Romney Plays The Race Card

Was Romney actually speaking to the NAACP, or using them to help himself?

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NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP / Getty Images

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) annual convention in Houston on July 11, 2012.

Mitt Romney went to the NAACP’s National Convention planning to get booed. It was no mistake. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told Bloomberg TV she believes “it was a calculated move on his part to get booed at the NAACP convention.” When Romney called the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare,” he purposely used a term that would not work with the audience in the room. When he said, “If you want a President who’ll make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him. Take a look!” he was virtually taunting them the way a pro wrestler who’s playing a villain eggs on the crowd saying things he knows will elicit boos.

Why would he bother going to the NAACP convention to get booed? Because the real audience wasn’t in the room. He wanted to be booed by that black audience so that white conservatives — who still don’t see him as one of them — and white undecideds would see that he’s unafraid to talk down to black people, to offend them, to be their villain, to make them boo. The result is that he comes off looking tough or gains sympathy. Either way, he gets a soundbite that will bounce through the cable news echo chamber and elicit an emotional reaction from white voters. Romney’s performance wasn’t intended to win more black votes, it was intended to help win more white votes.

(MOREThe NAACP Boos Romney: A Double Standard?)

Tim Alberta of the conservative-leaning National Journal read Romney’s performance in heroic terms rarely applied to this candidate. “With the critical eyes of the political world resting squarely upon him, Romney marched defiantly into the lion’s den and delivered a speech that was direct, assertive and dispassionate,”  Alberta wrote. So blacks, in this analogy, are ferocious wild animals who should be feared, only tameable by the most fearless of men, which, Romney supposedly proved he is by facing them down and talking tough.

Republicans don’t always treat the NAACP this way. When George W. Bush went to the convention in 2000 as a candidate for president he said respectfully, “The party of Lincoln has not always carried the mantle of Lincoln,” addressing why the GOP is not loved by black voters while nodding to the party’s greatest racial justice achievement. Bush said, “Racism, despite all our progress, still exists,” and spoke of racial profiling by police. He spoke to the people in the room, not using them to help himself — just as Joe Biden did a day after Romney’s speech.

(MOREIs Romney Using Mormonism as a Shield?)

Romney’s campaign is built around the idea that as a successful businessman he understands how to shape the economy to aid business and create jobs that will get this country going again. Okay, so why not tailor that message to lay out a plan to combat the black unemployment rate, which is 14.4%, almost double the white unemployment rate? He has said nothing about that. His Mormon faith is central to who he is, so why not speak to the Mormon Church’s history of excluding blacks from the priesthood until 1978 when Romney was 31?

(PHOTOS: The Rich History of Mitt Romney)

Romney did tell the NAACP, “Always in both parties there have been men and women of integrity, decency and humility who have called injustice by its name. Someone who set a standard of conduct and made us better by their example. For me that man is my father.” Romney’s father, Michigan Governor George Romney, was unquestionably progressive on racial issues. He marched with civil rights activists in 1963, agitated for a civil rights plank in the GOP party platform in 1964, rejected the 1964 presidential candidacy of Barry Goldwater because of Goldwater’s regressive position on civil rights, and fought housing discrimination as Nixon’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. When Mitt Romney goes to the NAACP to play politics and use those black attendees as props meant to help amplify his message with white voters outside the room, he reminds us that he is not living up to the standard of integrity and decency set by his beloved father.

MORE: The Root of Mitt Romney’s Comfort with Lying

58 comments
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xbj
xbj

Mitt Romney has nothing against black people. He believes everyone should own at least 5-10. Per HOUSE. And if they'll convert to Mormonism, he'll let them live work and live IN the house instead of the fields. But don't fry him up any donuts! Jobs?!?! Since when do slaves need jobs?

look_it_up_2012
look_it_up_2012

This may be the most racist of all religions! Look it up

President Obama's Trinity United Church of Christ's believes as follows:

