Romney said he 'expected' boos at NAACP speech
July 11th, 2012
04:44 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney said he 'expected' boos at NAACP speech

(CNN) - Shortly after a speech at the NAACP convention where he was booed, Mitt Romney said Wednesday he "expected" the crowd's negative reaction to his remarks.

Romney drew a few round of boos during the address in Houston, in which he asserted his plan to repeal President Barack Obama's health care reform law should he make it to the Oval Office. But the crowd wasn't entirely unreceptive to Romney, as he also received several applause lines, with occasional bursts of organ music, as well.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee defended his speech in an interview later in the day.

"I think we expected that," he said on Fox Business Network, referring to the audience's negative response. "I am going to give the same message to the NAACP that I give across the country, which is that Obamacare is killing jobs."

Asked if believes he could pull away some of the 96% of African Americans who voted for Obama in 2008, Romney said yes.

"I do actually. I spoke with a number African American leaders after the event, and they said a lot of folks don't want to say they are not going to vote for Barack Obama but they are disappointed in his lack of policies to improve our schools, disappointed in urban policy, disappointed in the economy," he said.

The Republican focused much of his speech Wednesday on the economy, though occasionally touched on social and education policies.

"I expect to get African American votes," Romney said. "At the end of my speech, having a standing ovation was generous and hospitable on the part of the audience. While we disagree on some issues like Obamacare, a lot of issues we see eye to eye."

Romney also drew boos during his remarks when he suggested to the predominately-black audience that he would be the best president on their behalf.

"I submit to you this: if you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him," Romney said.

The candidate, however, received praise from the audience, particularly when he laid out his reason for visiting the convention.

"Now with 90% of African-Americans, who typically vote for Democrats, you may wonder, or some may wonder, why a Republican would bother to campaign in the African American community and to address the NAACP," Romney said. "One reason, of course, is that I hope to represent all Americans, of every race, creed and sexual orientation. From the poorest to the richest and everyone in between."

- CNN's Shawna Shepherd, Shannon Travis and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • NAACP
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I do actually. I spoke with a number African American leaders after the event, and they said a lot of folks don't want to say they are not going to vote for Barack Obama

    Truthfully Woman in California, I wouldn't doubt this line. There are always those in EVERY camp that like to "hedge" their bets, play BOTH sides of the field. You have traitorous and mamby-pamby Democraps that are too scared, stupid, greedy, and short-visioned to back the President; and historically you've had Blacks that like to sidle or suck up to potential White power players.
    It's politics. A game. Boat jumpers abound.
    Just my opinion of course.

    July 11, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. guest

    It's quite simple. He expected African Americans to act in a predictable way, and they did, as they usually do. It was very stupid of him. Obama has the black vote locked up because he is black. Perhaps Mitt should talk more about his Mexican roots.

    July 11, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. W.G.

    I´m sure that republican thief Romney is used to getting booed .

    July 11, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Darryl

    Romney is a liar, I know someone who was there and Romney said he spoke to African American Leaders and they told him that allot of people were not going to vote for Obama. That is a LIE, He spoke to a couple of people and they just wanted to thank him for comming, thats all....and he said thank you for having me, Period ! See what a freekin Liar these republicans are. Just like the FOX people...........all of them, they all lie right through their teeth and get people to believe-em..

    July 11, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  5. W.G.

    I´m sure that republican thief Romney is used to getting booed . Maybe it will somehow affect him and he´ll reveal
    info about his offshore accounts .

    July 11, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. B.

    Willard knew EXACTLY what he was doing...when he mentioned repealing "Obamacare!" He wasn't speaking to the NAACP audience. That was clearly a message for his Republicans. There were other messages in his speech, which
    were targeted to others, outside that room (preferably Independents).

    As Rev. Sharpton continually says: "Nice try...but we GOT you!"

    July 11, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. eroteme

    Those who booed Romney at the NAACP conventioin and Obama's liberal media would have yelled to high heaven if Romney had decided not to speak there. The NAACP as well as Obama's liberal media have become a joke.

    July 11, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    @ Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I agree but what he wants you to believe is they think HE is the man that can do it and sorry, I don't buy that.

    July 11, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Wake up people

    You are so right Dominican mama. I will admit that there are some blacks that won't vote for President Obama. Some because of jealousy and some because they don't think he is black enough. But everyone I know is an Obama supporter. And it's not because he is black. It's because he is intelligent, cares about everyone and wants to do the right thing. Him being black is just icing on the cake.
    And for those that don't even have one black friend but think they can speak for us this is for you. No we won't vote for any black person. I guarantee you Herman Cain, Allen West, nor Condi, would never get our votes. Nor Marion Barry.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 11, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You have to have an IQ of 50 to be able to see what Obama is doing is NOT the right course of action for our country
    Yes. I agree. You would have to have an IQ of 50 to see that it is NOT the right course of action.
    Yours is somewhere around that number I presume?!

