking point" to you because the "correct" path is to never take sides, always stay in the middle and the grey areas and always assume that anyone taking a side is wrong and doing it solely because they're a partisan robot. Yep. No differences. Everything is broken and the only people who are magically smart and enlightened are the ones who "know enough" to simply reject anything either side says as too extreme and always insist that compromise be made...no matter how reasonable one side is being while the other flees to the extremes. No matter how many attempts have been made at compromise by one side while the other simply puts on a show and throws tantrums. Nope. All the same.

    July 11, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Bryan

    Anybody else watch that speech? When responding to the boos, he also said that he would come up with his own healthcare reform that would preserve many of the same principles as the current universal healthcare law, such as reducing costs of prescription drugs and the stipulation that insurance companies cannot deny coverage due to a preexisting condition. Dear DNC Camps, tell me you were watching! He just actively complimented at least 2 integral parts of the law! I think it's time for another Etch a Sketch ad!!!

    July 11, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Jerry

    Wow, what is wrong with SOME of this nation's Black community and, mainly, its so called idiotic/moronic leaders. And, then they demand to be respected! How appalling/embarrassing! Numerous Blacks ARE against Obamacare, anyway. Who speaks for them?!

    Mr. Romney deserves a profound apology from this most racist organization (NAACP). Lets not hold our breath, though.

    Oops! Sorry, I forgot a considerable number of Blacks were schooled by our Divisive Community Organizer-in-Chief.

    July 11, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Madrep1

    When all you Romney Bashers realize that Obama's plan isn't working, maybe you will stop listening to his rhetoric. I give him credit for showing up and taking the heat. If and it's a big if...he get's 5% of their votes...he hurts Obama more. Their unemployment rate is about 30+%! We gave Obama a chance. He failed. Time for a REAL Change!!! 4 and the Door.

    July 11, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. mika

    Romney wasn't booeed till he said he is going to repeal Obamacare/romneycare and replace it with people open their own account if they get sick they have money to go pay, wow, what a joke!

    July 11, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. jacob

    Say Obama 2012!

    July 11, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. Mike

    Nothing but a bunch of racist SOB's. Let's just call it what it is.
    Had Obama went to some speaking engagement with a mostly white crowd and they booed him all you liberals would be screaming racist and don't deny it.
    The NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Spike Lee, they're all racists.

    July 11, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. phugoid

    What a waste of time. We all know the the NAALCP (L for liberal, since conservative colored people need no apply) are just a bunch of mindless folks who cant think for themselves!
    The NAALCP is one of the most radical leftist organizations out there, in the guise of being for the "poor"....
    They are such hypocrites, and I dare any NAALCP supporters to refute that.
    They dont care for any people of color who are not "liberal" and who dont tow the liberal line. Obama could have been from Mars, and they still would support him no matter what he does.
    Who needs their supprt, we all know they cant think for themselves. the battle is with the Independants who are realizing what a Marxist Obama really is!

    July 11, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. PhilG


    Miit,why is all your millions hidden in off shore accounts to not pay taxes.


    July 11, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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