Democratic presidential candidates take stage at NAACP convention in Detroit

Democratic presidential candidates traveled across the country to be here in Detroit Wednesday.

"You can vote against Donald Trump twice," said Bill Weld (R), former Governor Of Massachusetts.

The last candidate of the day was one of the most interesting for the crowd gathered at the 110th NAACP convention. It's not often a pro-choice, pro-equality, pro-environment Republican shows up to court the African American vote.

"We can send a strong, two=word message to Donald J. Trump as he packs his golf clubs and that is: you're fired," he said.

Weld was among 10 presidential candidates appearing at the convention -- nine of them top Democrats. It was a dress rehearsal for next week's debate in Detroit with a special focus on social, racial and economic justice.

"Disparities in income, disparities in opportunity, disparities in education," said New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

"The issue of home ownership and closing the racial wealth gap in the United States," said California Sen. Kamala Harris.

"The disparity in public education funding for communities of color," said former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke.

"I stand for economic opportunity, I stand for voting rights," said Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Candidates emphasized for communities of color that also means taking on mass incarceration and housing.

"We have now a systemic problem of too many African Americans in jail  right now," said former Vice President Joe Biden.

"What we are talking about is putting a massive amount of money into distressed communities, often African American and Latino communities," said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"I'm committed down to my toes that every child in this country will have opportunity," said Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Many of the candidates also addressed President Donald Trump and the allegations of obstruction of justice in special counsel Bob Mueller's testimony on Capitol Hill, as well as police brutality against African Americans and the rise of white supremacy during the Trump presidency.

"Even now in the United States, crimes that should be categorized as hate crimes may not be treated that way. I want to ensure sure that they are," said Julian Castro, former HUD secretary.

"White supremacy brought this nation to its knees once. I believe that systemic racism is the thing that could unravel the American Project if we do not confront it," said South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Every presidential election, the NAACP extends invitations to both the Republican and Democratic nominees for president to address the NAACP membership during their annual July convention. Past speakers have included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, Senator John McCain, Senator John Kerry, President George W. Bush, Vice President Al Gore, and President Bill Clinton.

Just earlier this week, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan endorsed Joe Biden in the Democratic primary, saying he cares about the city, the auto industry and its workers.

President Trump was also invited to address the convention, but he said he could not make it because there was a change in date, but also because the convention wanted to do a Q&A session. He says he was only prepared to give a speech. 

"I very much wanted to go, but we had a date. The date got changed and unfortunately they wanted to do it in the form of a question and answer," Trump said.

The candidates will be back in Detroit for the Democratic debates tuesday and Wednesday of next week.