July 23rd, 2009
03:25 PM ET
5 years ago

NRCC targets Obama for saying Cambridge cop 'acted stupidly'

(CNN) – The National Republican Congressional Committee came to the defense of the Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer who arrested black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., attacking President Obama for saying Wednesday night the officer 'acted stupidly.'

In a statement targeting several House Democrats from Massachusetts, NRCC communications director Ken Spain said, "This is certainly a questionable rush to judgment coming from a president who hasn't exactly been quick to call out unconscionable behavior by a merciless foreign dictator or gotten his facts straight before advocating a trillion-dollar mistake to address our ailing economy."

"Is it really presidential for him to cast harsh judgment of a law enforcement official without all the facts?" said Spain.

The statement calls on Massachusetts Democrats to say whether they agree with the president's assessment. The National Republican Senatorial Committee also launched a Web ad Thursday asking whether it was appropriate for Obama to reach a judgment on the matter after he himself admitted he did not know all the facts.


Filed under: NRCC • President Obama
soundoff (310 Responses)
  1. Right Leaning Independent

    Our first "openly" Racist President!! Congrats America!! Did Obama see some video of the situation that no one else has seen? How in the hell does he know what happened? If anyone is forcibly trying to enter a house(even their own), the police have a right to make sure that person is who they say they are. Until you have proof, try acting more presidential!!

    July 23, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Mike from L.A.

    As someone who's trying to be a police officer, once the ID was provided, walk out and let the old man yell his head off. Officers get yelled at all the time. Obama has a point there.

    It's also Ironically funny that it's the NRCC that has jumped in on this. And you wonder why you keep being identified as the white party.

    July 23, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Sonia

    I believe Obama just said something a lot of of normal people would say. Maybe it's not the most politically correct thing to say, but I don't have a problem with what he said. I think it's just the NRCC's way to use anything they can against the president to raise money and votes. I'd rather have them oppose the president on something else besides simplistic talking points and useless attacks. I bet this is gonna show up on all 24 hour news channels w/ the pundits making a mountain of a molehill.

    July 23, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Shawn - GA

    I mean, my God! Obama is a lawyer, he knows better than to make such a comment without knowing the facts.

    The police acted correctly when they came, Obama said so himself.

    So of it wasn't for Gates getting all loud and yelling he would not have been arrested. Why didn't he realize that they were there to help him? If he was not him and it was some other guy actually breaking into his house, Gates would be praising the Cops.

    Where were the Cops acting stupidly? This very thing happened to me and I thanked the Police and apologized for making them have to come out. I thank them because if I was not the real homeowner they just stopped someone robbing my house.

    July 23, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Randi L.

    Enough of this already. The officer had to investigate the break in. Prof. Gates got upset when asked to step out of his own house – which nobody has to do. I can't blame him for refusing. The officer had to get an ID to verify there was no break in, but the officer should have divulged his own name and badge number. Gates maybe should have been a little more forthcoming with his identity information, but he should not have been arrested.

    Obama should not have inserted himself into this matter. The Republicans should not waste their money on silly, petty sniping.

    By the way, could this have been scripted any better? The officer's name is Jim Crow(ley). I'm sure Gates will title his book, "When Jim Crow Comes Knocking".

    July 23, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Republiklans and Limbaugh lemmings accuse President Obama of socialism, but praise and remain silent when Cheney is exposed as a NAZI dictator!

    It is very "Presidential" to call someone out on racial profiling!

    Of course, one should not expect the republiklans, rednecks, "christians and the Aryan nation, that now compose the fringe Party of NO to understand, since racism is a party platform.

    You clowns are still just seething with rage that a black man is in power! You hate that your call to riots, er tea bagging events just didn't send millions into the streets to "take back YOUR country" and to put "white back in the WH"

    All of middle America now sees the true focus of the republican party and it isn't pretty, but finally, it is honest.

    This white male loves the fact your foamin' at the mouth with your supposed "reverse" discrimination.

    Guess you now know how minorities in this country feel and have felt for centuries!

    July 23, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Bea from Texas

    not surprised. and the G.O.P can say bye bye to the minority vote...

    July 23, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Kathy

    Again the Republican Party sides with the racists. They are so transparent in their criticism. This whole "birther" movement is just a bunch of people who cannot stand that a black man is president. Without knowing all the details in Cambridge, I can still say that any policeman who is thinking clearly would not arrest a man for being in his own house and realize that a mistake had been made in the report. To go through with arresting an old black man is just vengeful.

    July 23, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Nunya

    I am disappointed in Obama for saying what he said when by his own admission he didn't know the detailed facts of the situation.

    I am more disappointed in the Republicans for trying to take political advantage of his comments.

