Gov. John Kasich to speak at NAACP Convention

Posted at 12:16 PM, Jul 15, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Gov. John Kasich will speak at NAACP’s 107th Annual Convention in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday evening.

Kasich's announcement on Friday came just days after presumptive Republican presidential nominee -- and Kasich's primary opponent -- Donald Trump declined an invitation to speak at the convention.

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The news further highlights a deep divide between the two Republicans in a crucial swing state: Kasich has declined to endorse Trump and doesn't plan to take part in GOP convention floor proceedings in Ohio, where Kasich won the GOP primary and had hoped to challenge Trump in a contested convention before the businessman's delegate lead became insurmountable.

NAACP president and CEO Cornell William Brooks told CNN Tuesday that both Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton were invited to attend the convention, but only Clinton accepted the offer.

"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," 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."

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Republican nominees John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 addressed the NAACP conventions.

Clinton will address the convention at 11:30 a.m. Monday.