Republican challenger Mitt Romney told the gathering at the NAACP convention that his presidency would be better for black families than Barack Obama’s, but when Romney said he was intent on repealing Obamacare to create more jobs, the crowd erupted in boos.
Romney stopped momentarily and waited about 15 seconds for the booing to subside before he continued, veering from his prepared remarks to talk about a Chamber of Commerce survey in which he said three-quarters of business leaders claim Obamacare would make them less likely to hire people.
For the most part Romney was received respectfully by the overwhelmingly African-American crowd in Houston until he went in on Obamacare. Romney even took a swipe at Obama for declining to address the convention by saying he would come back to speak to the NAACP if elected. Obama is sending Vice President Biden to speak to the convention tomorrow.
“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 during his remarks in Houston.
“My campaign is about helping the people who need help. The course the president has set has not done that—and will not do that,” Romney said. “My course will.”
As expected, Romney talked to the crowd about the economy and about education, two issues that his campaign believed would resonate with black voters.
“If equal opportunity in America were an accomplished fact, then a chronically bad economy would be equally bad for everyone,” Romney said. “Instead, it’s worse for African Americans in almost every way.”
He pointed to the 14.4 percent unemployment rate among blacks, as well as average income and median family wealth being worse for black families.
Romney said he would provide federal funds to allow parents more of a choice in where they send their kids, whether it be a public or private school or a charter school. “I will be a champion of real education reform in America, and I won’t let any special interest get in my way,” he said.