Mitt Romney gave a speech at the NAACP promising to overturn “Obamacare,” and got booed. Then he went to Montana and
said suggested so strongly that his meaning could not be mistaken that the black people booed him because they wanted “free stuff.”
Rightbloggers hadn’t been too enthusiastic about Romney before, suspecting that the father of Romneycare was not a true conservative, but this episode seems to have won their little white hearts.
Before the speech, some black folks thought it would a good thing for Romney to address the 103-year-old civil rights institution and primary black political organization in America. “Republicans need to understand that speaking on issues that black folks care about, and offering substantive policies and not just happy talk, can lead to success,” said CNN’s Roland Martin. The Miami Herald‘s Leonard Pitts Jr. suggested Romney tell the NAACP, “Today, I serve notice that we [Republicans] intend to do something we have not done for more than 50 years: compete for your votes.
Well, it was a nice thought. Romney made his speech, got booed for about 15 seconds for his Obamacare crack and less intensely at other points, and was otherwise treated with respect and given a standing ovation at the end.
Most rightbloggers were pleased, either because they thought Romney had made his case convincingly, or because they thought Romney had told off a bunch of black people.
If the booing looked bad, many agreed, that would be the fault of the media.
“Romney Gets Standing Ovation From NAACP, But CNN Calls Reception ‘Very Negative,'” reported Matt Hadro of NewsBusters.
“Lapdog Media play up NAACP boos for Romney, ignore applause for support of traditional marriage,” said Michelle Malkin’s alternative Twitter reality Twitchy. Also excited by this: Breitbart’s John Nolte (“MEDIA COVERS UP NAACP APPLAUSE FOR ROMNEY’S OPPOSITION TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGE”) and Matt Barber (“NAACP AND THE WHITE SEXUAL ANARCHISTS”).
DrewM of Ace of Spades said there were a lot of times Romney didn’t get booed, but “of course, the media will not be focusing on that.” He seemed particularly enraged at ABC News for mentioning the Mormon Church’s well-known lateness to the civil rights party: “If fathers and religion are on the table,” he snarled, “I look forward to discussing the polygamy of Barack Obama Sr. and the racism of Jeremiah Wright.” Sure, DrewM, go ahead.
“There’s another thing the media is ignoring,” said neo-neocon: “The record of Romney’s father George on civil rights for black people was very — how shall I put it? — progressive.” Indeed, George Romney was pro-civil-rights; he also turned against the Vietnam War (something his son never did, unless you count his draft avoidance), and was the sort of Republican rightbloggers long ago ran out the party.
Many gave Romney credit for even trying to talk to those people in the first place.
Robert Stacy McCain cheered Romney as “unafraid to speak up unapologetically for core Republican principles even when speaking to a hostile audience.” “He went off-script and doubled down,” said Pundit & Pundette. “Kudos to Mitt for choosing principles over pandering.” “Amid boos and groans, he got in their faces,” giggled Joseph Curl at the Washington Times.
“I’ve never been a fan of Romney’s and I am a very reluctant supporter now,” said Sister Toldjah, but once she heard “about the disrespectful, closed-minded reception he got from a group of people who claim to want Americans to look beyond skin color but who themselves say if you don’t support black liberals then you must be a racist who wants to take us back to the Jim Crow era,” she was transported: Now, she affirmed “I give him props for going into the lion’s den.”
“Romney has gained — and indeed earned — a reputation for telling audiences what they want to hear,” said W. James Antle III at The American Spectator, but at the NAACP “he stood his ground” — though Antle III did allow as how “perhaps this crowd was paradoxically safer because it contained so few swing voters.” Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations!
Antle III later reiterated that Romney “stood his ground.” Debra Saunders of Real Clear Politics agreed: “When the crowd booed, he stood his ground.” “Give Mitt Romney credit for going into the NAACP Lions’ Den,” said Clarence McKee at NewsMax. “He stood his ground…” “Mitt Romney Stands His Ground While Booed During NAACP Address,” cried Taylor Marsh. Boy, Romney sounds like a regular George Zimmerman.
After this, the booing was just the icing on Romney’s angel food cake.
“We can see a smile break out on Romney’s face, and for good reason,” said Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. “This [booing] gives him all sorts of instant credibility on the Right and in the middle.”
“It was nice to see Romney not give into the temptation to leave out things he knew would be surefire boo-bird magnets and subsequent MSM takeaways,” cheered Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin.
Some thought it wasn’t Romney’s job to please his NAACP audience anyway, but rather their job to please Romney, and they had failed.
