It’s a mistake to assume that every prominent Republican who speaks at the NAACP’s national convention will receive a cool reception. It’s simply not the case – then-RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman’s speech in 2004 was very well received, for example.
So, when Mitt Romney agreed to speak this morning, it was hardly a foregone conclusion that his remarks would go over poorly. Sure, he antagonized the NAACP in Massachusetts during his one term as governor. And sure, Romney’s right-wing policy agenda would disproportionately hurt African Americans. And sure, Romney’s party is engaged in a systematic effort to prevent African-American voters from participating in the 2012 elections.
But Romney nevertheless could have stressed areas of agreement and made his case for why his far-right proposals would help the African-American community. Instead, the Republican chose a different path.