Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was facing a tacitly polite crowd this morning while giving a campaign speech in front of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Romney was speaking at the NAACP’s annual convention in Houston, Texas and the event was seen as an opportunity for the former Massachusetts governor to reach out to the African American community, which nearly uniformly supported his opponent Barack Obama in the 2008 election.
Things were going well for Romney and he was garnering some reserved but supportive applause from the audience, at least until eleven and a half minutes into his nearly 24-minute speech when he announced plans to “eliminate every nonessential expensive program I can find. That includes ‘Obamacare.’” The mere mention of President Obama’s lightning rod bill intended to reform America’s health care system drew a loud chorus of boos and shouting from the audience. Romney smiled quietly, waited out the disruption and resumed his stump speech.
Did Mitt Romney expect that kind of reaction from this audience? How do candidates face hostile crowds on the campaign trail?
Alonzo Bodden, winner of season 3 of NBC’s "Last Comic Standing" and star of Showtime Comedy Special "Who's Paying Attention"