It’s not easy for a Republican presidential candidate to address a traditionally liberal organization that represents a more than 90 percent Democratic community. Some might argue Republicans shouldn’t bother. But I liked the way Mitt Romney handled himself when speaking to the NAACP convention.
Romney has gained — and indeed earned — a reputation for telling audiences what they want to hear. He was ruthlessly satirized in a Saturday Night Live skit that portrayed him as telling a group of diabetics that if he could have any disease, he would choose adult onset diabetes. That’s how Romney has come to be viewed by many Americans.
Today Romney told the NAACP he would repeal Obamacare (and he called it Obamacare). He also said that the president’s economic policies had failed to create jobs and increase wages, and that they would continue to fail. In both cases, he was booed. In both cases, he stood his ground. Romney challenged the booing crowd by citing a Chamber of Commerce survey showing that Obamacare was hurting job creation. And anything that damages jobs and growth disproportionately harms the black community.
Romney has a long way to go, and perhaps this crowd was paradoxically safer because it contained so few swing voters. But Romney isn’t exactly known for his willingness to communicate unpopular truths. He deserves credit for doing so here.
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