Why was Romney booed?

Over at the Spectator they’re covering Romney’s speech (7/11) to the NAACP as “Romney’s pitch for the new America.” What nonsense.

In an extraordinarily lazy piece, Alex Massie doesn’t even bother to mention how this supposed “pitch” was received by the audience. Romney was booed.

In a mangled piece of analysis the Spectator at one point suggests – rightly – that “when it comes to votes Romney wasn’t really looking for black votes…Romney’s speech was looking for white votes”, only to later suggest, “…it’s important that the GOP candidate makes at least some effort to appeal to voters beyond traditional Republican constituencies”.

Let’s give Massie the benefit of the doubt; let’s assume he’s suggesting that Romney is trying to consolidate his appeal to white voters uncomfortable with the race-baiting many Republicans have exhibited in elections recent and distant by making, and being seen to make, an honest if futile attempt to appeal to working-class African American voters who are highly unlikely to be persuaded by his noble efforts. Hey, at least he’s trying, right?

And now let’s cut the crap.

The real story here starts by asking why Romney used rhetoric designed not to persuade his hosts but to provoke them. Romney knew for sure that casually mentioning his intention to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act would rile the crowd. To ensure he would be filmed attracting their ire, he dismissed the AHA as “Obamacare”, the standard lingo used when appealing to the right.

So why would someone engaging in “outreach” make his case to a left-leaning audience by using language more at home on the stump of a Tea Party rally? Obviously, because the real target of Romney’s speech was the GOP’s traditional white working class base and he calculated that antagonizing “non-traditional Republican constituencies” would win him some high fives back at the ranch.

Outreach to “non-traditional Republican constituencies”? This was a calculated attempt to rile black Americans for the gratification of GOP-leaning white working class voters who remain suspicious of Romney’s bona fides as one of their own; the very traditional GOP constituency who see Romney in the mold framed by evangelical favorite Mike Huckabee, “the guy who looks like he fired your dad”. The black audience was merely used as a prop in the Romney campaign’s cynical and effective attempt to create a Kodak moment for the white base he’s terrified won’t rally for him.

Expect more of the same.

  • Pete Baker

    “In an extraordinarily lazy piece..”

    Pot. Kettle. Black?

    Actually, you could replace ‘lazy’ with ‘offensive’.

    But you missed the conspiracy about the applause for his opposition to gay marriage.

    And as that renowned right-wing loon at the Guardian, Richard Adams, pointed out

    So was Mitt Romney deliberately trying to provoke boos from the NAACP, specifically by use of the term Obamacare to describe the recent healthcare reforms?

    It’s hard to say, of course, but you’d need to be quite cynical to assume that’s what Romney was doing deliberately.

    Partly because as a speaker Romney has a cloth ear and does come out with some rubbish lines even when talking to his own party. And partly because – let’s face it – Obamacare has become a portmanteau term that has lost its perjorative sting. There’s a list of Democrats as long as your arm who have used Obamacare in a positive way – and if you don’t believe me then wait until the right-blogosphere starts posting the YouTube clips.

    “Expect more of the same.”

    Please don’t. I’m losing the will to live…

  • Billy Pilgrim

    ‘Please don’t. I’m losing the will to live…’

    Then you know how the rest of us feel, reading your, er, contributions, over the years.

  • Barry the Blender

    Then you know how the rest of us feel, reading your, er, contributions, over the years.

    Man player!

  • Pete Baker


    You’ve been commenting on Slugger long enough to know how this works.

    If you disagree with something I’ve said in one of my posts, then point out where I’ve got it wrong in the comment zone of the relevant post. Rather than attempting to distract attention from the actual topic here.

    Assuming you can, that is…

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Och Pete, I jest, I jest…

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Although actually, you’re right, I have been commenting here a long time, and I never knew I wasn’t supposed to respond to comments; that I was supposed to confine myself to responding to the opening post only.

    You live and learn…

  • Charlie Sheens PR guru

    [edited – moderator]

    Re: The post. I watched the video and quickly googled who the NAACP were, at that point I also thought “Wind Up Merchant” before reading the rest of the commentators. Pretty pathetic, but while he talks a lot of shit, he’s not good at selling it in the traditional slick republican way and I can’t see him winning, especially as Obama has had 4 years and all the birth certificate/ Rev Wright/ Bill Ayers bullshit can’t do the spin again. That said, I’m sure a scandal is round the corner..

  • Mac

    Out of curiosity, are my previous comments floating in the ‘waiting for moderation’ ether because the article’s author didn’t like them or because another poster with admin privs didn’t?

  • Mister_Joe

    I can’t believe that he didn’t expect to be booed. I understand that, depending on the source, 95-985 of colored people (from NAACP) voted for Obama last time. That % presumably hasn’t changed a lot.

  • Mister_Joe


    If a commenter’s comment is deemed inappropriate and deleted, any replies to his/her comment are put into “awaiting moderation”. i have one myself.

  • Mac

    “If a commenter’s comment is deemed inappropriate and deleted, any replies to his/her comment are put into “awaiting moderation”. i have one myself.”

    Discussing moderation actions as a no no is as old as the internet is, I have no problem with that. But when a ‘moderator’ expresses a very personal opinion that another blogger’s posts leave them suicidal they can not put on a moderator hat in response to opinions of their own posts invited by that very same comment in the same thread.

    I would not be so crass as to say that Pete’s blogs have caused me to lose the will to live, I am however of the opinion that Pete’s blog contents are generally 98% copy and paste and 2% sarcastic comments between him and some fellow called Ed (indeed they are – Ed)
    Generally I avoid them.

    If Ruarai wants to remove my comments, so be it, it is after all his article.

