Mitt Romney already faced a mission impossible scenario Wednesday with his scheduled speech to the NAACP.

And that was before embattled Attorney General Eric Holder raised the stakes.

Holder delivered a rousing address Tuesday in Houston that framed the proposed Texas voter ID law as harmful to minority voters and included references to segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace and the Jim Crow-era practice of poll taxes. Holder’s remarks highlighted the unspoken racial dimension to the 2012 presidential election for Republicans: the politically explosive act of trying to take down the nation’s first African-American president.

While the presumptive GOP nominee has studiously avoided any in-depth discussion of race, the timing of his speech to the annual convention of the nation’s oldest and perhaps best-known civil rights organization nevertheless provided a highly charged backdrop for Romney’s appearance.

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