1.                 Commitment to God

2.                 Commitment to the Black Community

3.                 Commitment to the Black Family

4.                 Dedication to the Pursuit of Education

5.                 Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence

6.                 Adherence to the Black Work Ethic

7.                 Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect

8.                 Disavowal of the Pursuit of "Middleclassness."

9.                 Pledge to Make the Fruits of All Developing and Acquired Skills Available to the Black Community

10.              Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions

11.              Pledge Allegiance to All Black Leadership Who Espouse and Embrace the Black Value System

12.              Personal Commitment to Embracement of the Black Value System. To measure the worth and validity of all activity in terms of positive contributions to the general welfare of the Black Community and the Advancement of Black People towards freedom.

Source: http://www.tucc.org/

Jardin J
Jardin J

This is really pertinent because the President is sooooo devoted to his church.

look_it_up_2012
look_it_up_2012

From my future President I would much prefer commitment to all American families, commitment to all American communities and a pledge "to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available for the benefit of all American communities!

kcfield
kcfield

Alisha,

You raise two very good points. First, that one may hold their own beliefs dear, but that does not mean it is appropriate to impose such beliefs on others. Second, that changing one's mind may be a sign of growth rather than flip-flopping. I think if one changes their mind in response to conscience, faith, personal growth, etc, the change is to be admired. However, if a change is due to political expediency, that is another matter altogether. That gets back to my original point, that we cannot presume to know or read another person's conscience or intentions, unless there are facts that make them explicitly clear. Often, we just project our own biased and feelings onto another person.

AlishaCan
AlishaCan

I agree with you completely. 

It seems the media twists responses to create controversy where there is none.  I think this is the source of most flip-flop claims for many candidates.  You can be pro-choice and personally and completely anti-abortion for instance.  You can be pro-gun (support deer hunting) in Montana and anti-gun (against assault rifles) in Manhattan.  In some cases it is the labels put on by lazy journalists that cause confusion and distort what people believe or intend.

AlishaCan
AlishaCan

the famous flip-flopper didn't flip? he didn't flop? he gave the same speech as he did the week before to supporters in Ohio.  He may have expected boos for the ideas that were unpopular to this audience, but you give him way too much credit for a strategy of divide and rule.  I appreciate that Mitt told it like it is....i appreciate his candor and honesty even when the facts are unpopular.

Dave Garry
Dave Garry

Wow, a headline accusing Romney of playing the race card. How many times has Obama and his administration played the race card?...oh, just about every time someone disagreed with one of his policies...

BTW, I cannot stand Romney.

Ron Paul or none at all.

kcfield
kcfield

Let me begin this by saying that I am not a Romney fan. Yet, it troubles me when media projects thoughts and intentions into a candidates head (Democrat or Republican), rather than reporting the news. It is certainly possible that Romney's appearance at NAACP was calculated. It is also possible that his appearance was in good faith. Remember that McCain in years past has gone into farm states and spoken against farm subsidies and into states facing military base closings and said he is for the base closing if recommended by the evaluating committee. Romney has been accused of flip flopping much of his career. And now he articulates his position against Obamacare without equivocation or silicone, and gets criticized for that as well. It is one thing to criticize a candidates specific comments and actions. It is another thing for the media to resort to projection and interpretation. In the media as in the mental health field (I was a mental health professional for more than 20 years), projection always teaches us more about the projector than about the projectee. Please note that I feel exactly the same way when projective comments are made about liberal or Democratic candidates.

AlishaCan
AlishaCan

It is great to see that Mitt is holding firm on his beliefs.  I don't believe Mitt has flip-flopped in the past. Like Mitt, I am completely against abortions except to save the mother or in case of rape/incest but would I change the law to impose that belief on others? NO (does that make me a flip-flopper?)  I am completely supportive of contraception personally but against abortion except to save the mother or in case of rape/incest.  (Does that make me a flip-flopper? NO) Like Romney I believe abortion is not birth-control.  Planned parenthood is something you do before taking your baby-making tools out, not after.

