Hilary Shelton, who heads the Washington D.C.chapter of the NAACP, told Ed Shultz on the Ed Show Wednesday night that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney flew in black supporters to applaud his speech at the NAACP annual convention.
Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau Director, alleged that "The campaign actually gave me a list of African-American VIPs that they brought in to the NAACP meeting. So, I’m sure those are the ones they sat down with because, quite frankly, none of the rank-and-file NAACPers met with him.”
MSNBC reports that Romney said he met with black leaders who told him they support him but were afraid to say so publicly. Romney, during an interview with Fox News's Neil Cavuto, said “I spoke with a number of African-American leaders after the event and they said, you know, a lot of folks do not want to say they will not vote for President Obama but they are disappointed in his lack of policies to improve the schools.”
According to TPM, Romney told Fox: “The president has not been able to get the job done and people want to see someone would can get the economy going so I expect to get the African American votes, and at the end of my speech having a standing ovation was generous and hospitable and I believe we disagree on some issues like ‘Obamacare’ on a lot of issues people see eye to eye, they want someone getting the economy going.”
MSNBC host Ed Schultz, asked Shelton which “African American leaders” Romney was referring to.
According to Raw Story, Shelton said: “He’s talking about African American Republican politicians that were actually brought in — flown in — to the NAACP convention in Houston, Texas to be there for the [candidate] alone."
He added: “That means that Mitt Romney rigged the crowd to support him there so he could go on TV and say, ‘You know, actually I got a lot of support among African American leaders.’”
Shelton insisted that none of the people Romney claimed he met were NAACP leaders. Shelton referred to Niger Inis, an African-American conservative politician, as one of those brought in from New York. Shelton denied that Inis was a member of the NAACP, saying: "They're bringing people in that they know will support his agenda from other places, that aren't active with the NAACP. These are people who are brought in to actually provide the cheering for him, so there will be some support along those lines."
Digital Journal reports Romney was booed when, during his speech before the NAACP, he said he would repeal Obamacare. He was also jeered when he told the NAACP audience that "If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you're looking at him."
However, Romney received some applause when he spoke about education and when he promised to uphold traditional marriage.
TPM notes that polls show Romney has made no inroads with African American voters. TPM reports: "He’s pulling single-digit support among black voters in the PollTracker Average. But by Romney’s account, it’s possible black voters are simply afraid to tell pollsters their real feelings."