    July 23, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. AJ

    Obama even admitted himself that he didn't know the details of this incident, however it didn't stop him one second from lashing out and blaming the police. Who's the one that's racist ? He automatically assumed because his buddy was black that the police were at fault .
    Not very good judgement from the President of the United States who has his hand on our Economy and about 10,000 Nucleur Weapons !!!

    July 23, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. catmom

    The "president?" should have kept his fat mouth shut, but then what can you expect from this idiot but more crud?

    July 23, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. nick007

    yap, thas all they got to do left now since they have loss the white House, congress and now finally Senate too. just keep barking you old grand party, who don't want get anything done in their 8 yrs of time and now complaining about someone is really trying to get something done.

    July 23, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    "No white person can ever fathom the discrimination that Black people have felt in the course of their life living in America"– Republican.V.P. Candidate Dick Cheney during his debate W/Dem. Joe Lieberman in 2000.

    July 23, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    20 years sitting in Rev. Wright church. Naw he didn't rub off on him.

    July 23, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Jerry American

    Open mouth and insert foot , how presidential you are by showing your race biased inner self. Get the facts first

    July 23, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Mike

    There are only two people who know all the facts of this case, the police officer and the professor.
    Obama should have kept his mouth shut on this matter when asked any questions on it.
    What a fool he keeps proving to be by allowing himself to be drawn in to questions that have absolutely ZERO relevence to HIS job.
    His opinion matters not anyway.
    Obama: keep your mouth shut and do YOUR job and just maybe you might finally get something right. You haven't been that impressive in your job yet so the word "stupid" could be used to describe your own personal judgements and decision making ability.

    July 23, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. AJ

    Obama even admitted himself that he didn't know the details of this incident, however it didn't stop him one second from lashing out and blaming the police. Who's the one that's racist ? He automatically assumed because his buddy was black that the police were at fault .
    Not very good judgement from the President of the United States who has his hand on our Economy and about 10,000 Nuclear Weapons !!!

    July 23, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. sickofthelibs

    Just how does BO come off questioning law enforcement? The guy arrested was belligerant.
    BO Needs to stay out of local stuff

    July 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. Kevin in Ohio

    It is Obama who "acted stupidly" by assuming that the professor was harassed by the cops just because he was black. Chances are, in reality, the professor was disrespectful and verbally abusive, and saw this as an opportunity to play the race card and continue to perpetuate the perception that cops are the bad guys. Sorry, most rational people can see right through this.

    July 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Terry in Iowa

    Unfortunately, it appears that they have all acted stupidly. I’m sure the police officer’s recollection is an accurate representation from his perspective, but he was stupid to arrest the man after positively identifying him as the home owner. Regardless of Dr. Gates’ attitude or tone, the officer should have simply apologized for his intrusion and went his marry way. I’m also confident that Dr. Gates’ recollection is an accurate representation from his perspective, but he was stupid for not simply treating the officer in a more cooperative manner. The President was stupid for weighing in on something in which he had a bias and too few facts. And now we have the NRCC being stupid by trying to make political points out of it. Frankly, they’re all making mountains out of mole hills. Meanwhile there’s a hell of lot of really important stuff that needs to our attention.

    July 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    Many police officers have become far too volatile in the way they force us to defer absolutely to the authority that we give to them. They are supposed to arrive and calm the situation and make sure we are safe, not arrive and raise the temperature in an effort to intimate people into absolute obedience to them.

    The police in the case of Professor Gates DID act stupidly.

    Btw, the Republicans really think they can score points with this issue? How about they advance a better health care reform bill than the Democrats, or a better energy bill, or a better any other bill? Only then would I even think about voting Republican again.

    July 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Kevin B

    This incident will be used by the GOP to gin up as much hatred and polarization as they possibly can.

    Mr Obama was correct in stating that if Mr Gates showed his ID as the owner of the house and the police still continued to press him, law enforcement did in fact acted stupidly.

    With property and individual rights as thier mantra, how could any republican or american for that matter, condone this type of treatment of a private citizen at his own home, who hasn't broken any laws?

    July 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. JC

    People, of course they acted stupidly!! Are you telling me if cops come into your house, without a warrent, arrest you even if you show them that this is my house, you would tell those police "well done" ? I know it could have been misunderstanding between them but from Mr. Gate' perspective, this is exactly what happended.

    July 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. felicia

    Screw the repigs, the President don't owe anyone an apology. It's all about race

    July 23, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. calvin

    yes it was stupidly for obama to say that. but he is also black and would side with the professer. my question who call the police for help. if there was a robber and they did not come out the results would be the same race. some one set up the cop to make him look bad and i feel the black man was in on that. the way he acted about give his name to the cop no matter were we was. this tell the world that since we have a black leader watch out. no more arrest or we will call the press.

    July 23, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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