Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.
Mitt Romney made the first foray of his presidential campaign into an impoverished black neighborhood on Thursday. It didn't exactly go as planned for the presumptive Republican nominee.
The Washington Post reports that dozens of West Philadelphia residents shouted "Get out, Romney, get out!" as the candidate's logo-emblazoned campaign bus rolled into town for a meeting at an area charter school, where he was to discuss his proposal to expand publicly-funded charter schools with local educators and civic leaders. (The Associated Press has more on his specific policy proposal here.)
Once inside the Universal Bluford Charter School things didn't get much better, as local educators and leaders were quick to voice their concerns with Romney and his policies. According to the AP, CNN and other outlets who had reporters on the ground, local leaders took issue with everything from a key pillar of Romney's education platform (the need for two-parent families) to the candidate's citation of a McKinsey & Co. study suggesting that class size doesn't affect student performance.
At one point while Romney was talking up his record on education as governor of Massachusetts, the founder of the charter school, Kenny Gamble, interjected. "Governor, you’ve got to go back and remember how the whole concept of education has failed. You go back a few years, even in Boston, when they were trying to integrate schools and they had young black children going to white neighborhoods and they were throwing eggs at the little black children, spitting on them, calling them all kinds of names."
The rough reception Romney received highlights the candidate’s challenge in appealing to minority and poor, urban populations, who are expected to break heavily for President Obama in this November's general election. You can read more on Romney's day in West Philly (and see a slideshow) over at the Post.