Bush declines NAACP invitation
By Sinclere Lee
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (BNW) In an overt show of racial hatred towards the Black community, Bush declined an invitation to speak at the NAACP's annual convention, a group spokesman said.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People expects more than 8,000 people to attend the convention, which opens on Saturday.
Democratic challenger John Kerry accepted an invitation to speak next Thursday on the final day of the convention, the NAACP said.
Bush spoke at the 2000 NAACP convention in Baltimore when he was running for president.
NAACP spokesman John White said Wednesday that Bush has declined invitations in each year of his presidency -- becoming the first president since Herbert Hoover not to attend an NAACP convention.
The NAACP received a letter from the White House three weeks ago declining the invitation because of scheduling conflicts and thanking them for understanding.
The letter was signed by presidential scheduler Melissa Bennett.
White House spokesman Jim Morrell said Wednesday that the president has spoken about "equal opportunity and equal rights for all Americans" in many public places.
Bush decision not to speak to the country's largest civil rights group, the White House said last week was because of openly hostile comments by its leaders about the president.
Really, Bush not speaking to the NAACP is not that much of deal anyway because in the eyes of most Black Americas, Bush is like a sorry dog that aint worth kicking!
The White House initially attributed Bush's decision not to accept the invitation to speak at the NAACP annual convention to a scheduling conflict.
The convention opens Saturday in Philadelphia.
But White House spokesman Scott McClellan, traveling with Bush on a campaign bus trip through Pennsylvania cited "hostile political rhetoric about the president" from the group's leaders.
"It's disappointing to hear," McClellan said.
The Bush campaign has said it has made it a priority to reach out to African-Americans who traditionally favor Democratic candidates by a large margin.
Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said Bush's outreach to the black community would continue and would not be hurt by the NAACP flap.
McClellan said that "the president is going to reach out to everyone in the African-American community and ask for their vote based on his record and his vision for the country."
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