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. max


    It was a smart move on Obama's part to have Biden speak at the convention. If Obama were to speak at the convention (where he would get an overwhelmingly warm welcome) after Romney was booed, then it could be used against him (I can hear the Republicans pointing out the racial significance of Romney being booed and Obama getting cheers).

    Romney came to the convention looking for boos. He's hoping this will show the right wingers that he's very conservative and he knew it would "racial" if he was booed and Obama was welcomed.

    But, Biden is going to the convention. Biden will get a very warm welcome and the talking heads will now use this against Obama.

    July 12, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
    Took the words right out of my mouth. If he had turn up and was welcome with smiles.....oooooh boy...I could just hear Rush and his minions riling up their hate. I for one have no problem that he is not going. I love Joe...I'd love to hear him keep it real.

    July 12, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. PHIL TJ

    You blacks folks, Obama is not taking you for granted. This is the busiest president in the world world. YOu let him down at your own risk. You will never know the value of an egg until it breaks. This guy hsa fought tirelessly for you and every body. NB: If Obama looses this election, NO black person will be elected aging in the next 300 years. Becuse they will say, we gave you the chance and you blew it. Do not le the media and GOP to come between you and your president. They are exploting you for your own interest. BIden is as good as the president. Wake up, wake up otherwise youare all doomed.

    July 12, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Investment Advisor

    You know Joe will stick his foot in his mouth somehow during his address...But you can't help like the guy regardless of his political ideology.

    July 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. tellin it like it is

    there is no money in it for obama. obama has managed to make plenty of time on his schedule for a zillion hollywood events and fund raisers. its called taking the black vote for granted, just like the democrats have always done.

    July 12, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. TC

    I am a republican and I live in a predominantly black city. I work, live, eat, shop and socialize with black people everyday as do all of my other white friends who also live in this town. The truth is, we do like black people, most of us. We just want you to like yourselves, your communities and each other. Most of what we see are trash in the streets "

    DEAR K
    Please oh Please let me educate you on a few things. I also live an a black community and none of what you listed occures.. Why you might ask.... because I live in a upper middle class to very wealthy community. however I work in another county with primarily poor white people.. And I can say all of the same things you just said about black people about the poor whites I work with. HIgh Crime, High rates of Child Protective involvement. High rates of single mothers or children out of wedlock, high rates of foodstamps and welfare ( very high rates). And very bad ( trash and filth) living conditions. The problem is we dont' talk about the real issue which is poverty!!!!!

    July 12, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:

    Apparently Obama/ Biden 2012 is convinced they have the NAACP in the bag. Isn't the arrogance amazing, even for Obama?
    Ever heard of Christian Conservatives? Mitt Romney has the block locked up, and there are more of them than members of the NAACP. If you think NAACP represents mainstream black Americans, then I have a bridge to sell you. The NAACP mostly represents a slice of middle class black Americans. Do Christian Conservatives speak for all white people in this country?

    Both candidates do not need to convince their base of much of anything anymore except to show up at the polls. Both canddates need to appeal to the center, to the moderates and indepedents.

    July 12, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. ThinkAgain

    The President had a conflict, choosing his sworn duty as POTUS over speaking to the NAACP, which was fine with having VP Biden speak.


    July 12, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. LocalVokal

    For all of you poor, victimized white people that keep saying, "They're gonna vote for him anyway because he's black", ask yourselves this, Do you honestly think the number of people voting for him because he's Black is ANYWHERE NEAR the number of people that ARE NOT going to vote for him for that same reason??? Tired of the whining and fake outrage. Always looking for situations to justify your hate toward other people. Stop it.

    July 12, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Rudy NYC


    I wonder what the reaction in the press and in this comments section would have been if Romney had decided to skip his NAACP appearance because of a scheduling conflict.
    They would have pretty much ignored it, just like they did when George W. Bush was too busy. Just like they did when Speaker Gingrich was too busy. Just like they are doing when Speaker Boehner is too busy.

    Nice try, but we gotcha.

    July 12, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. bob

    Everyone relax....he sent Joe Biden................LOL!

    July 12, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. ThinkAgain

    @tellin it like it is: "It was that something could not be moved. Something was crucial."

