Mitt's interminable speech to the NAACP has wrapped up. Here's the full transcript in case you've been battling insomnia. This will do the trick.
Your intrepid diarist has uncovered this annotated version of the speech that reveals what Mitt himself wanted to say. Clearly, this should not fall into enemy hands, so I am carefully handing it to all of you for safekeeping. Use it wisely.
Thank you, Bishop Graves, for your generous introduction. Thanks also to President Ben Jealous and Chairman Roslyn Brock for the opportunity to be here this morning, and for your hospitality. It is an honor to address you.You’ve heard Ann and me say before that it’s “our turn” to take over the Presidency, so
I appreciate the chance to speak first – even before Vice President Biden gets his turn tomorrow.
I hope that our illustrious Vice President realizes that his turn is winding down.
I just hope the Obama campaign won’t think you’re playing favorites.[awaits raucous laughter; none forthcoming. Continues…]
You all know something of my background, and maybe you’ve wondered how any Republican ever becomes governor of Massachusetts in the first place. Well, in a state with 11 percent Republican registration, you don’t get there by just talking to Republicans. We have to make our case to every voter. We don’t count anybody out, and we sure don’t make a habit of presuming anyone’s support. Support is asked for and earned – and that’s why I’m here today.So watch your wallets, guys! Oh, just kidding. What worked in Massachusetts was money. It’s amazing how many votes you can win just by outspending your opponent ten to one. Works every time! That, and promising people all sorts of things that will never happen, but sound pretty cool in the mean time.
With 90 percent of African-Americans voting for Democrats, some of you may wonder why a Republican would bother to campaign in the African American community, and to address the NAACP.Trust me, I’ve been wondering the same thing. I wouldn’t have given today’s event a single thought except for the fact that my campaign staff told me I had to show up and make a speech. What a drag! I'm missing a dressage exhibition for this! Ann will not be happy, and you know how that goes. Luckily I learned a lot from Newt, so I'll pick up a nice bracelet at Tiffany's on my way home! Ha, ha.
Of course, one reason is that I hope to represent all Americans, of every race, creed or sexual orientation, from the poorest to the richest and everyone in between.But, you have to admit, the rich make a much better audience, since they show up with huge donations in hand. Ann and I like that, a lot. Saves all kinds of time, and they “get” me, they really do!
But there is another reason: 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. 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.So let’s recap: I, a pasty white person whose very humanoid properties have been challenged by those who say that I’m a soul-less cyorg, would better represent your interests than an actual African American president, duly elected by the people. Yeah, that’s it.
The opposition charges that I and people in my party are running for office to help the rich. Nonsense. The rich will do just fine whether I am elected or not.
Wait... that’s actually true! Wow. I’d prefer that we move past the fact that under the African American president, the stock market has been “very, very good to me” as you brown people like to say.
The President wants to make this a campaign about blaming the rich. I want to make this a campaign about helping the middle class.Wait… I think I got those reversed.
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.Take for example the hundreds of poor people I’ve already helped. My lawn crew. The dog groomer. The catering staff. The kids’ nannies. The cooks. The cleaning ladies. The chauffeurs. The valet parking boys. The guys who muck out the stables for Ann’s beautiful horses. The landscapers who keep my trees just the right height. Every single one of these people has been lifted from poverty and given a solid middle-class life.
[Follow along below the wealth gap for more...]
If someone had told us in the 1950s or 1960s that a black citizen would serve as the forty-fourth president, we would have been proud and many would have been surprised.
Oh, no! I just said that he’s a “citizen”! The Donald will NOT be happy with me. Quick: get my speechwriter in here and fire him! Gosh, I love firing people! Hang on a second, guys. This won’t take but a minute or two.
[Speechwriter, aghast, is brought in, fired, and frog-marched off stage as the crowd gasps in horror]
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.The fact that my company, Bain, might have been the one laying off some of you folks is completely immaterial, but you can be sure that my opponent will have their people find an African American or two, stand them up in front of some decrepit factory building, and say I ruined their lives. These personal attacks are getting tiresome, especially coming from a guy who’s never even run a lemonade stand. In business, you need to make some tough decisions. When I’m firing people, race is the last thing on my mind. I just want them gone – black, white, Latino, Asian – just gone.