“If nothing else,” sulked Darleen Click of Protein Wisdom, “Romney has demonstrated how so many American blacks are willing to betray the work of the Civil Rights movement in order to be taken care of by Master in the Big White House.”
“NAACP boos Romney, shames itself,” tut-tutted Tom Robberson at the Dallas Morning News. “When the NAACP boos Romney as he’s speaking, they demean the political process and they send a strong message to Republicans: Don’t even try to talk to us because we’re not going to listen. That’s how you write yourself off the political agenda and guarantee that your issues receive back-burner status should the opposition make it into the White House or Congress.” Don’t come crying to Tom Robberson if President Romney brings back poll taxes, black people!
“The NAACP also didn’t do itself any favors by booing Romney’s earnest and unobjectionable promise to ‘make things better in the African American community,'” said Alana Goodman of Commentary. Why, it’s like they don’t trust him or something.
Similarly mystified was The Lonely Conservative: “It’s almost like black Americans have been conditioned to refuse to hear any message other than one of dependency and despair,” he said.
American and Proud, calling the NAACP “leading racist organization in the nation,” was juiced. “If Romney would have came in and promised them reparations, unemployment benefits for life even if you’ve never had a job and free healthcare they still wouldn’t be voting for the white guy. It would be different if it were two white or black guys duking it out for the nomination. It’s not. So paint job wins.”
A&P also said, “one of the things I wish he’d have said is ‘This is a sting, the officers in the back will be booking you into detention…'” Bet they can’t even take a joke, neither!
“Once again, the NAACP reveals itself to be a radical, Left-wing group,” growled Freedom Eden. “They did the wrong thing – AGAIN. The NAACP wasn’t always like that, but it is now.” Maybe when they started letting black people in?
“The NAACP has lost whatever moral standing it once had, and now is merely another left-wing pressure group,” sniffed John Hinderaker at Power Line. “Making what comes off as a pilgrimage to ask for that organization’s approval tends to legitimize it, and it is hard to see what good can result.”
“The group supports the usual government transfer programs that lead to permanent dependency,” the Wall Street Journal explained, “rather than the empowerment that is the only path to advancement for the black poor. That’s why Mr. Romney was booed.”
The Journal then suggested Romney go “directly to the neighborhoods that need education reform and more economic uplift.” The Journal‘s predicted outcome — “the comfortable elites at the NAACP will never support a Republican. The people who understand the hardship of the status quo just might” — seems far-fetched, but we would certainly pay money to see Romney in, say, East New York, asking folks where they prepped.
We’d also pay to see this, suggested by Katz’ Porch: “Do black voters really need to hear an African-American voice, a funky beat, and some soul singing to want to vote for Obama? What if the Romney campaign did this?”
“He was at ease, genuine and aggressive in a way I’ve never seen him before,” said Conservative Black Chick. “‘If you want a president, who will make things better in the black community, you are looking at him,’ Romney roared… I think the NAACP crowd thought to themselves, ‘maybe you’re right, maybe you’re just right.'”
Who knows what’s in the hearts of men? But maybe Romney’s aggressiveness wasn’t really pitched to the people sitting directly in front of him.
The candidate told Neil Cavuto, “I think we expected that [booing]” and, later, told a crowd at a fundraiser about the booing and added, “”Remind them of this: if they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff…”
Meanwhile, Matt Drudge put it around that Romney was considering Bush Secretary of State Condi Rice as his vice-presidential choice.
Media outlets raced to explain “4 reasons Mitt Romney won’t pick Condi Rice,” or offer “Proof” he wouldn’t. Others merely asked “Is Condoleezza Rice a Frontrunner to Be Romney’s VP?” or told us “Why Condoleezza Rice Would Make A Great Pick For Mitt’s VP.”
The Daily Beast reported that Drudge “Again Rules the Media” because his “Condi Rice item went viral despite its utter implausibility.” Indeed, the idea that the pro-choice, Bush-tained Rice would run for Veep — even after Rice herself denied it — was so off-the-wall that Hot Air’s Allahpundit suggested it was “a red herring deliberately leaked by Team Mitt to draw the media away from today’s Bain storyline.”
But Breitbart’s Charles C. Johnson was “convinced Romney will choose Condi Rice for the vice presidency,” in part because “naming Rice protects Romney from the race question… Romney’s statement that blacks would vote for him if they knew what was ‘in his heart’ was the foreshadowing. By picking Rice, the thinking goes, he’ll show what’s in his heart.”
Sure, why not? And failing that, he can just insult Rice to her face and wait for the kudos to roll in.