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NAACP Official: Romney ‘Flew In’ His Own Blacks to Cheer NAACP Speech

An official with the NAACP suggested that Republican challenger Mitt Romney brought his own black supporters to the NAACP speech yesterday to give the appearance that NAACP members were applauding him. And when Romney later told Fox News that black people at the event gave him a standing ovation and said in a private meeting they would vote for him because of dissatisfaction with Obama, they were actually his own people, the official suggested.

The revelation was made on MSNBC’s “Ed Show” by Hilary Shelton, Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy and the Director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP, who said Romney flew in black conservatives to stand up at the end of his speech, allowing Romney to claim he got a standing ovation.

“I spoke with a number of African-American leaders after the event and they said, you know a lot of folks don’t want to say they’re not going to be voting for Barack Obama, but they’re disappointed in his lack of policies to improve our schools,” Romney said in an appearance on Fox, where he said he expected to get booed by the crowd and he also claimed he got a standing ovation. “Disappointed in urban policies, disappointed in the economy. 14.4% rate of unemployment among African-Americans today. The president has not been able to get the job done. People want to see someone who can get the economy going, so I expect to get African-American votes.”

Hilary Shelton told MSNBC host Ed Schultz that the only African Americans Romney met with after his speech were those that he brought with him. He never met with any NAACP members. So while he wasn’t explicitly lying about meeting with black leaders at the convention, either he or somebody on his campaign knew that he was intentionally misleading Fox viewers.

Many analysts have also questioned Romney’s motives behind going to the NAACP convention and purposely inciting the crowd by referring to the healthcare plan as “Obamacare,” a term originated among conservatives and intended to be derogatory name-calling, and saying he would try to repeal it. In a piece on The Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky suggested that Romney sought the boos to excite his base of conservative white voters.

“That speech wasn’t to the NAACP. It was to Rush Limbaugh. It was to Tea Party Nation. It was to Fox News,” Tomasky wrote. “You don’t go into the NAACP and use the word “Obamacare” and think that you’re not going to hear some boos. It’s a heavily loaded word, and Romney and his people know very well that liberals and the president’s supporters consider it an insult. He and his team had to know those boos were coming…Romney and team obviously concluded that a little shower of boos was perfectly fine because the story ‘Romney Booed at NAACP’ would jazz up their (very white) base…We learned a great deal about Mitt Romney yesterday, and what we learned only adds to the picture of this little, plastic fellow who thinks he can get points from white moderates (as explained by an aide to BuzzFeed) by appearing at the NAACP while generating high-fives on the white right for rubbing dirt in the faces of its members while there.”

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29 thoughts on “NAACP Official: Romney ‘Flew In’ His Own Blacks to Cheer NAACP Speech

  1. Why is "Obamacare" considered a derogatory term for the health care act? Isn't Obama the one who called for, promoted, and signed into law the Affordable [LOL] Healthcare Act? It is laughable that Tomasky wrote this and accused Romney of purposefully using the term in a accusatory way. Is using the nomiker " Bush Tax Cuts" derogatory? "Obamacare" is simply a descriptive term referring to the healthcare bill signed under President Obama, as the "Bush Tax Cuts" refers to the tax cuts promoted and signed into law under President George W. Bush. "Heavily loaded word" my eye! It is what it is? Or doesn't President Obama wish to claim this costly, ineffective bill? I don't blame him!

  2. Courtney Masella says:

    Actually, Obama does claim it and uses it widely, including on his campaign's bumper stickers. While you are throwing around "loaded words" I'd say " ineffective" is the most loaded one you've used. I bet you're someone who has great healthcare through your or your spouse's employer so while Obamacare may be ineffective to you, to millions of people it will be life saving. What people were booing at was that he said he would repeal it, and his condescending tone. And what's really laughable is that Romney said people were disappointed with Obama's policies to improve our schools and the economy. Romney has offered NO policies on these other than to eliminate TEACHERS and Firefighters, and if his record is any indication, maybe outsource some of those jobs too.

  3. John Mosey says:

    Hateful, political drivel.

  4. Shawn Gealow says:

    Welcome to politics, where everything's made up and the promises don't matter!

  5. While I don't doubt Mitt the flip Romney would do this, I just don't care. We haven't had a good president since the Clinton era (while he was not perfect, he was an excellent president).

    It's sad what our political system has turned into, over the last 30 years the Dems have moved to the center right instead of the left, and the repubs have moved, well, basically into the nutt house ever since they lost control of their party to the billionairs.

    But since I will have to pick between the lesser of two idiots this year, it will be Obama once again.

