On Wednesday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported that Mitt Romney responded to being booed at the NAACP by taking a punch at the mostly black audience and saying if they want more free stuff from the government to vote for President Obama.
“Remind them of this: If they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy, more free stuff. But don’t forget, nothing is really free,” Romney reportedly said at a fundraiser in Hamilton, Montana. (HuffPost reports Romney has used the “free stuff” line before.)
Several people have speculated that Romney went in to the NAACP meeting knowing he would get booed so he could carry that experience as a badge of honor.
“If I were a political cynic, I’d wonder whether the Romney campaign wanted to be booed at NAACP,” tweeted DailyBeast contributor David Frum immediately after Romney’s speech.
“It seemed like Mitt Romney wanted to get booed at the NAACP this morning,” Maddow said on her show late Wednesday. “He wanted to wear that around his neck like a badge of courage. It looks like he is not wasting any time in doing so.”
“I think it was a calculated move on his part to get booed at the NAACP convention,” Pelosi said of his speech during an interview with Bloomberg TV.
Romney has now confirmed he expected the boos.
“I think we expected that,” Romney told Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto shortly after his NAACP speech. “I am going to give the same message to the NAACP that I give across the country, which is that Obamacare is killing jobs,” Romney said.
Earlier Wednesday Romney campaign advisers said they didn’t expect to get the black vote but in the Fox News interview the presumptive GOP Presidential candidate had changed his tune.
“I spoke with a number African American leaders after the event and they said a lot of folks don’t want to say they are not going to vote for Barack Obama but they are disappointed in his lack of policies to improve our schools, disappointed in urban policy, disappointed in the economy. (There is) 14.4 percent unemployment among African Americans today. The president has not been able to get the job done. People want to see someone who can get this economy going. I expect to get African American votes.”