In fact, there were several parts of the speech that were quite audacious — in all the wrong ways. For instance, Romney said something along the lines of, “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.” This is a convoluted way of saying that, a) I’m actually a really nice guy and, b) I know better than you what your interests are and, c) I won’t actually try to convince you of this because I can’t.
Think about that. He’s essentially saying to black people, “If you understood your long-term interests as well as I do, you would vote for me.” On one level, this can just be read as the typical conceit of all politicians who have truly convinced themselves that their policies will work best for everybody. But it’s more troubling in light of the Republican base, among whom it is an article of faith that black people are “brainwashed” or racists. Seriously, I know from personal experience, you can be talking to the sweetest people in the world and then the subject of black voting comes up and suddenly they’re telling you that the Democrats have tricked blacks into voting for them or, worse, that black people simply prefer government assistance rather jobs and real prosperity. So by making the statement that he did, Romney appealed to that prejudice in his party’s base."