  • Mister_Joe

    I too have had yellow cards from Pete in response to a comment from me on another blogger’s thread. It has and does puzzle me.

  • Mister_Joe

    But it doesn’t bother me that he does a lot of cut and paste since his posts almost always include links, sometimes many, which provide a useful context for the main article.

  • Ruarai


    let’s get something straight here comrade: If you have any comments whatsoever that have not made it onto the site, email me them at ruarai@kosovo-addis.com and I’ll personally post them for you. (I see nothing awaiting moderator approval -and the only thing you need for my approval is to press ‘send’. Mick?)

    You’ve completely ruined my night. I have no problem with criticism. In fact, as you can see from Baker’s criticism above, negative feedback frequently enhances the original post’s case as people confuse a counter-point with a better point. (Richard Adams, really?)

    I was enjoying a rambuctious debate with a few finance types – we’re reliant on on the city? Please. Look at the impact of single industry societies in the middle east; it’s anti-innovation – only to be, for the first time on Slugger, seriously pissed off by this insinuation.

    Mac – if you’re looking for censorious behaviour you have the wrong guy. I live to oppose it.

    PS- Guys, I’ve no dog in the hunt but I think you’re being a little unfair to Baker. He makes no pretensions about offering opinion or analysis of his own. Copy and pasting the work of others has its value. A bit like a vaccum cleaner. It’s formal name is not blogging, of course. It’s Trolling. But so what? Each to their own.

  • Mac


    My apologies for ruining your night and taking your thread off topic.

    I didn’t think for a second that you were the one that censored my posts, it was a loaded question pointed at Mr Baker.

  • Greenflag

    Alex Massie missed this non booing event

    Romney Receives Standing Ovations from National Association of Rich White People

    One day after being booed at the NAACP annual meeting in Houston, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney received multiple standing ovations at the meeting of the National Association of Rich White People.

    It was tough sledding for Mr. Romney the day before, when he struck the wrong chord by telling the NAACP members: “I love Black people. I’m good friends with the bankers who foreclosed on your homes.”

    But the former Massachusetts governor seemed to regain his footing in front of the NARWP, who held their annual meeting on the island of Grand Cayman, home to much of Mr. Romney’s money.

    “People who say the top 1% run America are dead wrong. It’s the top .0001%,” Mr. Romney said, bringing the NARWP members to their feet.

    The Republican’s speech, which was interrupted by twenty-seven standing ovations, featured proposals that were hugely popular with the NARWP faithful, as Mr. Romney favored legalizing marriage between a man and a corporation, as well as an extension of white truffle season.

    “Mitt Romney is worth his weight in gold,” said billionaire David Koch, who attended the meeting, “and that’s exactly what I paid for him.”


  • tuatha

    The MittBot has the EQ of a lawnmower, eg his gold plated turd comment re NASCAR team owning.
    I doubt that he could even rouse enthusiasm at NARWP given his tin ear for adjectives & unverbs – listening to him speak is to wonder why he is allowed to do so.
    It must be admitted that he does has very electable hair, just the right amount of grey at the temples and his single, discernible policy, to have his jawline made Prez, is at least sufficiently KISS for him to understand.

  • salgado

    It has been said before that Mitt Romney has tried to be all things to all men with his constant backtracking and flip flopping on various issues, but no matter how he phrased it going against the Affordable Healthcare Act was always going to be unpopular.

    However he wasn’t exactly booed constantly throughout the speech as you seem to imply, according to some sources he was well received during other parts of the speech, particularly when he brought up his father (a supporter of the civil rights movement). Nevertheless he will not have won many votes.

  • Greenflag

    ‘ he will not have won many votes.’

    Its not how many votes he wins at these ‘conventions that matters it’s how many votes can he/his superpac buy in the ‘swing states ‘of Ohio, Florida and a few others that will matter on election day .

    It’s however truly amazing that Obama still has a narrow lead . Normally an incumbent heading into an election with an official unemployment rate of 8.5% (actual closer to 17% ) and with one quarter of all USA households ‘underwater’ in their home equity and students graduating into the poorest job market since the 1932 Great Depression one would think that Obama would be a ‘goner ‘ and any opponent would be ahead by 10 points or more . Not so .

    So why has this not happened ? The American public may at last be wising up or at least enough of them to realise that this ‘recession’ and poor economy was not caused by Obama or even by the previous incumbent Bush although his 4 trillion dollar wars in Iraq & Afghanistan financed by credit card and not by increased taxation just added another 4 trillion dollars to the now USA total of some 15 trillion dollars .

    With California a mirror image of Greece and cities filing for bankruptcy e. Stockton among others and with continuing uncertainty in the markets Americans like many others around the western world have come to the conclusion that our ’emperors’ are not only naked but they can’t even figure out where to get a new suit of clothes .

    Tens of millions of Americans are becoming aware that for their children to enjoy the American dream they will have to become ‘modern indentured servants ‘and will become known as three mortgage generation -one mortgage for education , another for any serious medical operation and a third mortgage for those young people who survive the first two mortgages to buy a home of their own .

    Slavery is back but we don’t call it that any more and its coming soon to Finchley , Battersea , Dundonald and Dun Laoghaire .

  • Greenflag

    omitted above

    The naked emperor you know is a better bet than the naked emperor who may believe that the Earth is about 6,000 years old and that Jesus Christ’s personal assistant was roaming around the USA long before Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ the new world .

    So Obama v Romney it hardly matters any more -Goldman Sachs , Bank of America , Citibank , JP Morgan and Wells Fargo rule . The Senate and Congress are the hanging dependent testicules while the screwing of the majority of Americans will continue unabated by the money men and the international bond holders. 🙁

  • Greenflag

    oops error above testicles not testicules