    July 11, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. Peace

    Mitt might be smart of making money, unfortunately, he has no skills at all of how to deal with people, what to say and what not, making people at least feel good a little bit in a meaningful way. He is always pretending and in the end, everything falls flat. Who can watch this man on TV even for 2 years only?

    July 11, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  12. Keith in Austin

    The NAACP boos are from the most racist group in America! Who cares what they think! 90 per cent will vote for Obama simply because he's half black. Pretty sorry display from a once-noble organization. Pathetic!

    July 11, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  13. Common sense grandma

    Well, we have to finally admit that Mitt Romney is consistent on a few things: he cares a great deal about rich people and he cares very little about ethnic groups. And people say he flip-flops! You go, Mitt - just don't go to the White House.

    July 11, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. CanadaONE

    it is confirmed that American racist vote Republican because of colour not economy

    as per the following he expected it because he knew that racists vote for him

    "I think we expected that," he said on Fox Business Network, referring to the audience's negative response.

    July 11, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. NotFooledByDistractions

    Well, he sure got what he was expecting. I'm not surprised. His speech was just dripping with cynicism and disdain.

    He didn't win any votes – any points he scored for just showing up were quickly erased with the repeal Obamacare comment. He would have scored more points if he would have stayed away from criticizing obama and spelled out his plans. Problem is, he doesn't have any concrete plans to run on.

    It was nothing but a photo op for romney – more red meat thrown out to the rubes in the republican base.

    July 11, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Romney said he 'expected' boos at NAACP speech◄
    He's right – because he let the boos continue so his base could be reached
    He stood there like a lump on a log; very pleased with the response by far
    So who really was his audience ?? the KOCHs, Edelsons & farRight-TeaTards

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 11, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. rudy

    If they didn't have a boogey-man, they would have to be held to equal accountability

    July 11, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    if Mitt were to speak before a LGBT or Hispanic group the results might be the same. Give him credit for showing up though, he did do something a majority of right wingers will not even attempt to do. I bet even Allen West, Herman Cain,nor Clarence Thomas would have spoken before this group.

    July 11, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. warren

    wow! rommey thinks black people are stupid!

    July 11, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. Oscar disabled vet

    Mitt did that for one reason to gauge his electability with the black vote. He got his answer didnt he. even with that richest to poorest quote do you really think he means what he says? just like the GOP controlled house they say one thing an do another we need a brand new house an senate to overcome this deadlock we will never breakout of despair we must vote them all out.

    July 11, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  21. Larry L

    Romney wanted the boos. He needs to convince the Teavangelicals to vote for him rather than avoiding the polls. They see him as exactly what he is – a spoiled, fat-cat Mormon who flip-flops on all of the issues those radicals hold sacred. They know how his religion feels about their flavor of Christianity and they simply hate it. Do they feel better about "going to hell" or voting for an African American? As I remember those racist signs from the Tea Party rallies I realize how tough that decision might be to their members. Maybe they'll just sit this one out...

    July 11, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  22. Johnson

    I'm sure it was his plan to build up the hatred from the Right towards the first Black President.

    July 11, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  23. NameTom

    The planets are starting to line up against Obama. I voted for him before, but this time I will vote Romney. It isn't that I think Obama is horrible, I like him and think he has tried, but it hasn't worked that well and I think another one deserves a shot at leading, (Romney is a proven leader wIth business) and he isn't a crazy right wing nut job like some of the others.

    July 11, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  24. Sunlight99

    Okay, so other than his race what has Obama really done for the African American community. Are their lives better for his actions (note I did not say his example due to his race and him getting into office). Romney's father worked hard for the AA community.

    I think it was a positive for Romney to go to the NAACP and show that he is willing to listen to them and promises to work on their behalf. Yes, I am sure he expected some boos he would have been a fool not to but yet he still went to talk to them and listen. He acknowledged their concerns and their graciousness too.

    Actually, I have seen Mitt as the Not Obama (and Obama's failed policies) and not really as a person in his own right. To me his (Romney) going and I do believe his commitments if elected make me think better of him

    July 11, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. OnlyTheFactsPlease

    I am surprised that Romney decided to speak at the NAACP convention. His other republican predecessors McCain, Bush both snubbed it. I think it showed a lot of courage and commitment on his behalf. I am a black male and I voted for Obama in 08'. I am disappointed with some of the decisions he's made. I actually like Romney. I said in '08 if he ran I could see myself voting for him. His a business man, so am I. I will wait and decide once I see the debate. I want to see Obama and Romney face-to-face and make of decision based purely on my policy preferences. I don't agree with mandated healthcare. I don't agree with bail out the banks. Who does that? What part of capitalism is this? It's a mutation, a perversion of the system. Which needs to be ripped out. I was for the auto makers bail out though...go

    July 11, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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