    I'll spell it out for you: The President had a high-level meeting, probably involving national security or something of equal importance. His choosing to attend to this and send VP Biden to the NAACP is appropriate.

    I'm guessing this confused you since your parties candidates all look like escapees from the Clown Car ...

    July 12, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Expat American

    So if The President attends the conference, he is pandering to African Americans…But he if he doesn’t he is throwing this voter demographic under the bus?
    All I see is a big Republican blind reactionary turrets pork chop coupled with a big glass of whine.

    July 12, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    @tellin it like it is: "obama has managed to make plenty of time on his schedule for a zillion hollywood events and fund raisers."

    A "zillion"? Hmmmm ... interesting how you can't stay connected to reality. BTW, how do you feel about all of Mittens' fundraisers with millionaires and billionaires at exclusive estates (Hamptons and Aspen)?

    July 12, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Laverne

    Everytime President Obama speaks directly to the black community or make a statement directly to the black community, republicans goes bonkers and try their best to make it seem as if this president is being partial or catering to his own. Mitt Romney should be ashamed of himself for going on FOX news and at another campaign stop yesterday suggesting blacks want free stuff. This man's heart is dark and wicked and unfortunately the people he represent love this kind of stuff! Mitt Romney does not care about any other ethnic group except his own and they have to be rich white folk and not poor white folk. God forbid we end up with this man for president, he is a disgrace!

    July 12, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ TC
    Loved your response to k. It was civil, educated, and with an interesting spin.
    The moderators would've been ALL over my post! Glad you handled it.
    P.S. the" DEAR" K was a nice touch. lol!

    July 12, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Some right wingnut said that the black people will vote for Obama because of the color of his skin. That would explain their support for Clinton, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter?

    July 12, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. yay

    Chill Out!!! Bidens got this!!

    July 12, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. rite2carry

    I have more respect for Mr. Romney not because he showed up but, because he didn't change his msg. to fit this racist bunch of twits agenda.

    July 12, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. TomVIO

    Will all of you stop saying "Black", "White", etc...........

    It's not about black or white, this is about our economy. We are all in the USA as ONE population, not as one black population and one white population!!!

    There are tons of WHITE people who are racist and cannot handle a black man being in the white house. But there are also a ton of BLACK people who just cannot let go of the past.

    Come on... I know that black people were treated without respect and used as slaves, but that was a long time ago and none of us white people today have anything to do with that.

    If you think like that then, all jews should hate germans for the holocaust and basically all europeans should hate italians for the Roman Empire.

    All of that is in the past, so forget about it and move on... we need to live for the future!!!

    July 12, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. Sniffit

    "I wonder what the reaction in the press and in this comments section would have been if Romney had decided to skip his NAACP appearance because of a scheduling conflict."

    Mittens doesn't have "scheduling conflicts." He's "unemployed," remember? His only "job" for the past several years...almost a decade, and including his time in MA as governor...has been single-mindedly pursuing his "turn" as POTUS. If he had a scheduling conflict, it would be because he chose to cancel, not because he has anything whatsoever important to do other than self-promote.

    July 12, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Billy Blane:
    WTH are you saying dude?

    July 12, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. amf140

    The arrogance of this POTUS and his Administration is beyond the pale. We are seeing exactly how the "ruling elite" will operate if we give them "socialism" type power. The Black vote is a given plus the NAACP probably wasn't going to give him enough money. The power is the key here – not the people – and this goes for both parties. A TERM LIMIT AMENDMENT to the Constitution is long overdue.

    July 12, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    As for the NAACP delegates booing Romney for his vowing to repeal Obamacare, I wonder how the Kochs and their billionaire buddies would react to President Obama saying it is time for them to pay their fair share, or how big oil no longer needs their $5 billion tax break.

    July 12, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. ymo

    I'm confused...the black communities (all of them according to some postings) were doing good BEFORE Obama took office??? I'm just saying Black folks have been voting for White Presidents for decades and quite frankly none of those White presidents did much to improve the state of black or white poverty.

    July 12, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. DontPretend

    @Wire Palladin, S. F.:

    First of all, there were only whites running in those races you mentioned.

    Secondly, the point you are trying to disprove is absolutely valid, or does 97% of registered balcks voting for Obama just suggest a "trend" or "coincidence"?

    July 12, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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