Yesterday, Mitt Romney spoke at the NAACP, where he was booed. The leftist media and Democratic establishment promptly declared that Romney’s entire strategy in using the “race-baiting” term “Obamacare” at the NAACP (Daily Beast) was to be booed (Nancy Pelosi), so that he could somehow use the video in “racist precincts” (Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC).
This, of course, is asinine. Romney knew he would be treated with disrespect, of course, but he didn’t plant African-Americans in the audience to boo him so that he could show the film at the local KKK rally.
The real question here is whether the NAACP audience would have booed Romney were he running against a white person rather than a black man. The answer, pretty clearly, is no. When George W. Bush spoke at the NAACP in 2006 – just a few months after Hurricane Katrina – he was not booed. When Bush surrogate Ken Mehlman spoke at the NAACP in 2004, he was not booed. When George W. Bush spoke at the NAACP Convention in 2000, during his presidential campaign, he was not booed.
That’s not because members of the NAACP liked Bush any more than they like Mitt Romney. That’s because George W. Bush wasn’t running against Barack Obama.
What about John McCain’s speech before the NAACP in 2008? He wasn’t booed, largely because he campaigned for Obama: “Don’t tell him I said this, but he is an impressive fellow in many ways. His success should make Americans, all Americans, proud. Of course, I would prefer his success not continue quite as long as he hopes. But it does make you and me proud to know the country I’ve loved and served all my life is still a work in progress, and always improving.”
If there’s any racism here, it’s the NAACP crowd’s, not Romney’s.