Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was booed for a prolonged period Wednesday when he boldly made an appearance at the NAACP annual conference in Houston.
The reason? Romney pledged that he would repeal the president’s signature health care reform law, derisively referred to as Obamacare by President Obama’s enemies, and the declaration brought the civil speech to a screeching halt followed by a pregnant pause.
“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, a lifetime for speakers before a large body of individuals.
Romney then went off script to try to quell the mushrooming noise and get his speech back on course.
“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 friendly confines to begin with, but at least the GOP candidate did something the previous administration did not. George W. Bush did not make an appearance before any of the major national civil rights organization during his eight years in office. That gesture notwithstanding by Romney, the vast majority of black voters went for President Barack Obama in 2008 and most likely will repeat that. Still, Romney made an attempt at the Houston conference to tout his policies and say they would better serve the black community on education, unemployment and traditional marriage.
“If you’re looking for a president who will make things better for the African American community, you’re looking at him.”