Nutter Calls Romney ‘A Joke’
Lots of pixilated ink has been spilled over Mitt Romney’s speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People yesterday, in which he was maybe cheered, maybe booed, maybe both—but definitely not neither. Almost immediately after the speech, in which the presidential candidate told the mostly-black audience, “If you knew my heart, I would get your vote” and slammed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Mayor Nutter and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed participated on an Obama for America conference call, telling reporters exactly what they thought of Romney’s speech.
Spoiler alert: They didn’t care for it.
“[Slamming the PPACA] makes him look like he’s having character and integrity when he wasn’t really speaking to the NAACP audience at all. He’s aware what’s going on in Congress today,” Reed said, referring to the health care repeal bill, “and those are the individuals he was speaking to.”
From beginning to end, Nutter and Reed tore Romney apart, seemingly competing for best takedowns of the candidate. Both were particularly distressed by Romney’s damnation of the PPACA, noting when speaking of health care reform, he was not speaking to those in the room.
Reed went on to note Romney does not show character or integrity when Rush Limbaugh or Ted Nugent makes a ridiculous statement.
“To his base, [getting booed] will make him look strong, but he never stands up to anybody else,” the Atlanta mayor added.
“Mitt Romney has no response to the fact that over 4 million jobs have been created” over the course of President Obama’s first term, said Nutter. “The representatives in the House would spend all their time literally allowing the country going over the edge if they thought that would ensure that one person would lose their job—which is president Barack Obama. Now that is irresponsible.”
When asked specifically about the boos from the NAACP audience (Rush Limbaugh later claimed Romney was booed because he is white), Nutter let it rip:
“Look, he’s a grown man; he’s been around the block a couple of times. This is all for the optics. He’s going through the motions,” he said. “The guy is a joke. He’s not for real. He’s a character playing a role and virtually perpetrating a fraud on the American people.”
Nutter added continued with the attack, saying it was hard to listen to the things Romney says on the trail.
“He’s in a campaign; I can’t take any of this stuff seriously,” he said. “At a certain level, he’s running for president of the United States. But the guy’s a joke.”
He added: “Black folks are not going to sit there and listen to some of that nonsense.”
Nutter has, in the past, been criticized for promoting anti-African American policies in Philadelphia, although he’s quickly become President Barack Obama’s most vocal African American supporter. On another call, today, Nutter toned down as he joined Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl to promote the president’s record with small businesses. Though he still found time to lay into Romney on the call.
He noted a new Boston Globe article about Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital (specifically, whether it ended in 1999 or 2002) “raises serious questions about why he misrepresented the date of his departure and whether he’s concealing his tax returns because they will tell us something more about what he was doing beyond what little information we have today.”
He added: “It’s time for Mitt Romney to come clean with the American people. It’s time for him to start telling the truth about his record.”