ATL Mayor: Mitt Romney Had “Reverse Sister Souljah Moment” at NAACP

ATL Mayor: Mitt Romney Had “Reverse Sister Souljah Moment” at NAACP


Mayors Reed and Nutter on Romney at the NAACP.  Speaking on a DNC conference call in reaction to Mitt Romney’s speech to the NAACP in Houston, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter had no problem expressing their feelings on Romney’s speech.  Both strongly felt that Romney mentioned repealing health care at the NAACP intentionally to play to his base.

Mayor Reed told reporters that Romney, “tried to have a reverse Sister Souljah moment,” by mentioning a repeal of Obamacare during his speech. Romney was booed by the NAACP audience for mentioning eliminating health care.

Reed was making reference to Bill Clinton criticizing racially-charged remarks by the rapper Sister Souljah during the 1992 presidential campaign as a way of sending a message and taking a stand against his own party.

“He got the response that was completely appropriate,” Reed said of the audience booing Romney.  “It makes him look like he’s having character and integrity when he wasn’t really speaking to the NAACP audience at all. He’s aware what’s going on in Congress today, and those are the individuals he was speaking to,” Mayor Reed said.  The House will vote today for the 33rd time since Republicans took over in January 2011, to repeal health care.

Reed was joined by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter who agreed.  Regarding Romney’s health care comments at the NAACP, Reed said that Romney “didn’t display that kind of integrity or character or courage” when standing up to Rush Limbaugh or when Ted Nugent made comments about the President that Reed called “wholly inappropriate.”

“You walk into the NAACP and talk about repealing the signature program of President Obama — 7 million African Americans would be covered under the Affordable Care Act than before the Act… nobody’s paying any attention to his nonsense,” Nutter said.

“He didn’t display that kind of character and courage when the young law student in Georgetown was disparaged, but he’ll come to the heart of the NAACP and say that Obamacare should be repealed.  That’s why it was a political stunt. It wasn’t worth the time that was spent coming out of his mouth. It was wholly inappropriate and the reaction from the NAACP was appropriate.” Reed said of Romney.

“To his base it will make him look strong but he never stands up to anybody else,” Mayor Reed added. Mayor Michael Nutter also had strong words for Romney.

“I think Mayor Reed is absolutely correct,” Nutter added. “It’s comparable to the little stunt in West Philadelphia about a month go,” Nutter said referring to a visit Romney made to a Philadelphia school on May 24.

When it was suggested on the call that booing Romney wasn’t what anyone wanted to see,  Nutter was emphatic.

“Look, he’s a grown man; he’s been around the block a couple of times. I think Mayor Reed is absolutely correct. This is comparable to the little stunt out in West Philadelphia a couple of months ago.  This is all for the optics. I said that back then; I’ll say it again today. He’s going through the motions,” Nutter said.

“He’s in a campaign; I can’t take any of this stuff seriously,” Nutter added. “At a certain level, he’s running for president of the United States. But the guy’s a joke. He’s not for real. He’s a character playing a role.  Virtually perpetrating fraud on the American public with a lot of this stuff.”

LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Managing Editor, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus.  She can be heard every Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on WMCS 1290 in Milwaukee on Earl Ingram’s show The Evening Rush as well as on WPFW 89.3 every Friday at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Burke is a former employee of and ABC News.  You can e-mail her at follow her on twitter @Crewof42.