Photograph by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.
UPDATE: Pretty soon after Mitt Romney's remarks on repealing Obamacare were met with boos at the NAACP convention on Wednesday, some started floating the theory that the GOP candidate may have solicited the crowd reaction on purpose. Among them: Nancy Pelosi.
The House Minority Leader said on Wednesday that she thought "it was a calculated move on his part to get booed at the NAACP convention,” the Hill reports.
It looks like the insinuation that the candidate's decision to talk about repealing health care reform in front of the NAACP was politically strategic might have at least a bit of truth to it, given that Mitt Romney is already using the speech as evidence of his political consistency. In a fundraising speech on Wednesday evening, Romney told supporters that he doesn't "give different speeches to different audiences," adding:
"When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren't happy, I didn't get the same response. That's OK, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don't stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that's just fine. But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff." (via Politico)
Meanwhile, Slate's John Dickerson makes the case that, whether intentional or not, the crowd reaction allowed "a chance for a candidate criticized for his malleability to look principled in the face of opposition," noting that the conservative base of the Republican party would likely find his consistency appealing.
Wednesday, July 11, 12:06 p.m. : Mitt Romney didn't shy away from one of his chief campaign talking points during his morning speech at the NAACP convention, despite likely knowing that it wouldn't go over so well with the crowd.
A chorus of boos interrupted the Republican candidate’s speech after he mentioned his plan to repeal Obamacare. Romney paused, giving the boos a chance to ring in the convention hall, before departing from his script to cite a survey by the Chamber of Commerce that showed that the president’s health care plan would make business owners less likely to hire. (h/t Guardian)
The audience settled down again after a few seconds, but not for good, the Associated Press reports. Romney was heckled again later in the speech for criticizing President Obama, after he said, "If you want a president who will make thing better in the African American community, you are looking at him."
The Root's Cynthia Gordy was on hand, you can check out her full recap of the speech and the reaction here. Here's the video of the repeal reaction:
Wednesday, July 11, 10:15 a.m.: Mitt Romney will speak at the NAACP convention in Houston on Wednesday as he attempts to fight back against overwhelmingly low popularity among black voters. He'll also have to contend with a tough-to-follow speech by Attorney General Eric Holder at the convention on Tuesday.
As CNN notes, Romney took just 5 percent of support from black voters in a recent Gallup poll. The campaign has decided, however, that the candidate could do better. "Despite the odds," Romney adviser Tara Wall told CNN, the Romney campaign intends to "compete in the black community."
The convention has a focus on unemployment and health inequality, and voter ID laws. On Tuesday, Holder took the latter issue head-on and told the NAACP that the Obama administration "will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious rights," the Christian Science Monitor reports. Texas' voter ID law is currently under scrutiny by a panel of three federal judges, who will determine whether it violates the Voting Rights Act. The voter ID law's opponents say the requirement that voters present an ID in order to cast a ballot will discriminate against the state's minorities.
Romney will make the case Wednesday that Obama has failed the black community on economic and educational issues, USA Today reports. "I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African-American families, you would vote for me for president," he'll say, according to a released speech excerpt.