Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney addressed the 103rd NAACP Annual Convention on Wed., July 11, in Houston.
The former Massachusetts governor drew boos from the crowd as he pledged to get rid of “every non-essential expensive program I can find”, namely “Obamacare”, but also do a better job at helping blacks than President Barack Obama: “If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you’re looking at him.”
In an interview with the Fox Business Network, Romney said he wasn’t surprised by the negative response he received from the NAACP: “Well, I think we expected that, but I’m going to give the same message to the NAACP that I give across the country, that Obamacare is killing jobs.”
He added that he had spoken with “a number of African-American leaders” who said:
‘A lot of folks don’t want to say they’re not going to be voting for Barack Obama, but they’re disappointed in his lack of policies to improve our schools, disappointed in urban policy, disappointed in the economy.’ The President has not been able to get the job done. People want to see someone who can get this economy going, so I expect to get the African-American votes, and by the way, at the end of my speech having a standing ovation was generous and hospitable on the part of the audience. And I believe that while we disagree on some issues, like Obamacare, on a lot of issues people see eye-to-eye.
At a fundraiser in Hamilton, Montana, on Wednesday evening, Romney told supporters: “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.”
Some analysts (and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) are suggesting Romney was hoping to get booed in order to appeal to racist voters. Some conservatives have doubted whether Romney would, in fact, work to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.