Mitt Romney followed up a bizarre speech at the NAACP convention that drew boos yesterday with a combative message last night that if people want “free stuff” they should just vote Obama. And this after he’d said black people would vote for him if they could only understand what’s in his “heart.”
“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,” Romney said yesterday.
So, basically he’s saying that black people don’t understand him because it’s impossible to fully communicate what he believes in his heart is in the best interest of African Americans. But if it were possible, they’d understand him and vote for him.
What? Why is it so hard to communicate what’s in his heart? Is it so complex it literally can’t be comprehended? Shouldn’t the best interest of black voters be pretty straightforward? How about increasing upward mobility and social equality? Seems like it should be pretty simple.
Romney also displayed major tone-deafness in using the derisive term “Obamacare” to describe the Affordable Care Act to a crowd with great pride in Obama’s accomplishments and a vested interest in actually receiving affordable health care. “You cannot possibly talk about jobs for black people at the level he’s coming from. He’s talking about entrepreneurship, savings accounts—black people can barely find a way to get back and forth from work,” Charlette Stoker Manning, chair of Women in NAACP, told BuzzFeed“BuzzFeed.
“I believe his vested interests are in white Americans,” said Manning—and that was before Romney’s “free stuff” retort, which probably didn’t convert a windfall of new fans.
“The rich will do just fine whether I’m elected or not,” he acknowledged according to Bloomberg. “The president wants to make this a campaign about blaming the rich and I want to make this a campaign about helping the middle class in America.”
Which sounds all well and good, but the fact is Romney’s plans benefit the wealthy more than anyone else, and everyone knows it. Which is why so far he’s polling much better with affluent white voters than anyone else. Romney is going to have to come up with a better approach if he wants to connect with anyone else. Until he does, he should probably stick to talking about the deficit and leave “heart” out of it.