Romney Gets Standing Ovation From NAACP, But CNN Calls Reception 'Very Negative'

After Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP on Wednesday, CNN's Jim Acosta focused on the boos he received from the audience without mentioning the crowd's standing ovation and their applause scattered through the speech. Acosta simply reported a "very negative" reaction from the audience.

"[N]o question about it, this was a very negative reaction to what Mitt Romney had to say here earlier this morning," he rounded out his post-speech report. However, NBC's Garrett Haake tweeted that Romney got a standing ovation as he finished his speech, and National Review's Jim Geraghty noted the cordial reception by the NAACP.

A standing ovation hardly justifies Acosta's "very negative" label for the crowd's reaction to the speech. And the newspaper The Guardian reported during the speech that aside from the booing, the audience had treated Romney "politely" and "with plenty of applause at the appropriate places."

Nevertheless, Acosta focused on the boos. "I don't think it really is sort of overstating it. This was perhaps one of the most negative reactions Mitt Romney has had in the course of his 2012 presidential campaign," he stated.

"He [Romney] used the term 'ObamaCare,' which by the way, that's fine in Republican circles, but there are a lot of Democrats who sort of bristle at using the term 'ObamaCare,'" Acosta expounded. "We at CNN use the term 'the President's health care law', at least in our news reporting," he stated before using the term "ObamaCare" later on in his report.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on July 11 on CNN Newsroom at 11:10 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

JIM ACOSTA: I have to tell you, I have not – I've been covering the Romney campaign for the good portion of a year now, and I talked to some of my fellow Romney reporters with the other news outlets that are covering this campaign, and Ashleigh, I have to tell you, I have not heard that kind of sustained booing for Mitt Romney during the course of this campaign up until what happened today at the NAACP.

I don't think it really is sort of overstating it. This was perhaps one of the most negative reactions Mitt Romney has had in the course of his 2012 presidential campaign. That booing that went on after he said he would repeal the President's health care law went on for nearly ten seconds. He used the term "ObamaCare," which by the way, that's fine in Republican circles, but there are a lot of Democrats who sort of bristle at using the term "ObamaCare." We at CNN use the term "the President's health care law," at least in our news reporting.

And so to come into an audience that is very friendly to the President and use the term "ObamaCare" and say you would repeal it is almost sort of inviting a confrontation. Now if you go on social media right now, Ashleigh, you will see there are a lot of Republicans out there who are applauding Mitt Romney for coming into this audience and saying what he would do as President of the United States.

And this message, Ashleigh, may be designed not just for the NAACP, but to go out across the country, obviously, because it's being carried live in all sorts of places, and go to those independent, moderate sectors of suburban areas, swing states, battleground states, where perhaps seeing Mitt Romney going after ObamaCare in front of the NAACP might be an effective message.

So it's interesting to see the different takes on what happened here today, but no question about it, this was a very negative reaction to what Mitt Romney had to say here earlier this morning.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center