Mitt Romney (R) spoke at the NAACP's annual meeting today -- to "sustained" boos. Good thing newly minted Republican and ex-Alabamian Artur Davis had been busy lowering expectations for the appearance:
I suspect that Romney’s goal is ... to signal independent suburban whites that he is not a race-baiter,” Davis told TPM.
That's the new standard for Republicans when they deign to speak to black groups: Show you're not a race-baiter.
No need to actually try to convince African Americans that you care about middle class jobs, poverty, lack of health care, public education or the sky high rate of incarceration for black Americans, or that you have a clue of how to make any of that better. No need to try and ... you know ... win their votes or anything radical like that. Just go and be polite to show suburban white voters that you're not a race-baiter.
It's OK if the audience boos -- they booed Mitt Romney three times. Just get through it and show you're not a race-baiter.
[I]n his speech here before the NAACP, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee received the most hostile reception of his campaign so far and appeared visibly unsettled by three rounds of loud boos from audience members.
... Although Romney appeared surprised by the boos, his campaign advisers said they were not bothered by the reception he received. Indeed, they considered the speech gutsy.
That's how low the bar is. Republicans consider it "gutsy" when their candidates agree to speak before black audiences.
News flash, GOPers, reforming health care was "gutsy." Saving the US auto industry was "gutsy." Ditching don't ask, don't tell was "gutsy." Getting American troops out of Iraq was "gutsy." Deciding that we should stop deporting kids was "gutsy." Taking the responsibility for sending a team after Osama bin Laden was "gutsy." Change is "gutsy."
America has seen "gutsy," and it's not some rich, white guy standing in front of a black audience, delivering a speech full of platitudes, like this:
"If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him."
No wonder they booed. It's good that Davis set the bar so low, because Mitt Romney couldn't have hauled his conservative baggage over anything higher.
Remember, Romney opposed both the Obama stimulus and bridge loans for US automakers. The former lifted an estimated 1.3 million African Americans out of poverty and the latter saved thousands of middle class American jobs -- many of them held by African American workers.
Romney wants to return America to the same old failed Republican policies that got us into this mess in the first place. His take from the poor to give to the rich economic plan would raise taxes on over 2 million African American families -- including half of all African American children!! -- by rolling back expansions of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. Where would that money go? To fund a 25 percent tax cut for millionaires like himself. No kidding, this guy is a reverse Robin Hood and proud of it.
Mitt Romney would also slash investments in education. Result? Higher college costs for millions of African American students, nearly half of whom rely on Pell Grants. What about students in struggling public schools? Sorry. Mitt Romney won't spend a penny to improve those schools.
Worst of all, in a pander to his extreme right base, Romney is promising to repeal ObamaRomneyCare, which both creates jobs and assures an extra 7 million African Americans can get health insurance. And forget about Mitt and his Tea Party pals replacing ObamaCare. The health care policy of a Romney administration would be get rich or die. And yes, Mitt actually called the Affordable Care Act Obamacare in his speech to the NAACP. Can you hear the booing?
Yeah. "Not a race-baiter" is definitely the best Mitt Romney could hope to achieve with his "gutsy" appearance at the NAACP. And it's his own fault because he doesn't give a damn about addressing the real concerns of African Americans ... or ordinary, non-1% Americans of any color. He's lucky they didn't boo him even more.