Mitt Romney will address the annual NAACP convention today. (Please note, a photo ID was required to enter the convention in order to see US Attorney General Eric Holder speak, so that policy may be in effect for this as well.)
Romney’s advisers say he plans to focus, as he usually does, on the economy. The 14.4 percent unemployment rate among blacks is much higher than the 8.2 percent national average. He’s also likely to mention his plan to increase school choice — he’s called education the “civil rights issue of our era.”
While a liberal group has said that Romney is too white for blacks to like, here is something that people should keep in mind.
The likely 2012 Republican nominee has a personal history with civil rights issues. Romney’s father, George, spoke out against segregation in the 1960s and as governor of Michigan toured his state’s inner cities as race riots wracked Detroit and other urban areas across the country. He went on to lead the Housing and Urban Development Department, where he pushed for housing reforms to help blacks.
Mitt Romney invoked that legacy during a 2007 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “My dad’s reputation … and my own has always been one of reaching out to people and not discriminating based upon race or anything else.”
Meanwhile, President Obama is skipping the NAACP meeting where several socially conservative black religious leaders are upset with his support for same-sex marriage. Instead, Obama is sending Vice President Joe Biden to speak on his behalf tomorrow. Better make sure the Gaffe Patrol is out in full force for that speech. Who knows what Biden is likely to do or say…