UPDATE: Video of Bret Baier’s All-Star Panel on Romney’s speech to the NAACP. Krauthammer was good, and amusing. Juan Williams? Oh, you watch. (And it was cool to hear from Pat Buchanan. He’s still in the deep freeze at MSNBC, right?)

It was a strong day for Romney, especially his straight-talking NAACP speech (full video below, including audience reactions). The latest first. After the speech, Romney appeared on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News show, and socked it to President Obama for telling a Miami, Florida journalist that “Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez does not pose a ‘serious’ national security threat to the United States.” The campaign issued a press release, actually an abbreviated version of Romney’s remarks to Cavuto:

“I was stunned by his comments, and shocked by them. This is Hugo Chavez, this is Venezuela. This is Chavez who has invited Iran in, who has invited Hezbollah. Hezbollah, of course, being a surrogate and a proxy for Iran would potentially have access to weapons that could be used against us. … The idea that this nation, this president doesn’t pose a national security threat to this country is simply naïve. It’s an extraordinary admission on the part of this president to be completely out of touch with what’s happened in Latin America.” – Mitt Romney

Remember when newbie President Obama encountered Chavez at an April 2009 summit? When he was all about “extending an open hand to nations hostile to the U.S.”?

From “Obama Calls Chavez Gift a ‘Nice Gesture’,” Fox News, April 19, 2009:

President Obama said Sunday he’s not concerned with the politics of shaking hands with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and is more interested in expanding a policy he described during his presidential campaign of extending an open hand to nations hostile to the U.S.

Obama received a book from the Venezuelan president on Saturday after greeting him on Friday evening during the weekend Summit of the Americas. Chavez told the Obama administration that he would like to send an ambassador to the U.S. in exchange for an ambassador in Venezuela. The U.S. suspended diplomatic ties last September.

U.S. officials responded that they need to see more from Chavez before moving forward but were pleased by the sentiment.
Obama did not make note that the book offered by Chavez, “Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent,” by Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano, blames foreign interests like the United States for exploiting Latin America for centuries.

“It was a nice gesture to give me a book. I am a reader,” Obama said during a solo press conference at the end of the summit held in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. …

The campaign site links to the Miami Herald‘s “Mitt Romney calls Obama comment on Venezuela ‘disturbing’; Marco Rubio calls it ‘naive’.” In a preceding story about the Obama interview, the first reader comment is notable:

Hugo Chavez has actually been beneficial to Florida …

because he has caused many relatively wealthy Venezualans to flee, with their money, to Florida.

Still, he is a power-mad snake whose dictatorship should be reviled–like any other such Latin American dictatorship from the left or the right–by the U.S.

Why is it in the last 20 years, only the dictatorships from the left are allowed to thrive in Latin America? …

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I caught Mitt Romney’s full speech to the NAACP convention today. Hell of a speech. Great delivery too. Screw what I wrote below. He handled the audience deftly. His ear was attuned to audience responses, negative to positive. Best of all, he was a straight-shooter. There was no B.S. a la Barack blathering at a Harvard University protest in 1991 (see the video below, which reminded me of T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”). He told the NAACP members what he could do for our nation and for African-Americans. I’m glad he mentioned his father’s considerable efforts as governor of Michigan during the tumultuous civil rights era.

I just have to stick this in at the end … Barack in 1991 at a Harvard University protest. He sounds just the same as he does now — platitudes “signifying nothing.” If one listens to EACH WORD, his remarks are devoid of significance.

Obama’s defense of Professor Bell is missing meaning and examples: “He’s opened new vistas and horizons.” Huh?

Has anything changed? Well, at least back then he didn’t need TOTUS.