Team Romney releases excerpts from NAACP speech
July 11th, 2012
10:22 AM ET
8 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. deltapa

    It'll be a blast, watch Mitt's face as he is shaking hands.

    July 11, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Expat American

    It should be clarified that Romney was actually speaking at the National Association for the Advancement of Crooks and Panderers. Romney should know better than to try to convince any non-whites, non-Christians or any other minority group including women that the GOP cares anything for them.

    July 11, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. DJ in TX

    I hope the REAL speech has more SPECIFICS. This excerpt has only his regular talking points with the work "African American" thrown in some places. Mitt Romney is NOT a racist. He has never shown himself to be. But the Mormon Church history with African American's is NOT good at all. I just don't believe Mr. Romney has ever had to live the life of a poor or middle class person. I'm not saying you have to live it to understand it, but I just don't belive he has a true understanding of what life is like for most Americans, the daily struggles of a lot of people.

    He really needs to start talking about his specific plan, vs just say Obama isn't working. As far as the NAACP, I'm glad he's going to speak to them, but he needs to address the real problems, not just say I can do better. Tell us HOW!!!!

    July 11, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    Devoid of specifics. Word salad as usual. What are "those policies" Willard? We know you'll keep fighting hard for the 1% to accumulate more at the expense of the rest. HOW will you help those in most need? HOW will you attack unemployment that is disproportionately hitting the AA community? Tax cuts for the rich is not the answer, which is why they will tune you out in a heartbeat.
    Obama/Biden '12

    July 11, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Four and The Door

    This is an excellent speech. And he is going to be facing a tough crowd. It was a proud moment for the African American community when Barack Obama was elected President. But it has been especially difficult for them since then. The fact is, the job of President of America in 2012 is very difficult and has a very specific set of challenges. Fortunately Mitt Romney is stepping forward with a unique range of experience and capabilities to address these challenges. He has a plan forward and it is very different than the plan of the last 3 1/2 years. People are recognizing that. They know we need to do something better to get the results everyone is looking for. Here is our opportunity. Romney 2012.

    July 11, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. demwit

    equal opportunity, eductation, yada yada,, but will I still get my check at the beginning of every month!?

    July 11, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. Dave

    I will vote for Romney. The African American unemployment rate is now at 14% – almost 50% for young adults.

    July 11, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Marie MD

    Didn't he say that he doesn't care about the poor? What does he know about how the other half lives?
    Convictions? From a man with no morals or ethics?
    Why was he even invited? Could somebody at the NAACP please take a look at the bishop's miserable who let the dogs out debacle with the black kids and how uncomfortable with arm and hand twitching the flip flopper looked and felt???

    July 11, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. ladyfon

    Well said Romney! Sounds like Senator Obama before he became president. Let's hope that if you become President, that you will stick to these promises.

    July 11, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. pkbkr

    Romney makes promises with no real solutions.....only says President Obama's ideas aren't working.....Robme may as well save his time and energy because Obama IS working for All Americans......Obama/Biden 2012

    July 11, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Jane

    And how do you expect to do such wonderful things...specifics please!

    July 11, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. kakaraka

    Yeah right, your policies and visions are cut food stamps, medicaid, social security, student loans for the poors and defund plan parenthood, teachers, firefighters and police officers, job held most by african americans. Give me a break. Your policies will make these folks suffer more.

    July 11, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Marry

    Boy, Romney really has no shame pandering! What has Romney EVER done that warrens such a speech written for him???? Nothing, zero!!! Compared with all the things he has done and promoted, this is an insult to all people who have followed and witnessed his life and interests (greed, money, power)! None of the things he mentioned have ever been a concern to a single member of the GOP during the last dozen years. He is clearly making fun of the concerns of the people!

    July 11, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Mikey

    "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"
    Isn't he pushing the same supply side, trickle down economic policies that led to stagnant wages for over 90% of the population. The bottom 90% saw income increase 1% over inflation in the 30 years since the Reagan revolution brought us "voodoo" economics as H.W. Bush famously called it. At the same time, the top 1% saw their incomes double even after adjusting for inflation.

    And before anyone starts whining about "class warfare", this has a huge impact on our economy. Dispite what the right screams about "job creators", it is demand that creates jobs. They are not created by business owners as some charity effort. In fact, businesses try to keep expenses as low as possible by triming any jobs they feel are unnecessary. They will only hire more when demand requires it. And consumers create that demand.

    July 11, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |

    "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"
    Ha!!! We do know who you are Willard Milton Romney. You're a flip-flopping, tax evading, job outsourcing, draft dodging, dressage watching, out of touch 1%er. You bellieve "corporations are people my friend", when majority of us disagree with you. You think the ACA is not in the best interest of the country. We disagree with you on that. You support the Ryan Budget. We don't!!! Take your double talk somewhere else.

    July 11, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. sonny chapman

    Mitt is right. So what's his plan for these real problems affecting ALL of America ? Tax Cuts & Deregulation. The Repub. answer to ALL Domestic problems. If it's a Foreign Policy issue, the Repub. answer is "Bomb 'Em".

    July 11, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Woman In California

    How will he address them as dogs again? I will give him slight credit for speaking with them but his policies will only gravitate towards helping the already rich gain more power and continue stepping on the least of us. Willard is not in this for the sake of helping Americans do better and improve their lives, he's in it because he strives to be a god which is in itself a direct abomination.

    I'll stay the course with the current president who is working to improve the lives of ALL Americans and not just the rich ones.

    July 11, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. The Film Professor

    Yessss... you chickens should elect the FOX. Vote for Foxie.

    July 11, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. Woman In California

    Should I be elected President, I’ll lead as I did when governor.

    No thank you. We all know how you "lead" and it would be wise to keep you as far away for the White House as possible.

    July 11, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. 23 from texas

    Nice speech. I wonder if he really means it. BO sure didn't.

    July 11, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Where is Mittens going to get the money to let poor children chose the school to attend? He has already promised to add $3 trillion to our debt, cut our programs for the poor, and start 2 new wars.

    July 11, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    Equal opportunity as in raiding companies and pocketing their employees' pension funds? Good grief, when is the media going to call out this liar for what he is – a liar. Is it on purpose, his lying, or does he really not know the truth. I can't believe someone this intelligent doesn't know the truth. I think he just avoids it, like he avoids paying taxes to the country which he wants to run. Unbelievable what passes as qualified for the GOP these days.

    July 11, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. GI Joe

    He lost their support Again - in just a 20 minute speech. Talk about a loser.

    July 11, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. CanadaONE

    While Canada harboured thousands of African Amercians when they tried to escape USA slavery Canada has just annouced that it will alot 1 BILLION to improve boarder security specfically trying to prevent GOP members from coming to Canada – Canadians see Republicans as the cause of the passed recesssion and want to avoid another depression – African Americans as per our long standing tradition are WELCOME in Canada

    GOP = Government Opposing the People

    July 11, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. Lemone

    I watched it and it was a flop just like he is

    July 11, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
1 2