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Donald Trump Will Not Speak at NAACP Convention, Campaign Says

The presumptive Republican nominee joins only three other presidential candidates who did not speak at the convention in an election year since 1980.
Image: Donald Trump Gives Speech On Presidential Election In New York
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during an event at Trump SoHo Hotel, June 22, 2016 in New York City. Trump's remarks focused on criticisms of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Donald Trump has declined to speak at the NAACP's annual convention in Cincinnati on Monday, his spokeswoman confirmed, instead giving his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton a prime political stage all to herself.

While his campaign did not say why it was skipping the event, Trump will be tied up as the Republican Party focuses on its own national convention — set to kick off the same day in Cleveland and last through Thursday.

Trump's apparent snub would be only the fourth time since 1980 that a presidential candidate has not appeared at the convention.

Related: NAACP: Trump Hasn't Responded to Our Invitation to Speak

Republican Ronald Reagan didn't speak in 1980 after saying his invitation came too late. He apologized and spoke the following year.

Fellow Republican Bob Dole skipped out in 1996.

And then in 2004, Republican George W. Bush didn't go, although he did attend when he ran for his first term in 2000. He ended up speaking again in 2006 after then-NAACP Chairman Julian Bond continually blasted the policies of the Bush administration.

The civil rights organization has a long tradition of inviting nominees from both major parties to speak at its convention during election years, although some appearances have been rockier than others.

Mitt Romney in 2012 was booed after he told the crowd that he would "make things better in the African-American community" than incumbent President Barack Obama had done.

The theme of this year's NAACP convention will be "Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count."

"We look forward to hearing Secretary Clinton’s priorities and plan to advance our issues of social justice," NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks said in a statement Monday, adding that issues such as police accountability and economic and educational equality will be cornerstones of this election.

Clinton, meanwhile, already appears to be the favored candidate among black voters by a wide margin.

A Quinnipiac Poll last month found that 91 percent of black voters backed Clinton — compared to just 1 percent supporting Trump.