Team Romney releases excerpts from NAACP speech
July 11th, 2012
10:22 AM ET
10 years ago

Team Romney releases excerpts from NAACP speech

(CNN) - Mitt Romney's campaign released excerpts from the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's speech at the NAACP convention in Houston on Wednesday.

See the remarks after the jump:

You all know something of my background, and maybe you’ve wondered how any Republican ever becomes governor of Massachusetts in the first place. Well, in a state with 11 percent Republican registration, you don’t get there by just talking to Republicans. We have to make our case to every voter. We don’t count anybody out, and we sure don’t make a habit of presuming anyone’s support. Support is asked for and earned – and that’s why I’m here today. …

… I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African American families, you would vote for me for president. I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color - and families of any color - more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president. …

… I am running for president because I know that my policies and vision will help hundreds of millions of middle class Americans of all races, will lift people from poverty, and will help prevent people from becoming poor. My campaign is about helping the people who need help. The course the President has set has not done that – and will not do that. My course will.

When President Obama called to congratulate me on becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, he said that he, quote, “looked forward to an important and healthy debate about America’s future.” To date, I’m afraid that his campaign has taken a different course than that.

If someone had told us in the 1950s or 60s that a black citizen would serve as the forty-fourth president, we would have been proud and many would have been surprised. Picturing that day, we might have assumed that the American presidency would be the very last door of opportunity to be opened. Before that came to pass, every other barrier on the path to equal opportunity would surely have to come down.

Of course, it hasn’t happened quite that way. Many barriers remain. Old inequities persist. In some ways, the challenges are even more complicated than before. And across America - and even within your own ranks - there are serious, honest debates about the way forward.

If equal opportunity in America were an accomplished fact, then a chronically bad economy would be equally bad for everyone. Instead, it’s worse for African Americans in almost every way. The unemployment rate, the duration of unemployment, average income, and median family wealth are all worse for the black community. In June, while the overall unemployment rate remained stuck at 8.2 percent, the unemployment rate for African Americans actually went up, from 13.6 percent to 14.4 percent.

Americans of every background are asking when this economy will finally recover – and you, in particular, are entitled to an answer.

If equal opportunity in America were an accomplished fact, black families could send their sons and daughters to public schools that truly offer the hope of a better life. Instead, for generations, the African-American community has been waiting and waiting for that promise to be kept. Today, black children are 17 percent of students nationwide – but they are 42 percent of the students in our worst-performing schools.

When it comes to education reform, candidates cannot have it both ways – talking up education reform, while indulging the same groups that are blocking reform. You can be the voice of disadvantaged public-school students, or you can be the protector of special interests like the teachers unions, but you can’t be both. I have made my choice: As president, I will be a champion of real education reform in America, and I won’t let any special interest get in the way.

I will give the parents of every low-income and special needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school. For the first time in history, federal education funds will be linked to a student, so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school, or to a private school, where permitted. And I will make that a true choice by ensuring there are good options available to all.

Should I be elected President, I’ll lead as I did when governor. I will look for support wherever there is good will and shared conviction. I will work with you to help our children attend better schools and help our economy create good jobs with better wages.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. james

    i did not like when he said that we have to wait til 21 of age to have children.

    July 11, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Proteus

    The NAACP can find Romney's heart where he hides his money - Cayman Islands, Switzerland & Bermuda.

    July 11, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |

    If elected Willard, what will you do about the Prison Industrial Complex that is overpopulated with people of color for minor offenses? In an act of good faith, you should speak up about voter surpression laws that are intended on disenfranchising people of color. You want our vote, show us you have some cojones to stand up to your party.

    July 11, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romney is on record saying that we need "smaller government": in the form of fewer teachers, firemen, policemen, sanitation workers, etc. Doesn't he realize that those jobs have been the mainstay of the black middle class for decades? Doesn't he realize that black voters have a talent for voting in their best interests, despite anything the candidate might say? Doesn't he realize that his audience wants to hear his plans, not his ideas?

    July 11, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Romney hate middle class

    Romney sound like a fool on the stage...He the biggest lier in politics histor. Why he always laughing when talk about what he going to do for the country.

    July 11, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Karm99

    "I will stop the assault on Voter rights!"

    Oh wait, he didn't say that.........

    July 11, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Tired of republican lies

    I almost fell off my chair laughing when he got booed.

    July 11, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. midnite rider

    Homey don't play that.

    July 11, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. The Elephant In The Room

    Mitt`s use of the term "OBAMACARE" instead of the Affordable Care Act reflects his desire to poke a stick in the eye of the NAACP convention.

    It was either a rookie oversight or a more pernicous appeal to non principled, anti-Obama white voters designed to demonstrate that Mitt will stand up to the darkies.