Abortion is not a relevant topic for this or other elections, those laws are not going to be changed, not by Obama, not by Romney or by the presidents after them.

I can fully support guns for hunters and protection in Wyoming and much more restrictive laws for the cities of Mass amp; NY.  That is not flip-flopping. Think about it, Mitt doesn't have to push his personal beliefs by changing existing laws, or making one size fit all.  Doing what makes perfect sense in one family, community, or state may not be the best solution in another.  That is not flip-flopping, that is not lieing.  I call it learning, thinking and adapting.  Those are leadership and presidential qualities.

IJTGuy
IJTGuy

What should bother us is not that calling Romney a racist for enduring classless behavior by the NAACP is stupid - of course it is.  But expecting otherwise from a Democratic/Obama sock puppet like 9/11 truther "Toure'" is folly.  What should bother us is that there are apparently a large number of people stupid enough to believe such an offensive theory.

Think about it: the NAACP INVITED Romney; then behaved poorly.  And Democratic mouthpieces like "Toure'" somehow blame Romney.  People should realize that "Toure'" is essentially calling the NAACP a bunch of dupes.

enip
enip

I wouldn't say he was playing the "race "card ,rather the "base" card.

Bobinator
Bobinator

"So blacks, in this analogy, are ferocious wild animals who should be feared, only tameable by the most fearless of men"

Oh come on... i am no fan of the GOP, but this description of yours is just a touch ridiculous. You called it an analogy, but treated it as literal description. If you didn't cringe when writing that sentence, then you deserve a slap.

ExPat_in_Krakow
ExPat_in_Krakow

This article is awesome!  For every article such as this one that is printed, even more moderates and independents will vote for Romney and the GOP this year.

The author is obviously and shamelessly racist.  He thinks that because a white candidate speaks to a black audience, the white candidate is trying to use the black audience as a tool.  Ergo, the black audience is too stupid or naive to think for themselves.  And what if Romney hadn't spoken to the NAACP?  Racist!

Meanwhile, President Obama didn't speak to the NAACP.  Why not?  The White House reported that it was due to "scheduling difficulties".  Hah.  Well, the folks in the White House obviously do not understand that there is this thing call the 'internet', on which the White House posts its daily schedule.  President Obama was busy doing nothing at all.  He has been in DC and has had nothing more than normal meetings and press briefings since Tuesday evening:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sche...

Meanwhile, the White House sent white candidate Joe Biden to speak to the NAACP.  Was Joe Biden playing the race card?  Was President Obama playing the race card by sending Joe Biden?  According to Toure, of course not.  Yet another clue that the author is not only racist, but a hypocrite.

Thankfully, the VAST majority of black people in America have more class, intelligence, wisdom and love for their fellow Americans than racist Toure - including the members of the NAACP who gave Romney a standing ovation at the end of his speech!  Kudos to them.  I didn't see that fact mentioned in racist Toure's article.  I wonder why?  Because it wouldn't play well with the racist theories in racist Toure's little racist mind.

Meanwhile, racist small-minded Toure doesn't realize that many of the black leaders he admires are actually the ones that use him like a tool.  I'll never forget a story that my brother, a professional photographer in the Midwest, told me about Jesse Jackson.  My brother was covering the abduction of a young teen in Indiana, who was black, by her white high school teacher, who had driven her to Florida, apparently because he was in love with her.  It was a horrible story, obviously, compounded by the fact that her parents put her in an otherwise excellent suburban high school, so that she wouldn't have to deal with all of the problems in Gary, Ind.  

My brother and other photographers were next to the podium at the press conference, when Jesse Jackson appeared, of course, to talk about what a horrible situation this was and to represent his race, to carry the day.  Just as he was walking up to the podium, he turned to one of his handlers and said "Okay, so what is this girl's name?"  Really.  He didn't even care about this poor child, he was there to use her for his own benefit.

This is the type of person that racist Toure worships and puts on a pedestal - one that uses him like a tool, and can count on him to write blatant character assassinations like the one above.  But if Mitt Romney speaks to the NAACP, all Toure can do is project his own racist little mind onto another person who he dislikes and against whom he has prejudices only because of the color of his skin.

