Why Romney's NAACP Speech Was One of the Smartest Political Moves of Our Time
Bert Atkinson Jr. | On 11, Jul 2012
[Video at the end of the article - worthwhile.]
Mitt Romney made a very strong move by speaking before the NAACP today, and an even stronger move by not changing or avoiding his stance to repeal ObamaCare in front of that crowd.
“If our goal is jobs, we have to stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we take in every year. So to do that, I’m going to eliminate every non-essential, expensive program I can find. That includes ObamaCare,” Romney said before the crowd unleashed a cascade of boos.
Making a speech to an audience consisting of one of the most well-known and established civil rights groups that shows an overwhelming amount of support for the incumbent President Obama is no easy task, but Mitt Romney was up to it and showed that he is willing to reach out to those who disagree with him. He heard boos and the crowd jeered him as he explicitly voiced his opposition to many Obama policies on energy, trade, the size of government, education, and the economy, but he didn’t budge on his stances or cater to the crowd just for the sake of political pandering (like his opponent has been known to do.)
“The president will say he will do those things, but he will not, he cannot, and his record of the last four years proves it,” Romney told the booing crowd. He added, “If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him.”
Why would that crowd boo him? President Obama’s policies haven’t worked for them; Romney pointed out that African American unemployment just went up from 13.6% to 14.4% last month. Whatever Obama has done for them clearly hasn’t worked. They should have been cheering.
And their go-to guy, the president himself, isn’t even speaking to the NAACP to explain why their unemployment went up. Instead, Obama’s official foot-taster Joe Biden will attempt to not make a gaffe for them. Some leadership, ey? That alone should be a slap in the face to the crowd who played a gigantic part in even getting him into the Oval Office in the first place.
But how important will this be for Romney? For the black vote, it isn’t very important; he is not likely to earn much of their support. But this speech set a precedent for Romney – he is not about to change his mind about this economy and he will not cater to those who hold different views just for the sake of getting their votes. The tenacity he showed will likely appeal to independent voters undecided about which candidate to support. Many independents want to see a leader – not a talking head.
Say what you will about Romney; talk about his same-sex marriage stances; bring up RomneyCare; show Youtube videos of him calling the individual mandate a penalty/fine/tax; do whatever you want, but at the end of the day the guy has done very little during this campaign outside of having laser-like focus on the economy.
Romney branded himself today as the ‘The Serious Adult’ candidate. He didn’t avoid talking about ObamaCare or any other topic just because he knew the crowd wouldn’t like it. He acted like a leader.
“He wasn’t speaking to the NAACP audience at all,” Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed said. “To his base it will make him look strong, but he never stands up to anybody else.”
So what? Obama’s teleprompter has been telling him to tout the black hole mystery magical “Hope” and “Change” for going on five years now – where has that gotten us? Romney told the crowd what they’ve needed to hear.
The NAACP ended up giving Romney a standing ovation at the end of his speech. A standing ovation may not equate to votes, but it shows that people are responsive to strong leadership qualities. People want and need a leader that will say what should be said regardless of whether or not it is popular. He spoke to a group that he knew he couldn’t win over, remained strong on his stance to repeal ObamaCare, and branded himself as a ‘The Serious Adult’ candidate that will remain strong in the face of opposition. That’s exactly the kind of leadership this country needs right now, and this speech in the face of adversity may just turn out to be one of the smartest political moves we have seen in a very long time.
I highly recommend watching this video: