Obama camp cites 'scheduling conflict' for NAACP convention no-show
July 11th, 2012
10:09 PM ET
10 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. bocephus rex

    So the president just dismissed the NAACP and is given a pass, and Romney is villified for speaking truthfully. Clearly the NAACP prefers sky-high unemployment,doubling of foodstamps, record foreclosures and urban areas which are virtually shooting galleries. More hope and change please!

    July 12, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  2. Tr1Xen

    He doesn't need to go. Black people are going to vote for Obama because he's black. This is the same reason Romney had no qualms about getting booed at the NAACP event. He's not counting on the black vote anyhow. I believe Romney's main purpose in even speaking at such an event was to show everyone, "Hey, look: I'm not a flip-flopper. I'll stand in front of a crowd of people and say what I'm going to say, whether those people agree with it or not."

    July 12, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  3. JJ

    Pfft... as if Obama needs to show up at the NAACP to get their vote. Better yet, Romney just cemented the fact that he WON'T get the black vote (except for the ocassional Uncle Tom). Not news.

    July 12, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    I really do not care whether you are black, white, brown, we are all one Americans. We call this nation as USA. Yes, obama12.

    July 12, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  5. Ed

    What would he tell them... I've ignored you for the past 3 1/2 yrs. but vote for me brother. Wink wink.

    July 12, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  6. Chipster

    @NameK – President Obama has fought for education opportunities, including grant competitions, maintaining low interest loans for higher education and a "Pay As You Earn" program that caps payments at 10% of their earnings. More students will be able to access higher education by knowing that they will be more able to repay their loans. The American Affordability and Recovery Act included funding to extend Head Start programs. Of course, these and other programs are not specifically for blacks but they benefit from them. And don't we want programs that benefit all races?

    July 12, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  7. tv22

    Funny how he has time for everything but this. People will vote for him even though he takes them for granted and leaves Biden there to blow a lot of hot air. Meanwhile they boo Romney for leveling with them.

    July 12, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  8. America

    Nothing like dissing your "Bros and Sistas", but wait, it's not disrepectful because the great Obama is not African-American, he is of mixed race who just happens to look black. Voting for someone solely based on their skin color seems racist does it not dumbocrats?

    July 12, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  9. Chipster

    @Ed1 Really? Are you serious? You won't support the President because he just might have critical meetings to attend or maybe even something personal that prevents him from going? Is that how you determine which candidate will be the best person to move our nation forward? Never mind all the educational opportunities that Obama has made possible. Never mind all the health, educational, job, safer equipment, and other benefits he has provided for our veterans. Don't consider the fact that he ordered the operations that have been effective against those who attacked us on 9/11. Really? None of those achievements matter to you if he cannot make it to one NAACP event? I hope you will consider the achievements and the alternative (health & education vouchers, cut Social Security & Medicare to pay for more huge cuts for the wealthiest Americans, higher education only for the wealthy). Perhaps you will rethink that position.

    July 12, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  10. WiredweirdinSF

    This is no surprise, he doesn't even have to lie to these folks like he does to the rest of us to get their votes. They only vote based on the color of his skin, not the content of his character. If they were to vote on character, he would never have been elected in the first place.

    July 12, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    He is the POTUS. He does have a job to do.
    From the article – "But the president's schedule for Thursday, released Wednesday evening, appears to be wide open with the exception of his daily briefing with senior aides and advisers." Yep... sounds real busy.

    The only "job" he's doing is pandering to those he doesn't have the vote locked up yet, and the rest can go pound sand.

    July 12, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  12. Al-NY,NY


    He's got to got to a fundraiser to pull in money for negative ads against Romney.

    unlike Flip Romney who just collects checks from billionaires that show up in the mail

    July 12, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    He is the President of the United States. He's got plenty of issues to address, and he can't be everywhere ALL the time. This is part of the job of the Vice President, to represent the President and/or the country when the President is unable to do so.
    Furthermore, just because Robme got egg in his face several times yesterday at the same venue is no reason to try and make something out of nothing CNN.
    I do assure you that our Vice President, "refrshing" as he is when he speaks, will receive the warmest of reception because ANY group cannot help but realize that when Joe, OUR Joe, speaks he speaks from the heart and with the best interests of all citizens in mind.

    July 12, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  14. The Bear

    Why did he miss it? Its simple; he's hiding from his record that has actually worsened the plight of his own stupid constituents that will still vote for him based solely on the fact that he is black. Now if that aint racist I dont know what is. Maybe some liberal sociologist professors can find the time to discuss this real racism in this election as opposed to pontificating about how republicans are the so called party of white......

    obama the unifier? give me a break....he is CONSCIOUSLY pitting one american against another american and all because his team of whiz kids and strategists tell him that its a good strategy....the hell with who he said he was in 08 right? what a weak manipulative deceiptful man hen is....I wish black people would wake up to how he is USING THEM.

    July 12, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Bill wrote on page 1:

    How strange that black vote for black and they still call the GOP a bunch of racists. How strange the majority in the US is white, yet we have a black President, but we are still a nation of racists. How strange that 98% of black voters in 2008 voted for a black candidate Obama an yet the white folks are the racist one? Can you imagine if 98% of all white in the US voted for the white guy (McCain) in 2008? America would have been called......
    Almost 90% of black voters cast the votes for Kerry in 2004, and similar numbers can be seen for Gore in 2000 and Pres. Bill Clinton. You can go back decades and see the well established pattern of roughly 90% of black voters casting their votes for Democrats. Barack Obama bumped that number up several points in 2008. It probably had more to do with who he was running against McCain/Palin than his skin color. Obama did win by a 2:1 electoral landslide, after all.

    July 12, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  16. wluv777

    Its all political. Obama didn't go because he's not going to win Texas anyway. Romney went because he is. Its a solidly Republican state. The President wouldn't have missed a NAACP convention in Ohio, Florida, or Virginia. This is chess, not checkers.

    July 12, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  17. Myviewis

    Remember, the Latino vote will decide our next president, not the Black. Why waste time on Blacks when Latinos are making the decision. Better for Obama to hang out with La Raza and Hollywood, oh yes he did have time to attend a fund-raising dinner at Sarah Jessica Parker's Manhattan home but not the Black town dinners. Right????

    July 12, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  18. ladyfon

    Why would he show up? He doesn't need to pander to a group that is guaranteed to vote for him.

    July 12, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. One party politics

    I appreciate the fact that Romney attended the meeting and promised if he is elected he would come again next year to work together with the Black community. He also said you don't know what I have in my heart to help in this struggle and he is right. Yet, if he has the heart of his father (please research his father) then he WOULD do good things for the Black/urban community. President Obama is full of political games. We can no longer wait on him to do better while we watch him address other special interest group needs. I voted and gave him a job for 4 years and he hasn't done anything for me or my family. In fact, I can thank Obama for 2 years of zero COLA on my retirement check. So Yes, I will take a chance on Romney 2012.

    July 12, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  20. Amazing

    To Get a Job Hippies,

    Did you write and complain when the SC congressman called the President a liar? Wasn't that inappropriate behavior? Romney made one serious blunder and it was not so much his desire to repeal the Health Care law. It was his decision to call the law Obamacare which is somewhat disrespectful. By the way, the response was to the comments made by Romney. Please note in 2008 when Sen. McCain spoke to the group during an election year he received a standing ovation. He was able to articulte his viewpoints in a way that was not as disrespectful as some of Romney's comments.

    To Wiredwierd SF,
    Using you racist logic, do white people only vote white people on the basis of color? If white people people were to vote on character Sen. Vitter and Sarah Palin would never had been elected. If you bother to do some research you would realize that blacks have voted consistently voted for Democratic candidates as they have been the party most sensentive to our needs over the past 30-40 years. President Obama's numbers for black voters in 2008 were only slightly higher than Bill Clinton's numbers which were in the low 90s. John Kerry's #s in 2004 were in the upper 80s. With those facts, I think you racist logic is extremely flawed.

    I am sure neither of you would let facts enter the framework of your thoughts!

    July 12, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  21. RandyIA

    My guess, he's taking the black vote for granted.

    July 12, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  22. Mark

    Romney showing up was the only gutsy thing he's done, but hopefully still futile. Obama is running the country, and knows this is way bigger than anything about race. Any "TRUE CHRISTIAN" that votes Republican is NOT A TRUE CHRISTIAN.
    Anybody who votes Republican and is worth less than several million dollars is just brainwashed and stupid. Any woman that votes Republican doesn't care about the rights of women at all. It will still take a long long time for this country to recover from GW Bush, even if we Dems take the House back, and keep the Senate and the White House. It's hard for the brainwashed to see the truth, but do your best. (I'm hoping many "good little conservative" wives will secretly tell everyone they voted Republican when in fact they didn't. At least the voting booth is still private)

    July 12, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  23. Jerome

    That's the white half dissin the homeboys. The black half will still pull in the votes.

    July 12, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  24. b

    he doesn't care about securing the black vote. blacks will vote their skin color and obama knows that. If obama were on the republican ticket , they would vote 98% for him. they don't care about anything other than skin color.

    July 12, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  25. Stephen

    "The president also holds his daily briefing with senior aides and advisers on Thursday." – How does it make today any different from other days? Isn't this briefing, you know...daily?

    July 12, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
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