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On Wednesday, July 11 Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney was booed at the NAACP conference when he stated that, if elected, he would repeal Obamacare. Romney’s statement was “I’m going to eliminate every non-essential, expensive program I can find, that includes Obamacare, and I’m going to work to reform and save.”
According to CNN Romney has currently garnered only 5% of the black vote as opposed to 87% that President Obama holds.
Romney’s attendance at the conference was somewhat of a surprise since Obama is expected to take well over 90% of the black vote in November. Romney stated, “with 90 percent of African Americans voting for Democrats, some of you may wonder why a Republican would bother to campaign in the African-American community, and to address the NAACP. Of course, one reason is that I hope to represent all Americans, of every race, creed or sexual orientation, from the poorest to the richest and everyone in between.” However, the New York Times has also speculated that visiting the NAACP will make Romney look more moderate to independents and undecided whites.
Romney’s speech was followed the next day by Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden. Although the President was originally scheduled for the event he was unable to attend because of a ‘scheduling conflict.’
Biden’s message, according to Politico, was that Obama needs the help of the black community to win the election and the Romney and the Congressional Republicans will and have been only harmful. Biden reminded the crowd about the NAACP and the voter ID laws that have arisen across several states. “Remember what this at its core was all about, why this organization at its core was all about. It was about the franchise. It was about the right to vote. Because when you have the right to vote, you have the right to change things.”
Biden also discussed Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt by the GOP-controlled House after he refused to turn over several documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. Holder has been a strong proponent of protecting voter rights and has stated, “in our efforts to protect voting rights and to prevent voting fraud, we will be vigilant and strong. But let me be clear: We will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”
Biden also reminded the members at the conference about the lack of cooperation from the Republicans in recent years. “Almost never since he’s taken office did the Republican Congress reach across the aisle to help… The Republicans’ plan [was] not to get us out of this recession, not to promote jobs, not to do the things that needed to be done, but to make Barrack Obama a one-term president.” Toward the end of his speech the Vice President admitted that he was “preaching to the choir.”
Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore