Mitt Romney's Hidden NAACP Audience
Political speeches have applause lines and "boo" lines. Which reaction do you think
Why, many wondered, would the Republican presidential candidate antagonize his audience members in an otherwise cordial visit? Perhaps it was because his real target audience was not in the room.
That became clear shortly after the speech, when Romney told a Fox Business Network interviewer that he had "expected" the crowd's negative reaction. In other words, this campaign stop was not about wooing the
It was about, one, presenting a friendly face to swing voters watching through the media and, two, reassuring his party's conservative base that he wasn't afraid to confront Obama's liberal supporters on their home turf.
"I am going to give the same message to the
And Romney was even more direct in the even friendlier confines of a
That's how you connect with a crowd that views government-provided access to health care for millions of uninsured Americans is just another giveaway to freeloaders. No wonder he doesn't mention "Romneycare."
Romney also was booed for this nugget. "If you want a president who will make things better for the African American community," Romney declared proudly, "you're looking at him." This time the reaction sounded mixed: some boos, some applause and some bemused laughter -- as if to say, "You're not serious, right?"
But, all kidding aside, I give Romney credit for showing up to speak to the nation's oldest civil rights organization. His 24-minute speech received two respectful standing ovations and more than a dozen outbursts of polite applause from the very liberal crowd.
That's because he did manage to present a few constructive ideas to fight poverty, like school choice, free enterprise and marriage. Unfortunately, he stopped short on details as to how a Romney White House might implement those good ideas into action.
That's Romney's dilemma: He's a man whose past as a governor shows a clear record of using government to help people's lives. Now he must appeal to a Republican base that views government as a problem.
In that pursuit, conspicuously absent from Romney's speech was any mention of the R-word, racism. Fellow conservative President
Romney's most poignant moment came near the end of his speech as he remembered his father, Michigan's former Gov.
The elder Romney spoke out against segregation, marched arm-in-arm with
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Mitt Romney's Hidden NAACP Audience | Politics
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