Racist Toure only has one tool in his toolbox.  It's the hammer called 'racism'.  And everything looks like a nail to racist, small-minded little tool Toure.

MACV
MACV

A Liberal, a Conservative, and a Libertarian walk into a bar ... and the Bartender says, "Hi Mitt" .... This man has flipped more times than he's flopped! Yea, this is a man you can trust ! What about those "offshore accounts"? What American in his right mind would even consider this individual for POTUS? Every other Presidential candidate keeps his money in the good old U.S.A., but not "Mitt". And he want's to be President?  No Romney has ever enlisted in the military; Mitt Romney himself dodged military service. and his 5 sons aren't even thinking about it. 

The following are quotes from those that know Willard "Mitt" Romney ....

"I looked at him, lost in astonishment. There he was before me, in motley, as though he had absconded from a troupe of mimes, enthusiastic, fabulous. His very existence was improbable, inexplicable, and altogether bewildering. He was an insoluble problem. It was inconceivable how he had existed, how he had succeeded in getting so far, how he had managed to remain - why he did not instantly disappear." ~ Joseph Conrad, Heart Of Darkness

"This is a man without a core, a man without substance, a man that will say anything to become president of the United States." ~ Rudy Giuliani talking about Romney

Romney's message to America ~  'Well, Obama hasn't fixed the horrendous mess Republicans left him, so we should go back to those policies.'

AlishaCan
AlishaCan

there are so many ways to serve your nation, many ways beyond taking a military or government check.  Each of these men served humble families in the USA and abroad without pay for 2 years sharing the message of Jesus Christ and teachings that improve family life, marriages, and pull people away from addictions to gambling, tobacco, alcohol, and other expensive controlling habits.

Romney was right to send a good portion of his money overseas, have you seen investment returns lately? He pays good financial advisors to care for his savings and do his taxes...he may have other things to do with his time.  I hope someday to do the same with mine.  Congratulations on your successful career Mr. Romney!

Romney is an excellent parent, husband, has a solid education, a Harvard MBA/JD, and he makes good decisions for great results.  I know he will solve a lot of America's problems he has been doing that his whole life.

Piknik3
Piknik3

Wow. You are really a sick, racist, jerk,  Neblett. You're nothing but a dark skinned version of a KKK wannabe.

Cmdr_Casey_Ryback
Cmdr_Casey_Ryback

STONE-COLD WEIRD

My family knew George Romney. They have neighbors who are Mormons. The Romney family had different ideas, personalities and personas.

Anyone with an iota of experience with the aforementioned knows, Mormons are into being happy, pleasant persons. Mitt is just like his parents, to anyone who authentically knows them and is just not popping-off.

Mormons are NOT into booing, contrary to Loony Tunes Pelosi. Who needs a brain that works in this reality, not San Francisco and Chicago.

Yeah, yeah -- facts don't matter. We got it, Mr. Owebama.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Since you know so much about it, tell us more about magic underwear, secret handshakes and the Planet Kolob.  Thanks.

Cmdr_Casey_Ryback
Cmdr_Casey_Ryback

H, you do a great imitation of Owebama the hater. Way to go, and thanks for increasing membership in the National Rifle Association, hater.

Cmdr_Casey_Ryback
Cmdr_Casey_Ryback

H, you do a great imitation of Owebama the hater. Way to go, and thanks for increasing membership in the National Rifle Association, hater.

OWE-BAMA HATES

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

HATER Romney.  Enough said.    

snt2
snt2

Hey Toure, do you always walk around with a scowl on your face? Don't hate! Lighten up a little and open your closed mind and perhaps you can see some good in Romney. Trust me, Romney is not racist. He has nothing against any race. He is interested in fixing the economy. Don't try distracting people from the issue at hand.

