Some are giving the presumptive presidential nomineesome props for actually showing up to speak at the NAACP convention in Houston, Texas on Wednesday. While others are not so generous with their critique.
Republican Romney braved the mostly Democratic crowd trying to win over Black voters but judging by the mixed response to his address, one can safely say that would be an uphill battle of the tallest order.
He received lukewarm applause for some things and outright boos for others. The mostly religious audience clapped when he talked of upholding and fighting "for traditional marriage" but booed his "repeal Obamacare" mantra.
Many thought that his promises missed the mark because he and his writers didn't take the time to tailor the speech to fit the audience--which showed a lack of authenticity, planning and sensitivity.
As much as we would like to believe a level playing field exist in the U.S., it doesn't. Though we are all created equal and have the same inalienable rights, we do not all lead similar lives. So dusting off the speech he uses to his primarily White audiences, say in New Hampshire, plugging in a few generic talking points and then delivering it to this audience, was a gross misjudgment. In fact he touched on this when he admitted that there was still inequality in this country and cited the devastation the recession still has on the Black and Brown communities across this country, along with the educational advantages lacking in those same areas.
So why would Romney use words like "human capital" while addressing a group of people who would immediately have a visceral reaction to the historical connotation?
Then the former Massachusetts governor, himself the father of "Romneycare" like his fellow Republicans candidates dubbed the healthcare he implemented in his state--vowed to repeal "Obamacare." The room immediately erupted in boos. Critics say this showed a glaring disconnect to the people he was amongst for healthcare reform is welcomed by the black and brown communities, who are oftentimes disenfranchised.
One woman who was at the convention said afterwards that she thanked him for "trying to connect with the African American community" but that Romney doesn't seem to grasp the plight of ordinary Americans, much less those present at the convention, adding "He is from a different social and economic standing--he cannot remotely relate to everyday citizens, let alone the African American citizen."
Another audience member said she didn't think Romney was familar with how poor people in this country have struggled all these years.
A gentleman added that he thought Romney was patronizing, saying, "He had to understand that this group supported healthcare--much of our community live in poverty and need healthcare. How could he come here and talk of repealing healthcare--he should have stayed away from that."
Others seen in the above video used phrases like "serious misjudgements" "patronizing" and the word "disconnect" was used consistently.
What do you think of Romney's speech to the NAACP: did he do a good job considering the audience or was he an abysmal failure?