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Romney Draws Boos After Hammering Obama on Black Unemployment, Health Care in NAACP Speech

Romney Draws Boos After Hammering Obama on Black Unemployment, Health Care in NAACP Speech

"It’s worse for African-Americans in almost every way."

Mitt Romney made his appeal to black voters on Wednesday, addressing the NAACP National Conference where he argued that life is "worse for African-Americans in almost every way" under President Obama.

His reception was lukewarm and paled in comparison to the welcoming Attorney General Eric Holder received on Tuesday, leaving the stage to chants of "Holder! Holder! Holder!" Needless to say, there were no chants of "Romney." Quite the opposite actually, as he was booed multiple times by a seemingly hostile audience.

"I am running for president because I know that my policies and vision will help hundreds of millions of middle class Americans of all races, will lift people from poverty, and will help prevent people from becoming poor. My campaign is about helping the people who need help. The course the president has set has not done that -- and will not do that. My course will," he said.

(Related: Black Caucus Chair: Romney Shouldn't Have Bashed Obamacare in Front of NAACP Audience)

Romney was booed emphatically after saying he would repeal "Obamacare." He quickly backtracked and said he would replace the health care law with something else that also covered children with preexisting conditions and cited a survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that indicated that Obamacare would be harmful to America's businesses and would make them less likely to hire.

You can watch the crowd turn on Romney over Obamacare here:

He was booed a second time when he criticized President Obama for not doing enough to create jobs.

"If you want a president who is going to make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him," Romney said, drawing even more boos.

However, for the most part, Romney hammered on the economy.  He specifically addressed Black unemployment, which is nearly double the national average. He did so by couching an argument that there is not economic "equal opportunity" in America when one group suffers unemployment on such a scale.

"If equal opportunity in America were an accomplished fact, then a chronically bad economy would be equally bad for everyone. Instead, it’s worse for African Americans in almost every way. The unemployment rate, the duration of unemployment, average income, and median family wealth are all worse for the black community. In June, while the overall unemployment rate remained stuck at 8.2 percent, the unemployment rate for African Americans actually went up, from 13.6 percent to 14.4 percent."

Romney also used the equal opportunity argument to hammer against the teachers unions, which he referred to as "special interests" holding back our education system.

"The African-American community has been waiting and waiting for that promise to be kept. Today, black children are 17 percent of students nationwide – but they are 42 percent of the students in our worst-performing schools.

When it comes to education reform, candidates cannot have it both ways – talking up education reform, while indulging the same groups that are blocking reform. You can be the voice of disadvantaged public-school students, or you can be the protector of special interests like the teachers unions, but you can’t be both."

Romney made sure to define that his policies will help families "of any color" and that beyond the rhetoric fiscal conservatism will be a greater economic service to the African-American community than the policies of our President.

"I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color — and families of any color — more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president."

President Obama, citing a schedule conflict, will not speak at the NAACP conference. However, Vice President Joe Biden is expected to speak in his place on Thursday.

It was a tough sell for Romney -- roughly 95 percent of blacks supported Obama in 2008 -- but he deserves credit for getting up on the stage and delivering his remarks.

"I believe, that if you understood who I truly am in my heart... you would vote for me for president," Romney said. Watch all of Romney's NAACP speech via PBS, below.

The Blaze's Benny Johnson contributed to this report.

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