Here at the NAACP, you understand the deep and lasting difference the family makes. Your former executive director, Dr. Benjamin Hooks, had it exactly right. The family, he said, “remains the bulwark and the mainstay of the black community. That great truth must not be overlooked.”I myself have a lovely family. My beautiful wife, Ann, has done a marvelous job with the boys, and we couldn’t be more proud of how they’ve turned out. If every family was like ours, what a great country we could be. Dad would go to work to support the family; Mom would watch over the staff, making sure they didn’t walk off with any of the silver, the boys practicing their hijinks for when they will grow up and run their own successful companies.
Any policy that lifts up and honors the family is going to be good for the country, and that must be our goal. As President, I will promote strong families – and I will defend traditional marriage.As you may have heard, my ancestors were very fond of traditional marriage, so much so that they did it over and over again. I’ve got more grandmas than an assisted living center.
On Day One, I will begin turning this economy around with a plan for the middle class. And I don’t mean just those who are middle class now – I also mean those who have waited so long for their chance to join the middle class.In business, of course, things are different. My opponent has been going on and on about how many people I’ve cut while I was at Bain. Well, there is good news ahead for all those little people! Now that I’m going to be president, I’ll make sure they are all rehired and paid a good old American wage. If they hadn’t been laid off in the first place, none of this would be possible! Oh, I love it when a plan comes together!
I know what it will take to put people back to work, to bring more jobs and better wages.
My jobs plan is based on 25 years of success in business. It has five key steps.My people tell me there’s also a lot of money to be made in oil spill clean-up, medical care for victims of black lung (or as we should say here in your "house" “African American lung”!!), environmental remediation, air pollution control, and repair work after natural gas explosions. The good news is that when we build these new pieces of infrastructure, chances are, they’ll go right through your neighborhood, so can get a job near home! How great is that?
First, I will take full advantage of our energy resources, and I will approve the Keystone pipeline from Canada. Low cost, plentiful coal, natural gas, oil, and renewables will bring over a million manufacturing jobs back to the United States.
Second, I will open up new markets for American products. We are the most productive major economy in the world, so trade means good jobs for Americans. But trade must be free and fair, so I’ll clamp down on cheaters like China and make sure that they finally play by the rules.What’s that? You’re booing me? What the…? Where’s my speechwriter! Get him out here RIGHT NOW!
Third, I will reduce government spending. Our high level of debt slows GDP growth and that means fewer jobs. If our goal is jobs, we must, must stop spending over a trillion dollars more than we earn. To do this, I will eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare, and I will work to reform and save Medicare and Social Security, in part by means-testing their benefits.
[Secret Service agent whispers: “Uh, sir… you just fired him, remember?”]
Fourth, I will focus on nurturing and developing the skilled workers our economy so desperately needs and the future demands. This is the human capital with which tomorrow's bright future will be built. Too many homes and too many schools are failing to provide our children with the skills and education that are essential for anything other than a minimum-wage job.I know you guys really love your freedom, and when I’m elected, I assure you: you’ll still be free. Free to work long hours, if you want. Free to work in an unsafe workplace. Free to handle your own medical problems the way you see fit without the government telling you what to do.
And finally and perhaps most importantly, I will restore economic freedom.
If I am president, job one for me will be creating jobs. I have no hidden agenda. If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him.[Crowd murmurs in confusion. A woman in the back shouts out “OBAMA! OBAMA! Secret Service tasers the offender, handcuffing her to the fired speechwriter]
Yet always, in both parties, there have been men and women of integrity, decency, and humility who called injustice by its name. For every one of us a particular person comes to mind, someone who set a standard of conduct and made us better by their example. For me, that man is my father, George Romney.What a chump! That might work in politics, but for Pete’s sake: in business, you need more in the way of instinct, or you’re gonna have people walking all over you. Why, even at Cranbrook, it was easy to tell who was going to give you a problem! Folks like that, well, you have to put a stop to them sooner rather than later. You guys know what I mean.
It wasn’t just that my Dad helped write the civil rights provision for the Michigan Constitution, though he did. It wasn’t just that he helped create Michigan’s first civil rights commission, or that as governor he marched for civil rights in Detroit – though he did those things, too.
More than these public acts, it was the kind of man he was, and the way he dealt with every person, black or white. He was a man of the fairest instincts, and a man of faith who knew that every person was a child of God.
Well, listen, I’ve gone on quite a while now, and I’m sure you have better things to do than hang out and listen to me. So, for those of you who want to make a donation, we’ve got all the paperwork right here. For everyone else, have a great afternoon doing whatever it is that you people do in the afternoon.
Thank you, and God bless you all.Whatever. Get me outta here.