Stop
Stop

Honestly, I don't like Romney but I wouldn't have even shown up. It's not like they are going to vote for him- they're going to vote for Obama because he is black.

iansamry
iansamry

So by the Author's reckoning, Mitt Romney is racist for speaking at the NAACP but if he didn't speak to them at all he would also be a racist.

Cmdr_Casey_Ryback
Cmdr_Casey_Ryback

There are millions of these guys today - heads they win, tails you lose. Like five-year-olds.

This is why the majority of working Americans have just given up on the NAACP.

helpfulheroine
helpfulheroine

1. all the major news sources, including very liberal npr, call it obamacare.

2. all politicians play the race card.  that's called politics - dividing everyone up into little interest groups and targeting.  people may not like it, but people vote based on their race, gender, religion, region of the country, ethnicity, education, family history, life experiences (all shaped by the mentioned factors), etc. etc. so that's how political strategists break everyone down.  pretty obvious. 3. whether he spoke to them sincerely or to get the extreme right's approval, sh-t wrongney speaking to the naacp, and anyone speaking to the naacp or any constituency group for that matter, does so to help himself.

4. we must accept blame as the voters who allow politicians to pander to our base prejudices and ignorance.  we are to blame for the pathetic choice between sh-t wrongney and osama.

Its_Not_A_Tax_LOL
Its_Not_A_Tax_LOL

Race Card.  When a writer can't come up with anything original or truthful, they fall back on the race card.  Who did Toure write this article for? He certainly didn't write it for white people, he wrote it for people who love the race card.

BOLTFANDAN
BOLTFANDAN

I really dont understand the point of this Racist article or all the Racist things that are being said about Romney. He went to a convention and spoke his mind. Agree or disagree with his point of view , its up to  you,  but why all the Racism ???

solidtartan
solidtartan

to marginalize...libs are divisive by design.  It stirs up the base and diverts attention from where we really need a leader and where Obama has failed

Commentator67
Commentator67

From a psychological point of view on Pelosi, when you (yourself) have done or said things to manipulate situations just to get a response they wanted---something to say to make things happen to get the results YOU want. That is why she believes Romney went to the NAACP and deliberately mentioned Obama Care to get BOOED- and use it for his benefit.  When you (yourself) have been in DC --has been in charge of the House Speaker---those are her workings--why else would she accuse Romney of playing that game that she has played in the past.  That is part of the DC arena the American people want to see go.  Clean House and especially the Senate (who Reid has such a strong hold that he stops and won't allow a bills even to be submitted for discussion.  Romney went-I thought the organ music and a Patriot song being played was cute on the Naacp.  May the citizens of all colors see the light--and vote from their heart (not due to race) but from the heart and it can make a difference.  Over the years I remember Martin Luther King--I have a dream---didn't preach about a HIT LIST--an ARMY of VIOLENCE going after certain groups.  King spoke from his heart.  Some of the best people in the Black Community going into church and shout for the freedom they have found in the Lord---and when God said:  when you are free--you are free indeed---the black men and women know the story--I WAS IN BONDAGE---TREATED without respect---found churches who loved them---and know what it is like I AM FREE through Christ---and who brings their hearts into a worship service---and can Shout for Joy--I AM FREE!

H.R. Paperstacks
H.R. Paperstacks

As a white independent voter in my mid 20's, what he did did not win me over at all. In fact it pushed me further away and showed me that he along with the Republican establishment are a bunch of pathetic racists. How can anybody be this stupid to think a tactic like this could ever benefit them? It just goes to show how out of touch Romney and the GOP is from the real world.

buyitasshats
buyitasshats

not sure which is more annoying...the constant pulling of the race card or reading an article from someone that thinks so much of himself to go by one name.

wdmll
wdmll

You have done it again black brother (remember we are all originally from Africa), playing the race card. When are you and your liberal white handler Nancy Pelosi, going to get off the white bashing soul train.

