No Mitt Romney you don’t deserve credit just for showing up.

You are running for president. Giving speeches is part of the job description.

Usually if you are trying to make the argument that you intend to represent “ALL” racial and economic demographics within the United States, it’s probably a good idea to accept an invitation to speak before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

True George W. Bush declined to speak before the NAACP both times he ran for president, but we all hope not to repeat the mistakes of the Bush/Cheney years.

Romney did show up Wednesday in Houston at the NAACP’s annual meeting to make the case for why African-Americans should consider voting for him over President Obama.

“If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him,” Romney said.

Let’s be honest, it’s not like Romney has a chance in hell of getting the black vote. The latest polls show African-Americans supporting Obama at over 90 percent.

Still, with unemployment in the African-American community at 14.4 percent, well above the national average of 8.2 percent, there is a conversation to be had about how the president could better care for this demographic.

Instead of seizing on this opportunity to have a constructive discussion, Romney chose to criticize the president’s economic policies and target him as a free-spending liberal who is out to raise taxes.

This wasn’t the brightest idea considering a report from the Congressional Budget Office came out Wednesday showing that tax rates under Obama hit a 30-year low in 2009, and have decreased even further since Obama cut the payroll tax.

“If our goal is jobs, we have to stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we take in every year,” Romney said in regard to decreasing government spending. “And so, to do that, I’m going to eliminate every non-essential, expensive program I can find. That includes ‘Obamacare.'”

Really. Couldn’t you have perhaps used the term “Affordable Care Act?”

‘Obamacare’ is a borderline offensive reference anyway, but particularly when using it before the nations oldest civil rights organization.

The jeers started and just kept on coming.

[Watch Romney get booed]

Romney stopped speaking and posed, letting the boos wash over him. He stood there with that vacant stare and insipid smile for 15 seconds waiting for the castigation to cease.

This told me two things. One Romney is a fake. There is no reason to show up at the NAACP convention and give that speech – not if you are for racial equality.

And two, he wasn’t delivering this speech for the attendees of this convention. This was a photo-op for the Tea Party faithful.

Romney has a serious credibility problem within the Republican Party. He needs to authenticate his conservative credentials.

Evidently his campaign believed that getting booed by the NAACP would play well to the far right-wing of the Republican Party.

While that may be true, I would argue that many moderates or swing voters who saw the response Romney drew would be turned off by his performance.

“I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African-American families, you would vote for me for president,” Romney said.

Well why don’t you tell us what is truly in your heart?

This is an emerging problem for Romney. He has essentially been running for president since 2008 and nobody really knows what this guy is about.

Some of this is by design. Romney is trying to fade into the background and focus all the attention and criticism on Obama. The idea here is to build up resentment to the incumbent and hope for a backlash that simply votes for the other guy.

I get that strategy if this was a state legislative race or a House seat, but Romney is running for president.

He has the ability to start wars and launch missiles – the American people have the right to know why he possesses off-shore Swiss bank accounts, what his childhood and upbringing were like, the depth and scope of his religious views – these are things Americans must weigh when they exercise their responsibility of electing a president.

Romney’s night got worse when he attempted to respond to questions about his remarks before the NAACP, as reported by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

“Remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff,” Romney is reported as saying at a fundraiser in Hamilton, Mont. “But don’t forget, nothing is really free.”

I actually hope he didn’t say this.

Insinuating that the NAACP crowd is only interested in free government handouts is reprehensible and shows a lack of understanding.

Regardless, it sets the table for an interesting Thursday as Vice President Joe Biden will address the NAACP, and Mitt Romney will attend a fundraiser in Wyoming hosted by former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Doesn’t that sound all warm and fuzzy – Mitt and Dick in the same room.

I find it interesting that up until today neither Bush or Cheney have appeared with Romney.

Clearly there is a distancing going on, I’m just not sure if it’s Romney trying to keep the tarnish of the Bush years away, or that George W. is less than thrilled with his party’s nominee.

Either way it makes for interesting plot lines going into the fall election. If there is a rift within the Republican Party that can’t bode well for their prospects of victory.

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