Obama Declines Invitation To Speak At NAACP Convention

HOUSTON (CBS Houston/AP) — President Barack Obama won’t be attending the NAACP’s annual convention in Houston despite being advertised as a guest speaker.

Instead of Obama being the keynote speaker on the convention’s final plenary session, Vice President Joe Biden will deliver the address.

“We are honored to welcome Vice President Joe Biden to our convention,” NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a press release. “This is an important election year and communities of color will play a huge role in deciding the outcome in any number of races across the country. As such, we are pleased that both major political parties will be represented at this year’s convention.” Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will also be speaking to the group.

Obama declined the organization’s invitation despite speaking at the convention in 2008 and 2009.

“Well, everybody would like to have the president wherever they are, which is why the president is not going to be able to make it,” Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, told KHOU-TV. “There are many demands on the president.”

Jealous is the featured speaker Monday at the weeklong convention where some 8,000 delegates are expected to attend.

Much of the organization’s 103rd convention is devoted to the importance of voting this year.

Two months ago, Jealous announced the start of a nationwide drive by the NAACP to register thousands of mostly minority, student and elderly voters before the Nov. 6 elections. The civil rights group believes those people would be most affected by laws requiring them to show identification before they can exercise their right to vote.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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