“If you are looking for a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you’re looking at him.”
This is what Mitt Romney said to his audience at the NAACP convention today in Texas: A hilarious declaration from the increasingly hilarious political candidate.
I knew this would be an entertaining speech as soon as Mitt said to the audience when first taking the stage, “I do love listening to that organ music.” Pander on, Mitt. Pander on.
While Romney’s speech gave me several reasons to snicker — as expected — he didn’t say much in the way of anything substantial, sticking to familiar themes that he used in previous attempts to net support from Black voters.
I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African-American families, you would vote for me for president. I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color – and families of any color – more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president. …
Romney also made comments like:
I am running for president because I know that my policies and vision will help hundreds of millions of middle class Americans of all races, will lift people from poverty, and will help prevent people from becoming poor. My campaign is about helping the people who need help. The course the President has set has not done that – and will not do that. My course will.
Then there was a statement about fighting “what makes people poor in the first place.”
Watch Romney’s speech here:
Here is the thing, Mitt: Not everyone is a part of the middle class, especially not the audience you’re trying to reach.
White Americans have 22 times more wealth than Blacks. This gap has nearly doubled during the Great Recession. For those Blacks who have achieved some level of social mobility, those a part of the next generation are having trouble meeting — let alone besting — those expectations. Yes, it was also recently reported that Blacks have a harder time exceeding their parents’ family income and wealth than Whites.
Can a man born into wealth and privilege understand “what makes people poor in the first place?” Yes, but thus far, Mitt Romney has yet to prove so.
Romney boasts of reducing government spending if elected president, but that would be a hit to Blacks who are most likely to work in the public sector.
The former Massachusetts governor speaks of the benefits of charter schools, but charter schools alone are not the answer to comprehensive education reform: reforming the schools already existing in the community is.
As for that pledge about pushing “traditional marriage” as the end-all, be-all plan to save folks: That GOP plan to push marriage to poor people to “save them” has already been dismissed as a failure.
For the record, I see your teen pregnancy and welfare Mother stereotype shade, Mittens, and raise you the irony of a Mormon extolling the virtues of traditional marriage for cheap political points.
Did Romney know his audience?
If he didn’t, he was reminded upon being booed by them after pledging to repeal Obamacare. Meanwhile, as Alec MacGillis, senior editor At the New Republic, noted:
“The irony is, Romney actually DOES have something he could tell NAACP: his health care law disproportionately helped MA’s minorities.”
Then again, I imagine boos from the crowd helped Mitt’s appeal with the people he might actually be able to count on: staunch conservatives who revel in condemnation from groups like the NAACP.
Mitt did speak with accuracy about one Republican: George Romney, whose staunch Civil Rights support and refusal to back Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964 left him at odds with his party.
As for Mitt’s record as Massachusetts’ governor, he was criticized for intentionally trying to do away with the state’s affirmative action policies and lack of diversity in his administration.
If Mitt has evolved since that time in office, he has a superficial way of showing it. Regardless of whether his decision to speak at the NAACP convention was in earnest or in cynicism, I’m glad Mitt Romney spoke today. He made it even more obvious why you should support President Barack Obama and showed just how far the GOP has left to go in trying to break the Democrats’ grip on Black voters.
As expected, Mitt closed his speech with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — I suppose he’s not a Marcus Garvey kind of guy. In any event, that organ Mitt loves so much began to play…sounding a bit like a funeral.
SEE ALSO: Why Mitt’s Not The Man His Father Was