Obama camp cites 'scheduling conflict' for NAACP convention no-show
July 11th, 2012
10:09 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama camp cites 'scheduling conflict' for NAACP convention no-show

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's re-election campaign insisted a "scheduling conflict" is behind the president's decision to skip this year's NAACP convention.

"We declined a few weeks ago and [the] NAACP was pleased [Vice President Joe Biden] was able to attend," a campaign official told CNN.

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However, the president did make a brief appearance in a pre-taped video that ran before the vice president appeared.

"If you keep standing with me…I know we can arrive there together," the president said after delivering a few lines from his typical stump speech on helping middle class Americans.

While the president's schedule appeared to be wide open for Thursday–raising questions as to why his campaign cited "scheduling conflicts"–CNN confirmed Thursday morning that Obama and his wife, Michelle, are sitting down for an interview with CBS News.

The president also holds his daily briefing with senior aides and advisers.

Hilary Shelton, the NAACP Washington Bureau director and a senior vice president in the organization, said the White House never confirmed a visit.

“They were trying to work out something," Shelton said. As to why Obama could not attend, he added, "It was that something could not be moved. Something was crucial. And unfortunately, they couldn’t move it in a way they could get him here this week.”

Obama addressed the convention in 2009 and last year Michelle Obama spoke to the group.

The White House and Obama's re-election campaign have been hit with questions on the matter especially after presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney addressed the group Wednesday.

The former Massachusetts governor was booed during his remarks when he vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature health care law.

Biden is scheduled to deliver the keynote address Thursday at the annual convention in Houston, Texas.

Thursday is the final day of the five-day conference.

– CNN Political Reporter Shannon Travis contributed to this report


Filed under: NAACP • President Obama
soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. ymo

    Mitt Romney did his job as a candidate and showed up at the NAACP convention. He knew he would get booed the minute he insulted President Obama and that is why he said “Obamacare” instead of The Affordable Care Act. Let’s be straight…Mitt does not deserves praise for doing what he is supposed to do…it would be like giving credit to a man or woman for raising their children properly. IT’S WHAT YOUR SUPPOSED TO DO.

    Mitt wanted to stand up to the Black folks so the far right republicans would like him more. Too bad he can’t stand up to people like the Tea Party, Paul Ryan, John Boehner , The Koch Brothers…heck how about he stand up to his “Blind Trust” accountants and tell them to stop hiding his money in Swiss Bank accounts? Mitt has no problem standing up to minorities groups and women , and condescendingly telling them HE knows what’s best for them. It’s what he has done all of his life. “Clean my shoes and cook my food!” “Mow my lawn, but you better not be an illegal for pete’s sake, I’m running for President!!” or “ Woman I know better than your OB/GYN doctor!” Funny ..yet pathetically true.

    July 12, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Laverne

    Then tell me what was the issue when blacks predominantly voted for ALL WHITE democratic presidents in the past. The statements some you are make are just plain ridiculous!

    July 12, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. sf

    Another wise move on the POTUS part. He knew Romney would be speaking to crowd that he has no relationship with nor could he possibly be on "their side" and he probably knew that romney would put his foot in his mouth yet once again!

    July 12, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Atul Chaudhary

    Well, I don't fault blacks to support one of their own. After being treated unfairly for so long, they thought some one who can relate with them has come who would do something about their plight except that they didn't realize that the person they were backing doesn't care about ANY BODY but himself (and probably his kids). His words are pure hollow, no substance whatsoever. They are still hoping for a miracle from the President. To attribute to this alienation, many conservatives and republicans have been short sited in making comments that doesn't resonate well with black community. However truthful you are, you have to be diplomatic/tactful because most people don't like to hear something that is not going to help them. When Newt said that teenagers should start working early, he was bashed by democrats but that is the truth. Teenagers should be taught that no job is small and you have to start from the bottom to reach to the top. Now a days, high school pass kids expect to get $100k job as they start. Nothing wrong in dreaming about that but you have to prove yourself to get that.

    July 12, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. WiredweirdinSF

    He doesn't need their votes, they pick their candidates by the color or their skin, not the content of the character. How do you think we ended up with this corrupt jerk in the first place. Gee, is he lying about the "scheduling conflict" like he lies about everything else?

    July 12, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. BEn275

    Mitttens is a joke.

    July 12, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Why is it conservatives were never showed much concern about black Americans and how they voted before now? Black voters are voting pretty much the same way they have for decades which is "in their own best interests." I must salute them for their knack to make up their own minds, not allowing allow their opinions to be shaped by political spin.

    July 12, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. sf

    What?!!! NO CNN POLL?!!!! que the headlines CNN....you're behind in your idiot style of reporting...then after the polls it's that idiot John King and his stupid screens!

    July 12, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Ciemma

    Why cant the reason Obama did not attend be the reason he gave? Why MUST he be lying? That being said, Romney did such an incredible poor job speaking to them (condescending tone, if you didnt catch it – I believe he just ASSUMED no one in the audience knew what the GDP was) that Obama REALLY didnt HAVE to go because the NAACP KNOWS where he stands. And Joe Biden = one hell of a speaker. Gotta give him that.

    July 12, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Paul

    yellow journalism at it's very finest. He can't even be president of the United States. He said he was pleased that the VP Biden was able to go. I really passionately dislike you CNN. He can't even have a scheduling conflict? To quote a justice from the Affordable care act opinion care opinion your disrespect towards the president "it boggles the mind." I dissent as to what your definition of a no-show is.