DM101010
DM101010

So what do you suggest Toure?  That he change his presidential platform for this one speech, or lie to the audience about his objectives as president?  So he didn't pander to the audience as much as you think he should have.... How is this newsworthy?

socialtalker
socialtalker

Its obvious to me: when you are making a speech to an audience, you should be addressing them, not talking over them to an audience not in the room 

 a speaker can have been true to himself and express his beliefs and still address his audience honestly. its a sign of respect. 

I must say, however. that ultimately the NAACP's knew the kind of character they were dealing with.  he should have never been invited to speak. everyone knows what he was going to do. I think the NAACP invited him just to make the news. they pretty much used each other

27
27

Ok yup, everything everyone does is racist.  

Romney speaks to a black guy: racist.  

Obama speaks to a white guy: racist.  

A white guy speaks to a black guy: racist. 

 A black guy speaks to a black guy: racist.  

A tree speaks to a leaf: racist.  

Blue speaks to green: racist.  

A racist speaks to a racist:  racist.

Some guy walks down the street: racist.

The sun rises: racist.

valente347
valente347

It does seem that black votes are the only votes for which Romney will not reinvent himself.

solidtartan
solidtartan

Do you really think, no matter what Romney does, he will get any reasonable percentage of black votes?   Why do you think that is?  Voting for someone because of their skin color is as racist as NOT voting for someone because of it. 

jefflz
jefflz

Romney's motive was to generate footage that could be used to stir up racial hatred and "motivate" his base.   He was successful judging by the quantity of hate speech being spewed out all over the internet as a result.  This is further proof that Romney is amoral and will stop at nothing to gain power.   What is he trying to provoke? Cross-burnings, lynchings? Does this man have no shame? Apparently not.

AlishaCan
AlishaCan

Romney has strong problem solving credentials (Governor amp; SLC Olympics), charitable acts of service and giving thousands to disaster relief and the homeless. 

When he was governor of Mass. there were not that many new jobs created because.....think back a few years, everyone already had a job!

Romney is an excellent parent, husband, has a solid education, a Harvard MBA/JD and makes good decisions for good results.  I know he will solve a lot of America's problems he has been doing that his whole life.

IJTGuy
IJTGuy

Romney accepts an invitation to speak to the NAACP, and he's a racist for doing so?  Are you liberals completely unhinged?

socialtalker
socialtalker

no one said he was racist for accepting the invitation,  its how he used his opportunity that makes it apparent what his real motives were. 

27
27

Yeah how dare he talk to black people.  What does he have to gain?  Uh, how about their votes?  You know, because this is about ideas and policies, and not about race.  Oh no, wait, I'm talking to a liberal so EVERYTHING is about race.  Because 100% of 100% of conservatives are all racists!  That's why they exist! To be racist... damn racists!

Racism makes me sick but what really is sickening is how some people think they are so above racism when in fact they the ones perpetuating it.

AlishaCan
AlishaCan

I agree that many, perhaps most of the people commenting on these boards need to be much more open minded.  Choosing candidates based on their race is a mistake and a waste of your vote.

socialtalker
socialtalker

yes and whites are now the victims and black people are now the racists...wow, havent heard THAT one before. 

oh puh lease! there is no politician worth his/her salt that doesnt know what audience he is speaking to and what he can get out of them. We all know why romney was there. It had nothing to do with policies and ideas, there were many different ways he could have gone if he really wanted to talk about ideas, like AN ACTUAL REPUBLICAN PLANE for health care. A trade plan with africa, civil liberty issues, ending the drug war, protecting voting rights. but NOOOOOOO

instead, you can tell by speech he wasnt even talking to the people in the room, but to the white conservatives. 

the repub party does nothing but race bait. willie horton, welfare queens, affirmative action, they even tried to blame the financial meltdown  on CRA--  repcons are constantly pushing this white tax slave propaganda to get and stay in power. 

Cmdr_Casey_Ryback
Cmdr_Casey_Ryback

Of course, the writer would say, it is OK for Romney to be booed by NAACP. But not for Mormons to boo Mr. Owebama.

Weird, bizarre, and dragging the USA into Third World status. Great job, Mr. Owebama.