Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney addressed the nation’s oldest civil rights group on Wednesday in Houston, hoping to chip away at President Barrack Obama’s overwhelming lead among African American voters.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that Romney spoke at the NAACP convention in a move that was perhaps more symbolic than effective. President Obama leads Romney in polling among blacks 92 percent to six percent, the largest disparity between the candidates among any demographic group.
While it was unlikely former governor would win over too many voters at the convention, his appearance was important as he seeks to show he is willing to address all Americans in his effort to claim the presidency, not just his supporters.
Still, Mitt Romney pulled no punches in his address.
“I believe that 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 to the NAACP.
The New York Daily News reported that Romney was booed more than once during the address, first when he claimed he would be a better president for African Americans than Obama, and second when he vowed to repeal Obamacare. Still, he mostly kept to his script.
“The opposition charges that I and people in my party are running for office to help the rich,” Mitt Romney said to polite applause. “Nonsense. The rich will do just fine whether I am elected or not.”
Vice President Joe Biden will address the conference Thursday. President Obama last addressed the convention in 2009.