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President Joe Biden to speak in Austin as Republican convention kicks off in Milwaukee

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 7, 2024.
Nathan Howard
President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 7, 2024.

President Joe Biden will deliver remarks at Austin’s Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library on July 15 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, a White House official confirmed on Sunday.

The visit is the first of three stops in three days, starting in Austin, then onto Las Vegas where Biden will speak at the 115th NAACP National Convention on July 16 and then the following day at the UnidosUS annual conference, described as one of the largest gatherings of Latinos in the country.

His appearance in Austin coincides with the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where Republicans will discuss their party platform and formally nominate Donald Trump as their nominee for president.

The trips to Texas and Nevada follow Biden’s poor debate performance against former Trump on June 27, which has shaken confidence among many in his party about the president's ability to win and lead through another four years. The president’s fumbles led some Congressional Democrats, starting with U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, to call on Biden to withdraw from the race for president.

Doggett was not immediately available on Sunday to comment on Biden’s upcoming visit to Texas.

“We are honored to have President Biden at the LBJ Library to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act,” said Mark K. Updegrove, President & CEO of the LBJ Foundation and a presidential historian. “It is fitting that he returns to the Library to mark this milestone as our 46th President whose administration is committed to pursuing a ‘comprehensive approach to advancing racial equity for all.’”

On July 2, 1964, Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, which barred discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin. Biden plans to discuss his administration’s “progress advancing civil rights and his vision to ensure the promise of America for all communities,” according to White House staff.

In 2014, U.S. presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter visited Austin for a three-day summit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Biden’s remarks at the NAACP national convention in Las Vegas will focus on his administration’s efforts to advance racial justice, according to a statement from the White House.

Growing numbers of Democrats, including in Texas, have expressed concern that Biden could cost them their seats in November. The president has engaged in a series of campaign stops to try to quell Democrats’ concerns about whether Biden is fit for another term in office. Biden would be 86 by the end of a second term.

Pooja Salhotra joined the Tribune in 2022 as its first-ever East Texas reporter. Based in Lufkin, she covers a vast region that borders three states and stretches north to Texarkana and south to Beaumont. Pooja was born and raised in the Houston area and graduated from Yale University. She also holds a master’s in fine arts from NYU’s journalism school.