CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich has no plans to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week, but he does plan to speak at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Annual Convention in Cincinnati on Sunday.
Kasich, a former GOP presidential candidate this election cycle, joins presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock and others at the convention.
“The governor considers it a great privilege for Ohio to host the NAACP’s national convention, and he is honored to speak at their event,” Kasich’s spokesman Kalmbach said in a statement to U.S. News and World Report.
Immediately after stories appeared Friday that Kaisch would not be at the GOP Convention but instead be at the NAACP gathering, invitations were released to the media announcing a Convention cocktail reception Tuesday at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that Governor Kasich would host.
Donald Trump was invited to address the convention but declined to give remarks. He is the fourth major presidential candidate since 1980 to do this.
“We represent an occasion for those running for president to speak to the nation’s most critical issues at a critical hour in this country,” NAACP President Cornell William Brooks told CNN. He called the gathering a chance for Clinton and Trump to provide “a window into not only their policies, but into their heart and character as a candidate.”
Past GOP presidential nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney both gave speeches to the NAACP conventions, as did George W. Bush in 2000. Ronald Reagan, however, did not speak at the NAACP convention in 1980 after saying his invitation arrived late, but gave remarks at the event the next year.