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. Stan

    Blacks voted for Obama in similar numbers as they voted for Kerry, Gore, and Clinton. It isn't the skin color, blacks just tend to vote Democrat. I didn't see a lot of black people lining up behind Cain.

    July 12, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. John

    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.


    Comments like yours would have been taken as fact back before things like Google. You should try it some time.

    July 12, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. wolfpackbob

    Maybe President Obama was afraid he'd get booed?

    July 12, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. Woman In California

    All of you posting your ignorant comments about Obama having blacks in his back pocket well, hear this: I WOULD NOT VOTE FOR WILLARD ROMNEY EVEN IF I DECIDE NOT TO VOTE FOR THE PRESIDENT AGAIN. I would just sit home as I did in 2000. Willard is a user and the most unAmerican candidate to ever run for POTUS and you can dress him up all you want but my vote is not for sale and Willard will never be my president. Period.

    July 12, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. John

    Rudy NYC,

    I thought I'd get you started with the whole Google thing. Here's just one of the examples available from Google on how the press "ignored" George Bush's "snub" :

    "NAACP leaders chastised the president for failing to meet with them since taking office and being the only president since 1930's to skip this group's convention." New York Amsterdam News 7/22/2004

    July 12, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. The Voice of Reason

    CBS News wins! CBS News wins over NAACP.

    July 12, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. birdman

    I believe Obama was Spooked, and we all know they did not have any real money to give...

    July 12, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. lovetheusaorleave

    Guess Obama knew he could get no more money there so he did not want to waste anytime there. He is a joke

    July 12, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Daily Llama

    Obama skipped the NAACP event b/c he was too ashamed of just how badly he's blatantly lied to those 'of-color' voters present at the meeting. A combination of their racist stupidity and HIS ability to get fools to believe anything he says ..... it's a safe bet that they'll all vote for him again. So far – despite HIS lofty promises – not ONE measure directed at helping the all-time-record-high unemployment rate in Afro-America – which, inevitably, leads to a bump upward in the crime in black communities as young back males struggle to scrape two nickles together.

    Hope? Down the drain – unless you're ignorant and believe his liescafter MORE lies. Change? *Spare* change, that's all you have left from a paycheck – if you're lucky enough to still have one – after King O-Blame-uh gets done scouring your pockets.

    Biggest failure, E-A-S-I-L-Y thevabsolutevworst President in the history of the former United States of America. We are now the UN-United States of Obama. The reign of the King must end .....

    July 12, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. Dale

    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."

    You can say the same thing about George Soros and his billionaire buddies and President Obama.

    July 12, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. Oliver

    Um, who really cares? The president is busy trying to get the country back on its feet. The republicans are busy trying to knock this county off its last legs. The choice is pretty clear, and a speech at the NAACP is not going to change anyone's minds.

    July 12, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Amy

    I guess he think he doesn't have to do anything for those votes,,,,,,,,,,

    July 12, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. Bob Ramos

    We may never know the reason(s) why did not speak. A President's time is carefully crafted from the time he gets up to bedtime. Nothing, except matters of national security, alters this. Perhaps something personal such as one of girls being sick, or whatever.

    July 12, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    John wrote:

    Comments like yours would have been taken as fact back before things like Google. You should try it some time.
    Maybe you should try Google. The NAACP always invites the House Speaker to their national convention. Gingrich never attended while he was Speaker, and neither has Boehner. Gingrich spoke at an NAACP event simply because he was running for POTUS. But, the fact still remains that Newt never showed up until he wanted something in return after turning down the group for years.

    July 12, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. truth

    music playing from his add......."he's got your back" with an impersonal pre recorded video.

    July 12, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. Madrep

    I think he skipped becasue of a couple reasons; 1. he will get most of their vote anyway; 2. there is no more money available and his campaign is behind in the money arena;

    July 12, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. TPF

    The NAACP is irrelevant to anything positive.

    July 12, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. lib

    I really wish some whites would stop trying to speak for Blacks. First, do something that Romney should do, really get to know Blacks and then you won't make the stupid statement that Blacks are seeking handouts and free government care which is a lie! Most Blacks are seeking Equality when it comes to jobs and education. And now our voting rights which the republicans are trying to block. Come into our communities and you will see many Blacks who can't get good jobs becoming entrepreneurs. And, if you talk to many Blacks you will find that lots of them were in the wars only to come back home and not get good medical care or jobs. Many of you need to stop showing your ignorance of other people.

    July 12, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Debby

    Well they will vote Obama anyway so he doesn't care.

    July 12, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Good citizen

    Obama skipping the NAACP convention is a clear indication that he is taking the African-Americans' votes for granted. In 2009 during his election campaign, he appeared at the convention to ensure the votes but now he feels too comfortable. He is not getting mine for sure.

    July 12, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Johnj wrote:

    "NAACP leaders chastised the president for failing to meet with them since taking office and being the only president since 1930's to skip this group's convention." New York Amsterdam News 7/22/2004
    Of course someone reported it. How else do you think I know about it? Duh. There was no major political fallout. My point was that it was not a major political issue and it got swept under the rug. BTW, that paper focuses on issues they feel most concern black Americans and has a rather small circulation outside of Harlem.

    July 12, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. BJ

    Whatever his reasons, and whatever excuses everyone is going to give him....whether you are an Obama supporter or not....it's hard to deny this was a bad political move on his part. Especially now that Mitt Romney accepted the invitation and spoke in front of the NAACP. Boos or not. They gave him a standing ovation at the end....btw....

    July 12, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. DaveinCincy

    lib: "Really get to know Blacks"....well, most republicans believe we are all individuals. So how do you "Get to know blacks" exactly? Do you "Get to know whites"? What a dumb comment....

    July 12, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. danny

    Obama knows that the blacks are going to vote for him so he could care less about attending their convention, it will not help his reelection campaign and that is all he has done since taking office is to run for reelection. In fact that seems that all he has ever done in his adult life is to run for some office.

    July 12, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. tellin it like it is

    these events are schedule well in advance and invitations are extended well in advance. for obama, the first black president, to stiff the naacp meeting for a regularly scheduled briefing and an interview that cbs would conduct anytime, is just pure avoidance or taking them for granted. all of the attendees should be outraged and insulted that the nutty vp got sent in his place. i guess there were no fund raisers scheduled or they would have sent somebody lower.

    or maybe obama is just afraid of going in front of the black community and lying to them about how great things are as over 14% are unemployed and the black youth unemployment is over 40%. meanwhile record numbers are being shot in his home town chicago.

    or maybe obama knows he's a failure and is too embarrrassed to show up?

    lots of potential reasons but a scheduling conflict is not one of them. its the same as obama telling them he has laundry to do.

    July 12, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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