Romney courts African-American vote at NAACP convention

Posted at 12:27 PM, Jul 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-11 12:34:59-04

By Shannon Travis

(CNN) — Mitt Romney knows he has a problem with African-American voters: Polls show they overwhelmingly prefer President Obama. A recent Gallup tracking poll showed just 5% of blacks supporting Romney, compared with 87% for the president.

But that’s not stopping the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee from trying to pick off some black voters.

His latest appeal comes Wednesday. The former Massachusetts governor addressed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The NAACP is holding its 103rd annual convention in Houston, with particular focus on health and unemployment disparities in the black community and voter ID laws that many feel could deny blacks voting rights come November.

Romney’s address focused heavily on the economy and address the high unemployment rate on the African-American community. But he will also made a direct appeal to its voters.

“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, according to his campaign. “I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color — and families of any color — more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president.”

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Romney heard a chorus of boos when he said he would "eliminate every non-essential, expensive program I can find.  And that includes Obamacare."

Romney told the convention he is the candidate who would make things better for African-American families and said under President Obama's leadership, things have gotten worse for black families.