    I heard him vocalize, KI may not agree with you on everything but . . . " I doubt if I`ll hear him say that to the NRA, the Cristian coalition, the TeaParty-wing of the Republicans, etc. I`ll bet black folks are tired of politicians thinking there are "NET GAINS" in talking tough publicly to African Americans.

    July 11, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Dave wrote:

    Minorities have been hurt dramatically under Obama's administration. The black unemployment rate is 14% overall – and 50% among young adults.
    Minorities realize that hurt has been the effects of "trickle down economics", too. Wall Street crashed in 2008. The Great Bush Recession began in late 2007 and ended in mid-2009. What the middle class is experiencing now is trickle down economics in action.

    Trickle down works in more than one way. The top crashed, and now the after effects are working its' way down through and to the bottom of the economy. When the top booms, some of the after effects work their way down, but not much.

    July 11, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I will read the speech.
    I then I will probably LMAO, ormaybe just chuckle and shake my head from side to side.
    This predisposition of mine is probably the same one that Mittens wil encounter with this audience. And with good reason.
    Dirty dogs, filthy animals, it's going to be a tough sell Robme.

    July 11, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. charles

    Oh dear! If Romney becomes relevant to blacks then the Republican party will sell him down the river. Good luck with that Mitt.

    July 11, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. Thomas

    The audiance says it all.

    Romney is out of touch with the people.

    July 11, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color
    It has begun. The Romney disconnect...

    July 11, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Jon

    Liberals be honest with yourself ... there is nothing that Romney could have said today that would change your mind. You are just looking for ways to tear him down. If you dont like his policies, fine, dont vote for him. But why call him names and make mean remarks.

    He is a good man ... Hate his politics ... But have the honesty of thought to accept that he has volunteered thousands of hours to make this world a better place. I would suggest that (no facts here) that he has volunteered more time to helping people than any other Presidential nominee we have ever had.

    July 11, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. Sniffit

    Mittens gievs a speech absent any policy specifics. Pope wears funny hat. Bears pewp in woods. Stories at 11.

    July 11, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Families of color". That was half a step away from calling Black folks "colored" wasn't it? He did try and clean it up by adding "families of any color". SPLAT one!!

    July 11, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. NotFooledByDistractions

    I give him credit for attending, but his speech didn't change any minds. He was booed when he delivered his typical "repeal Obamacare" matra.

    The audience isn't stupid – willard can talk a good game, but they can rest assured that he and the republicans won't work in the best interests of their community – they never have. Just look at the wave of voter ID regulations – that's an effort to gain minority votes? Message received, loud and clear.

    July 11, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Four and The Door

    Marie MD
    Didn't he say that he doesn't care about the poor?
    No. But nice try. If you call Obama's economic results of the last 3 1/2 years "caring about the poor", then you are not paying attention. They need this recovery to get started more than any of us.

    July 11, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    i did not like when he said that we have to wait til 21 of age to have children.
    Yes but it will balance out you see because nobody else has to wait. Just people of "color".
    Come on now! Stay with him! lol!

    July 11, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    Willard got booed. Pander elsewhere flip-flop.

    July 11, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Peace

    Romney telling black folks that he will repeal Obamacare!!!! This is like pulling out the bone from the mouth of a dog. What would you expect to happen?. Romney got what he asked for. The booing was not louder enough, it should have gone higher.

    July 11, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. tellin it like it is

    At least romney is courteous enough to personally speak to the group even though he knows they won't vote for him because of the color of his skin. obama is stiffing this group. talk about taking them for granted. but then again, that is what the democrat party does with the blacks. uses them at election time then ignores them or uses government programs to keep them all on the democrat plantation. somebody these mindless droids will wake up. but i doubt it.

    July 11, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. G.Riley

    Mitt Romney says he is all for growing the Middle Class and creating jobs but he is one of the biggest supporters of outsourcing all of the jobs that drive Middle Class wage earnings. Mitt Romney says that the answer to growing the middle class is by education and makes a promise to fight for educating African American kids but he also openly stated that he is for cutting back on teachers to preserve money for government. Everything that Mitt Romney says is a joke and mostly contradicts himself to appease the crowd he is in front of. Barrack Obama inherited a very damaged economy and it will take 2 terms (8 years) to see the positive outcome of the programs and bills that he has put into play. If Mitt Romney gets elected he will inherit an economy that is on the cusp of turning around because of President Obama and Romney will get all of the praise. I think it takes a full 2 terms to really get anything out of a president. It took President Clinton 2 terms to build a strong economy and it took President Bush a full 2 terms to destroy it. President Obama has done many positive things for our economy and our international affairs and I think it's only fair that he gets to serve a second term and watch the seeds that he planted grow.

    July 11, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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