Earlier this week, Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, appeared at 103rd convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In an attempt to appeal to a diverse audience, the former CEO of Bain Capital took to the podium and gave his standard stump speech. While Romney was going through the motions, he slipped up and the crowd let him have it.
While talking about cutting spending, Romney said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act, or in his words “Obamacare,” and the crowd let him have it as loud boos were heard throughout the audience. At the end of his speech, the crowd gave Romney a lukewarm applause, thanking the candidate for taking the time to show up. Romney and his campaign admitted that they expected to hear a negative reaction from the crowd and stated that: “if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy.” One man who has not been silent about Romney’s appeared has been conservative talk show host,Rush Limbaugh.
“Imagine if Romney had told them what they wanted to hear, how would that have gone? If Romney had told the NAACP what they wanted to hear he would have said: ‘Under a Romney administration we’ll give even more blacks on food stamps than President Obama has.’ (mocking the NAACP crowd) ‘Ya right on dude, right on.’ We got to be honest about this don’t we? Romney got booed for articulating policies that would improve the lives of every American.”
Rush Limbaugh’s comments would be alarming if they weren’t so expected. The spattering of cheers heard for Romney might not have even come from NAACP members. Appearing on “The Ed Show” on MSNBC, the director of the NAACP’s Washington Bureau, Hilary Shelton, noted that Mitt Romney had conservative Republicans flown in to beef up the crowd at the event.
“He’s talking about African American Republican politicians that were actually brought in, flown in , to the NAACP convention in Houston, Texas”
“They are bringing people in that they know will support his agenda from other places that aren’t active with the NAACP. These are people that were actually brought in to provide the cheering for him so there will be some support for him along those lines.”
Rush Limbaugh’s comments reflect once again the “dog whistle” rhetoric used by many conservatives across the country. With the election of President Obama in 2008, many thought the United States took a step forward on issues of race, but Rush Limbaugh and others have shown that the country might have taken a step back.
By: Robert Sobel