“If I am president, job one for me will be creating jobs. I have no hidden agenda. If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him,” Gov. Mitt Romney told the NAACP in Houston. The response was lukewarm.
Romney was generally well received by the NAACP’s 103rd convention but he was booed after saying he’d repeal Obamacare.
“If our goal is jobs, we must, must stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we earn. To do this, I will eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare…” Romney said. The audience booed him.
Romney mentioned high Black unemployment. Last week Black unemployment rose almost a full percentage point to 14.4%. Romney spoke with the occasional accompaniment of organ music in the background punctuating certain lines.
“I would give Gov. Romney an “A” for attending the convention and speaking,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chair Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). But he quickly added criticism. ”I think he missed out on an opportunity to talk about many things that matter in the African American community,” Cleaver added.
“I don’t know who is advising Gov. Romney from the African American perspective but I give him an F minus on his comments on Obamacare. “I think his advisors are not serving him well,” Cleaver said. ”I think he walked away with some African American appreciation,” Cleaver added.
Romney mentioned his father, Georg Romney, who was active and supportive of in the Civil Rights movement. That was well received.
“For every one of us a particular person comes to mind, someone who set a standard of conduct and made us better by their example. For me, that man is my father, George Romney,” Romney said.
Vice President Joe Biden will speak to the NAACP tomorrow. President Obama is not expected to attend.
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 USAToday.com and ABC News. You can e-mail her at LBurke007@gmail.com follow her on twitter @Crewof42.