Romney Booed at NAACP Convention for Saying He Will Eliminate Obamacare

By Melanie Arter | July 11, 2012 | 12:45 PM EDT

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pauses during a speech to the NAACP annual convention, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, in Houston, Texas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

( GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke to the NAACP annual convention on Wednesday, where he pledged to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, but the crowd booed him.

“I’m going to reduce government spending. I hope everyone understands that high levels of debt slow down the rate of growth of the GDP, of the economy, and that means fewer jobs are created,” Romney said.

“If our goal is jobs, we have to stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we take in every year. And so, to do that I’m going to eliminate every non-essential expensive program I can find - that includes Obamacare, and I’m going to work to reform and save…” he added before the crowd booed him.

Romney paused, waiting for the crowd to calm down. Then he cited a Chamber of Commerce survey that found that three quarters of those polled said that Obamacare made them less likely to hire people.

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The former Massachusetts governor said he would replace Obamacare with something that lowers costs, has “good quality,” gives people with pre-existing conditions health care coverage. He also said he would work to reform and save two entitlement programs – Medicare and Social Security – which are projected to go bankrupt.

Medicare is expected to go broke in 2024, and Social Security is expected to meet the same fate in 2036.

“So I say again, if our priority is jobs – and that’s my priority – that’s something I’d change, and I’d replace with something that provides people with something they need in health care, which is lower cost, good quality, capacity to deal with people who have pre-existing conditions, and I’ll put that in place, and I’ll also work to reform and save Medicare and Social Security,” he said.

Romney said President Barack Obama will probably say he plans to make the same improvements that Romney plans to make, but he will not do it, because he has not done it during his time in office.

“I will go to work to make America the best place in the world for innovators, for entrepreneurs and for businesses large and small. Do these five things: open up energy, expand trade, cut the growth of government, focus on better educating tomorrow’s workers today, and restore economic freedom, and jobs will come back to America, and wages will rise again,” Romney said.

“We have got to do it. And I know the president will say he’s gonna do those things, but he has not. He will not. He cannot, and his last four years in the White House prove it definitively,” he added.

The crowd booed again.

“If I’m president, job one for me will be creating jobs. Let me say that again: My agenda is not to put into place a series of policies that get me a lot of attention and applause. My policy will be number one: create jobs for the American people. I do not have a hidden agenda. And I submit to you this: If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him. You take a look,” Romney said.

The crowd response was mixed – with both applause and boos.