Mitt Romney was probably prepared for a skeptical crowd at the NAACP conference today. Since he has little support in the black community as a candidate, this appearance was for show — to get the media to cover this as brave, “entering the lion’s den,” whatever. He focused on the economy since things like social justice, voter ID aren’t part of the GOP battle plan. But when it came to Obamacare, no one was having it (via HuffPo).
Mitt Romney was booed Wednesday at the NAACP conference for promising to repeal the president’s signature health care reform law, bringing him to an awkward halt in the middle of an otherwise civilly-received pitch for black voters. It was an awkward moment that forced him to go off script, after giving a somewhat pained smile as the booing continued. “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 –” Romney said before being interrupted for about 15 seconds.
Oopsie. It didn’t get better as he reiterated his belief in discrimination against gay and lesbian couples and marriage equality when he said “As president, I will promote strong families and defend traditional marriage.” You’ll recall that a couple of months ago the NAACP board of directors passed a resolution on the freedom to marry. Romney also lobbed this out there:
“With 90 percent of African-Americans voting for Democrats, some of you may wonder why a Republican would bother to campaign in the African American community, and to address the NAACP,” Romney said. “Of course, one reason is that I hope to represent all Americans, of every race, creed or sexual orientation, from the poorest to the richest and everyone in between.”
This is how the Log Cabin Republicans spun his appearance:
“With his opening remarks to the NAACP today, Governor Romney sent a message that he recognizes the importance of an inclusive Republican vision for victory in November. He deserves credit for taking the step to include sexual orientation by name,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “That said, it is unfortunate that he countered his outreach to gay and lesbian Americans with a gratuitous attack on the freedom to marry. If Governor Romney truly desires to represent all Americans, Log Cabin Republicans encourages him to avoid divisive social issues and focus on jobs and the economy.”
But let’s get back to that economic message. Romney boldly claimed that he’ll make things better for blacks than Obama will…I don’t think he sold anyone on that either.
Is Romney’s plan really going to benefit the people he spoke before today? As Think Progress reports, more than two million black households would actually face a tax hike under Romney’s plan.
Romney has touted his tax plan as good for the middle class, with tax cuts for everyone. But while millionaires would indeed get a giant tax cut — worth hundreds of thousands of dollars — more than two million African-American working class families would lose their current tax credits for children and earned income.
I’m sure the booing will get the desired result for the GOP base that gets riled up at the Uppity Negroes at any turn. The open question is how does this appearance go over with independents and moderates. Will Romney’s appearance mean anything vs. the lack of the President’s presence at the NAACP convention?