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Biden to deliver speech on civil rights on same day RNC kicks off


(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden is set to give a major speech on democracy and civil rights at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum on the same day as the Republican National Convention begins.

White House officials tell NewsNation the speech will tie together the future of democracy and the recent 60th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act by President Johnson at the presidential library in Austin, Texas.

The White House would not comment on the decision to hold the event on the day the RNC will begin, July 15. Biden will likely contrast the message of the convention in his speech, arguing Republicans are poised to roll back certain civil rights.

The speech will be an official White House event, not a campaign event, an official confirmed to NewsNation.

Sources say there is no connection between the event and the push from some Democrats for Biden to step out of the race after his stumbling debate performance. “It is all about commemorating the anniversary,” the source said.

During the same week, Biden will also address two key civil rights groups in Las Vegas as he tries to draw a contrast with the RNC events.

While it was previously standard political practice for one party’s nominee to stay out of the limelight during the other’s convention, that is no longer the case.

When the 2020 Democratic convention was turned mostly into a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then-incumbent former President Donald Trump traveled to several battleground states to campaign.

In 2016 Trump held a rally in North Carolina on the first day of the Democratic National Convention. Later that week he addressed the Veterans of Foreign War and held a news conference in Florida to criticize Hillary Clinton’s deleted e-mails as well as several other events.

President Barack Obama was the first incumbent to buck tradition and campaign for several days during the opponent party’s convention. In 2012, he traveled to the campuses of Iowa State University and Colorado State University and also went to Charlottesville, Virginia.