Candidate Welcomed Not Embraced
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney outlined why he believes black America should support him during an address Wednesday in Houston before the National Convention of the NAACP. It was a difficult sell to an African American crowd that is still celebrating the nation’s first black president.
Several of Romney’s statements were met with loud negative outbursts from the Houston crowd. One of the loudest came when he suggested that the presidential candidate best for America’s black community was him
"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," Romney said.
Several times Mitt Romney was booed by the crowd. Nothing drew a more negative reaction than when the former governor said he would end “Obamacare” the first day in office.
Without missing a beat Romney went on to say, "If I am president, job one for me will be creating jobs. I have no hidden agenda. If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him."
While 95 percent of blacks backed President Barack Obama in 2008, few political insiders believe that Romney will sway black voters by speaking at this year’s NAACP convention. Most agree that the perception that the candidate was reaching out to the minority community might be more valuable to undecided voters.
Obama spoke to the group during his 2008 campaign, as did his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain. Obama doesn't plan to speak this year – instead, Vice President Joe Biden will address the annual convention on Thursday. Obama plans to address the Urban League later this month.
In closing, Romney said despite the likelihood that most black Americans will vote for President Obama, he seeks to represent 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. 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."
Listen to Mitt Romney’s complete address here: