Watch Mitt Romney’s speech to the NAACP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney today addressed the 103rd annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Houston, and major media outlets are making much of the booing he received there.

An excerpt:

“Now, as you may have heard from my opponent, I am also a believer in the free-enterprise system. I believe it can bring change where so many well-meaning government programs have failed. I’ve never heard anyone look around an impoverished neighborhood and say, ‘You know, there’s just too much free enterprise around here. Too many shops, too many jobs, too many people putting money in the bank.’ What you hear, of course, is how do we bring in jobs? How do we make good, honest employers want to move in, stay in? And with the shape the economy is in today, we’re asking that question more and more. Free enterprise is still the greatest force for upward mobility, economic security, and the expansion of the middle class. We have seen in recent years what it’s like to have less free enterprise. As president, I will show the good things that can happen when we have more free enterprise – more business activity, more jobs, more opportunity, more paychecks, more savings accounts. On Day One, I will begin turning this economy around with a plan for the middle class. And I don’t just mean for those who are middle class now – I also mean for those who have waited so long for their chance to join the middle class.”

“We are pleased that Governor Romney addressed our convention today,” NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock said in a statement issued after the speech. “This morning Governor Romney laid out his policy agenda for this nation. Unfortunately, much of his agenda is at odds with what the NAACP stands for – whether the issue is equal access to affordable health care, reforming our education system or the path forward on marriage equality. We appreciate that he was courageous and took the opportunity to speak with us directly.”

NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, formerly of Alameda, agreed that “(w)hile we are glad that Governor Romney recognized the power of the black electorate, he laid out an agenda that was antithetical to many of our interests. His criticism of the Affordable Care Act – legislation that will improve access to quality health care for millions – signals his fundamental misunderstanding of the needs of many African Americans.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • JohnW

    The TV and cable news people really distorted this with their sound bites.


    It was a pretty good speech, making his case as to why they should consider voting for him.

    He was warmly greeted with a standing ovation when introduced.

    He received polite applause numerous times throughout the speech.

    The only booing was when he stupidly used the term “ObamaCare” when referring to the health care law and one other time when his remarks about Obama were more appropriate for a stump speech than for an NAACP event.

    Willie Brown and other pundits have said he deliberately taunted the overwhelmingly pro-Obama NAACP crowd with the “Obamacare” term to feed red meat to the right wing base. After watching the whole speech, I don’t see it that way.

  • Elwood

    News flash: Obama leads Romney among black voters.

    In other news, bear scat has been found in the woods!

  • Publius

    The real news is not the content of the speech, but it’s location. Barrack Obama got over 90% of the black vote in 2008. With unemployment for blacks over 14% Barrack will suprisingly get over 90% again. Mitt’s team knows this and still accepted the invitation to speak. Mitt took an unpopular message into the heart of the lion’s den. To me this act displayed courage. Regardless of race and class, Mitt spoke the same rhetoric to the NAACP as he would to a Tea Party gathering. Mitt showed a Presidential quality of wanting to find a common thread that unites all Americans, a far cry to what we have in the White House today.

  • moderate voter

    When Mitt’s career comes under the microscope more voters will learn that he’s made his living – a fabulous living – buying companies, laying off workers, cutting the hours and pay of existing workers, and eliminating health care for workers. By getting rid of workers, cutting hours, and reducing benefits the stock prices of these companies he buys go through roof and stockholders and management “clean up”. But many of the laid off workers go on unemployment, food stamps, welfare, and so forth which increases the deficit and contributes to a widening gulf between the haves and have nots in the US. Mitt himself has been so successful at this he’s now worth hundred’s of millions of dollars, he has homes all over the place, yachts, private airplanes, and so forth. In fact, Mitt’s whole career is based on eliminating middle class jobs – he’s a middle class jobs terminator – so I think it unlikely he will be elected President when more voters learn about the curious way he makes money. Mitt’s a smiling Gordon Kecko, nobody’s job will “safe” if we allow this guy to become president.

  • Elwood

    Way to toe the dimmiecrat party line talking points there motor voter.

    As for me, I’d rather have a guy who’s been successful in business than a brokeass community organizer who never had a real job in his life, let alone met a payroll.