Mitt Romney’s speech at the NAACP conference today keeps on giving. There was a brouhaha over this as a “Sister Souljah” moment as he was booed for 15 seconds by the crowd when he belched this well-planned statement:
“I’m going to eliminate every non-essential, expensive program I can find, that includes Obamacare…”
I thought this instant reaction on Twitter by Elon James White was for the win:
The fact is Mitt Romney isn’t trying to get Black Votes right now. He’s trying to show White folks “SEE! I TRIED!”?#mittNAACP?
But then the followup from Mitt Romney to this speech seemed so tone-deaf, even racist that it was hard to believe.
According to a pool report from Romney’s Hamilton, Montana fundraiser, he brought up the booing, and told donors “if they (Obamacare supporters) want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy – more free stuff. But don’t forget nothing is really free.”
This graphic ran during Rachel Maddow’s show, only underscored the impression that he was deeming the black audience supporting Obamacare as government freeloaders:
But let’s look at the full quote in context (it doesn’t make it much better, basically saying anyone for “Medicare for all” is a freeloader. Gee, it would be paid for by all of our tax dollars, no?):
“By the way, I had the privilege of speaking today at the NAACP convention in Houston and I gave them the same speech I am giving you. I don’t give different speeches to different audiences alright. I gave them the same speech. When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren’t happy, I didn’t get the same response. That’s ok, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine.
But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy – more free stuff. But don’t forget nothing is really free. it has to paid for by people in the private sector creating goods and services, and if people want jobs more than they want free stuff from government, then they are going to have to get government to be smaller. And if they don’t want to repeal Obamacare they are going to have to give me some other stuff they are thinking about cutting, but my list takes Obamacare off first and I have a lot of other things I am thinking of cutting.”
As Mediaite reported, regardless of the full quote, this event now can’t be seen as net plus Team Romney.
This will probably help Romney with certain segments of the Republican base, but the broader electorate may well react negatively to the contemptuous attitude he displays toward people who support health care reform, who simply want the insurance that they pay for to actually cover them and their loved ones when they need it to.
But that doesn’t put away the race card Romney dealt. How pathetic is it that he had to bring in his own Negroes to the event to cheer him on and mingle with so he didn’t have to meet with the NAACP rank and file? PoliticusUSA:
Many of Romney’s claims were debunked by Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy and the Director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP, Hilary Shelton who said that the only African Americans Romney met with after his speech were those that he brought with him. Mr. Shelton explained that Mitt Romney flew in his own African-American supporters who were not affiliated with the NAACP, in order to have some people in the crowd cheering for him.
Here’s the video from MSNBC:
Romney did not meet with any of the convention rank and file after his speech, and only met with the African-Americans that he planted in the crowd.
This isn’t the first time that Mitt Romney has had to bring his own supporters with him. On numerous occasions during the Republican primary the Romney campaign bused in Mormon college students to fill out the candidate’s crowds