CNN contributor Roland Martin on Thursday accused Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of using “coded language” when talking about African Americans.
Romney on Wednesday said those at the NAACP convention who booed him should “vote for the other guy” if they wanted government handouts.
“When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare, they weren’t happy,” the Republican candidate said. “That’s OK. I want people to know what I stand for. If I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for somebody else. But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this. If they want more stuff from the government, tell them to go vote for the other guy, more free stuff.”
Martin said Romney was using coded language when he used the words “they” and “free.” Republican presidential candidates, such as Newt Gingrich, have received criticism this year for allegedly using subtle and indirect language to perpetuate racial stereotypes.
“We’ve seen that happened before with Republicans,” Martin said.
“I’m sorry, Roland. It is Will, just so I am clear, you’re saying he is using the term ‘they’ and ‘free’ as code for what?” CNN contributor Will Cain later asked.
“What I am saying is when he is they, when talking about ‘they’ and ‘free,’ I am saying that has been coded language that we have heard before,” Martin said.
“Coded for what?” Cain interrupted.
“Excuse me, I am going to make the point, from Republican candidates speaking of either poor people, speaking of African- Americans,” Martin continued. “We can talk about I remember the image of the welfare queen going back to the ’80s, what that looked like. And this morning on the morning show I interviewed Sophia Nelson who was a GOP general counsel, long time Republican and she also said this is one of the problems Republicans do, using certain language speaking of certain groups. That’s what I’m saying.”