    July 12, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Joan

    Where's the coverage of VP Biden's well received speech? They obviously loved him. Romney got coverage right away. What's up?

    July 12, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. pink hase

    To WiredweirdinSF – What a racist jerk you are. I think you listen to too much to Rush Limbaugh. Get some fresh air. Clear your head. You are being brainwashed. Please get your fact straight. What our great Country does not need is jerks like you spewing hatred.

    July 12, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Jill

    Romney was taunting people at the NAACP presentation. Look at me – I'm your man. No, you are not! You used this as an opportunity to show off for the far right haters. And to say Obamacare has killed jobs? Really? The Affordable Care Act is barely underway and hasn't killed jobs. However, our DO NOTHING GOP Congress has failed and refused to pass Jobs Bills, Retraining Bills, or anything that would generate movement and jobs in the economy. They care more about themselves than they do about America. Shame on all of them!

    July 12, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. ObamaReigns

    In yesterday's interview with Mr. Ben Jealous, head of NAACP...It was perfectly allright with the organization to accept Pres. Os answer. NAACP has been in contact with the president for weeks . They knew that the VP was going to speak instead. If it's okay with the NAACP, then why isn't it okay if he doesn't appear. Mr. Jealous certainly understood...was in no way put out. In fact, he most certainly indeed understood.

    This is a case of the MSM trying to make something BIG out of this story.

    July 12, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. ST

    The speech Romney gave to NAACP was horrible. No any good leader who is aware of how to use diplomacy could have dared talked the way Romney did. Am sorry to say that Romney knew what kind of a group he was talking to, and still he went on insulting the group!!! What was he thinking??? I do wonder to those who give him credit for what he said. This was quite wrong. He could have said in a way that no one was offended and I believe no one could have booed. This man has no skills at all how to deal with people!

    July 12, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. lib

    @daveincincy, Had Romney gotten to know Blacks he would never have made the racist ignorant comment that Blacks are looking for something Free which is a lie. Let him say that to the thousands of Blacks who died fighting for this country and are still in the military. say that to the thousands of Blacks who in many areas contributed to making this a great country. I would say that he got a better welcome from the NAACP yesterday than President Obama would have gotten from the tea partiers and from those who are in congress now and the SCOTUS.Those Blacks who courteously accepted ROmney yesterday are very decent folks who want the same for their families as most whites. I know quite a number of whites and other cultures. Mitt has no Blacks in his administration or around him other than secret service.

    July 12, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. DBC651

    I have not read all of the comments posted, but what this article is missing is that this crowd was on its feet in a standing ovation by the end of his speech. When he asked the crowd to "take a look" he changed his tone to let the crowd take a second and think.

    It may not be a game changer or something that is going to change the minds of a group like the NAACP, but it does shine a light on what is being reported and highlighted by different commentators. As for me, I prefer to know what is contained in the entire speech someone gives than simply one event that happened in it. Thats why they air all four quarters and all nine innings. It is the sum of the event on which to draw any conclusions from.

    July 12, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. lib

    BTW Joe Biden was greatly accepted today and the only ones complaining about the president not attending are those who always find fault of the president. THe NAACP love Joe as well as the President and he received a great response. SO THERE!!!

    July 12, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Kelly51

    Well who in the heck thought he would show up anyway? Typical of his poor character.

    July 12, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. ymo

    Why doesn't Romney speak at Mormon conventions or talk about it his religion or culture in public?
    The media did not let John McCain or Obama stray from religion or cultural differences.

    I would really like to know where he stands on being a Mormon and how it has affected him or not.

    July 12, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. Detada

    Romney showed up an delivered a disingenuous sham of a speech. He showed up and delivered his speech to appeal to his base, and his base is certainly not the NAACP. Either he planned and expected the "Obamacare" remark to get boos or he and his speech writers are clueless. I bet he never describes the universal style health care plan he implemented in Massachusets as Romneycare.

    July 12, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Ditto that Woman in California and Stan!

    July 12, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Goose66

    Figures. I realize that 98% of these people aren't going to vote for Romney, but I wish he would have said "don't let anyone take your vote for granted - don't let anyone assume that they will get your vote because they are black. I will work to make your lives better by doing X, Y, and Z. Judge my opponent based on the same standard, and make sure he comes to tell you how he will make your lives better."

    July 12, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Goose66

    I realize that 98% of these people aren't going to vote for Romney, but I wish he would have said "don't let anyone take your vote for granted - don't let anyone assume that they will get your vote because they are the same color as you. I will work to make your lives better by doing X, Y, and Z. Judge my opponent based on the same standard, and make sure he comes to tell you how he will make your lives better."

    July 12, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. winky

    Republicans always trying to spin stuff! If the president put his whole effort into black people u would call him racist he misses one meeting now the republicans panties are in a bunch! Black people have been voting for white presidents for centuries now please give it a rest! And yes we are voting for him because he's black ! That is not the only reason. Romney is not smart he lies and we can see right thru him. We've been voting democrat for years now! Republican policies are for the Rich.Black people are Americans so quit trying to make it a race issue.We know it's not Obama fault it's Mitch McConnell's fault when he said ge wanted to make the president a one term president.We see how their doing UT we are not stupid! So your talking points are useless.

    July 12, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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