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NAACP Hurts Itself by Booing Romney

TPM has the videos of Mitt Romney getting booed (multiple times!) during his speech to the NAACP today. The Fix speculates that Romney’s “combative tone” did him in with the crowd:

By contrast, Romney criticized Obama for running a negative campaign, said the president could not bring economic recovery, and said he would eliminate “non-essential, expensive” programs like “Obamacare.”

His only reference to the historic nature of Obama’s win was to say that “if someone had told us in the 1950s or 1960s that a black citizen would serve as the forty-fourth president, we would have been proud and many would have been surprised.”

When the crowd started to boo, the candidate shot back combatively, ‘‘If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him. You take a look.”

Romney was booed for two things: promising to eliminate Obamacare and promising that his policies would make things better in the black community. He probably didn’t go into this speech expecting to win over the left-leaning NAACP, and the response didn’t seem to catch him off guard. Obamacare is unpopular with the majority of Americans, and the headlines on tonight’s news will now note that Romney promised to repeal it — the fact that he was booed for doing so doesn’t make a difference there.

The NAACP also didn’t do itself any favors by booing Romney’s earnest and unobjectionable promise to “make things better in the African American community.”

African American leaders have long complained about Obama’s failure to address the unemployment problem in the black community, and criticized Obama for taking black support “for granted.” Well, why not, when Obama knows his political opponent will be automatically rejected by the NAACP and criticized by leaders in the Congressional Black Caucus? And why should future Republicans make an effort to address the NAACP — and support the organization’s political objectives — if they’re received with boos?

You can be sure Obama would start paying more attention to black unemployment if he thought Romney had a chance of cutting into his support. Judging from today, that’s not going to happen.