  6. Why? You don't think Romney brought in his own supporters? I guarantee he did it. It's a staple of Tea Party/Republican politics. When Mitt can show anything of substance that he'd do other than creating the highest unemployment rate in Massachusetts' history, maybe we'd have something to listen to other than whatever he thinks people want to hear.

  7. Why does this have to be turned into a race issue? Why is everything always about race? I am white, I am conservative, I will vote for Romney, but it has nothing to do with racial issues. Why does this article associate racism with conservatism. Also, notice the yellow journalism. The article starts out as saying an official in the NAACP posited that Romney planted audience members, but warps to saying that Romney only met with the blacks that he brought with him. It begins as a theory, and warps to a fact.

  8. Benjamin Skott says:

    Romney gave pretty much the same speech he gives everywhere. You seem to be implying that black people should be treated differently, coddled, hidden from what Romney wants to do if elected. I thought treating all races the same was the idea, but apparently you're supposed to dumb things down for black people, not say anything they might no like?

    Isn't that a racist sentiment? Do you think your own people are that stupid and easily fooled?

  9. Imani Edmond says:

    Should we honestly even be surprised by this?

  10. Micah Jasuta says:

    you're the one who implied anything about "dumbing down," therefore the racist sentiment began (and hopefully ends) with you. romney's known for pandering to his audiences, this is why people hypothesize that by not pandering to the african american audience he was seeking their dissent to strengthen his (racist) base. maybe you're the one who needs it "dumbed down"

  11. Benjamin Skott says:

    So you are saying that for Romney to treat the black audience like any other audience is racist, but to change his speech specifically for them is not racist? Oh, and I didn't imply anything, I straight out said it. Perhaps you read the dumbed-down version of the dictionary?

    The real reason people hypothesize that Romney had some secret evil plan to give the same speech he gives to everyone is because they knock everything Romney does. It has little to do with the truth, however.

  12. Michael Hill says:

    MaryEllen Pawlowicz is on Romney's payroll and is a paid hack.

  13. Carol Wolf says:

    Mitt Romney "has his own blacks?" Isn't that a little retro, even for him?

  14. Maryanna Price says:

    You need to have more than one speech for more than one audience. That's day one, chapter one of public speaking.

  15. I wonder if he has his own Gays?

  16. Benjamin Skott says:

    You should say what you mean, no matter who the audience is. That's day one, chapter one, of being honest and having integrity. And I'll take politicians with honesty and integrity over a pandering public speaker any day.

  17. Elizabeth Platt says:

    Oh, get real. There's not a single politician on this PLANET who doesn't spin his/her message based on the audience. If you want people to vote for you, you tell them what you stand for in a way that will get them to behave as you wish them to behave. Yes, it's manipulative, and yes, it lacks integrity. But, as is quite obvious when you look at the "leaders" we have in Congress today, it clearly works.

  18. Micah Jasuta says:

    when did I say any of that? all I said is that you are racist.

  19. Chris Knipe says:

    Because we don't call 9/11 "the day that Bush let us down" and because we dont call the Iraq and afghanistan wars "Bush's Failed Mission". It's just the polite thing to do.

  20. Courtney Masella When Romney and other Republicans talk about improving schools it is code for de-funding public education and promoting PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT, and CHURCH schools. Their objective is an educational system that is like their vision (sic) of every sector: Money = speech, money = votes, money = education. In other words, student debt is not sufficiently crippling for them, and the poor and middle class don't deserve education because they are not rich enough to pay usurous interest on loans. This is in keeping with their core concept that only the chosen (by them) children of the 1% should be fully educated, and even that education has to be controlled by their thought police. That needs to be the discussion.

  21. Hope he paid them union scale!

  22. Ben Oz says:


  23. Jude Bourff says:

    Stephen Miller He used to, but the base didn't like it, so they quit, remember?

  24. Dwight Pargee says:

    we should be calling it the BushDebt though

  25. Michael Beaton says:

    So I suppose "freedom fries" is an acceptable term for 'french fries'? Don't believe what the 'Lame-stream Media says.

  26. Charles W Barnes says:

    Aha. So this official identified everyone who clapped, and after research, determined that each of them was actually on Romney's guest list. Whether that's true or not, the fact that this official is monitoring each individual in the audience this closely if creepy as hell. Gotta make sure political uniformity is maintained I guess.

  27. Micah Jasuta You're unhinged or stupid if you can't see what a ludicrous statement he made. Romney bringing his own blacks? Ideologues can be so so dumb.

  28. Bernard Baum says:

    Michael Hill : Explain "paid hack" since that is the coupe de grace and indeed ONLY reason for you why MaryEllen Pawlowicz 's valid , well provided reasoning is anything but .

  29. Carol Wolf says:

    He has "his own blacks?" Isn't that a little retro, even for him?

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