Wednesday Jul 11, 201205:33 PM GMT
Romney booed by NAACP as he jabs Obama, healthcare
Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:32PM
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Mitt Romney during the NAACP annual convention in Houston on July 11, 2012.

 

Mitt Romney was booed Wednesday at the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) 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.

 

"You know, there was a survey of the Chamber of Commerce -- they carried out a survey of their members, about 1,500 surveyed, and uh, they asked them what effect Obamacare would have on their plans, and three-quarters of them said it made them less likely to hire people," he said when the booing stopped. "So I say, again, that if our priority is jobs, and that's my priority, that's something I'd change and replace."

 

Romney wasn't entering a crowd that was likely to be convinced: a vast majority of black voters went for President Barack Obama in 2008. Still, Romney made an attempt to tout his policies and say they would better serve the black community on education, unemployment and traditional marriage.

 

For the most part, the audience was quiet and polite, applausing at points and listening to his pitch. He explained why he made the appearance by saying he understands the importance of all Americans.

 

"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." Huffington Post

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

He faced another round of boos when he criticized President Barack Obama, who won 95% of the black vote in 2008 on the way to becoming the first African-American U.S. president and expects high support again in the November election. National Post

 

"I know the president will say he's going to do those things, but he has not, he will not, he cannot, and his last four years in the White House prove it, definitively," Romney said. "My agenda is not to put in place a series of policies that get me a lot of attention and applause. I do not have a hidden agenda and I submit to you this--if you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him. You take a look." US News

 

According to his campaign, Romney is "committed to competing in the black community despite the odds." On Wednesday, he stressed to the audience that he's not "presuming" anyone's support. CBS

 

"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," he said. "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." CBS

 

KA/ARA

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