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. Joe in NJ

    Since Obama wasn't there, he shouldn't be making off-the-cuff comments. That's Joe Biden's job.

    July 23, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. booooo

    why some one always has to complain about everything??. GOP really needs to grow up and stop act like little kid who complain for everything.

    July 23, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. edward barnes

    He's RIGHT!!!!

    July 23, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. breck benja

    Seems clear to me that Gates is the racist – he started it & now the charges are being dropped because he's black

    July 23, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. 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 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Chris from NY

    The President said that the man acted stupidly and did not say he was stupid. I am not sure this is a fight the Republicans want to wage because it could get ugly. If the police officer is not aoplogizing why would the President? The RNC chairman would not comment on this for his political cover. He would rather hide under the Republican skirts than say something about how the blacks are being treated in this country.

    July 23, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. VGal

    As much as I like Obama, I have to agree that his comment itself was "stupid." It is hard to judge what happened in this instance without being THERE. Sideline judges without the facts are not helpful in this situation.

    On another note... the police officer (at least initially) was doing his job by responding to a call that someone was breaking into a house. Gates WAS breaking into the house. If I were breaking into my house, I would feel very GOOD about the fact that a neighbor reported someone breaking into my house. By penalizing the neighbor – people are just asking for LESS neighborly attention.

    Neighbors and Police are going to be less likely to respond if this is the way we treat them. There is a fine line here – and by jumping to conclusions and assuming the officer acting in a negative way is JUST as wrong.

    July 23, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. BDavis

    OH SHUT UP ALREADY! The President spoke the truth. The police officer may not have acted out of racism BUT definitely out of stupidty.

    July 23, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Anita

    I think the RNC should ask themselves, why it is not more appropriate for a President to comment on something that is actually occuring in his own country rather than on what is going on in a country like Iran for which he has no authority. In both instances there are two sides to the story. However, we see clearly that in both instances the RNC chooses to select the side which meets their political agenda and not necessarily the side that is in the right.

    July 23, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Patriot

    This President is totally inept and foolish. No president should have commented on the Gates situation without knowing all the facts. The police acted in the proper way after getting a call about a possible break in, in a area where several have recently occurred. When the police asked him to step outside, as they were not sure if he was in fact the owner, he became very loud and verbally abusive, refusing to answer any questions. Before the police were able to calm things down, he started to use the "good old race card". Neighbors and other police, some who were also black, agreed that that Gates was out of order and wrong. The worst thing is that the charges were dropped because the race card was played. I agree, no police apology is necessary and it is Gates who should apologize.

    July 23, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Just Say No to Socialism

    Lets see, I dont have all the facts but am going to draw a conclusion anyway. Sounds like what you want the American people to do on your socialistic reform of health insurance and cap and tax!!

    July 23, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. MEL IN florida

    Reminds me about that seventy year old lady being arrested for not mowing the grass. This was just plain STUPID!!!!!

    July 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Nathan

    Im starting to think obama is a racist

    July 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Gordon Bieberle

    Frankly, I like Obama a lot ... but when I read his remarks in the news, I was dumbfounded to hear such racebaiting coming directly from the mouth of our president. Any white person causing a disturbance in his own home, to which police were summoned, likely also would have been arrested.

    Obama needs to keep in mind that everything he says is coming from the mouth of a US President. And talking like an average joe doesn't cut it. Feel it, but don't express it! I think the republican backlash is appropriate. I hope Obama doesn't slip into this racial crap in the future. He has done so well in staying above that level up until now.

    July 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. pat c

    OMG....republican's are pure fools! if this had been a white man and pulled out of his house,the GOP would be all over the police dept for brutality. president obama is among the majority when he speaks. this should never happen in the US. profiling is as big now or i think bigger since we americans elected a black president. the racist/bigets that think white is still superior will never accept our president and will punish minorities because they want to prove their point. talk hosts like hannity,beck and rants from sarah palin have made this type of behavior feel normal. so sad for america that we are treating our new president with such little respect. i pray that republicans l will never regain power again because this type of thinking will then become a normal way of life.

    July 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. Kevin B

    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?

    But why would the GOP pass up the chance to distract citizens from the real issues at hand...............

    July 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Dale K. Bethel, Oh

    I wholeheartedly agree. The President of the United States, more than anybody else in this country (perhaps the world), should get, and understand, all the facts about a particular incident before making a public statement in judgement of that incident.

    July 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Steve

    Don't you people have better things to do and spend money on?

    July 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Oniondag

    The officer was stupid to arrest the man in his own house. It was an exercise in ego preservation for this officer and had nothing to do with enforcing any law. What law forbids a US citizen from getting angry with a police officer? None. Let him keep his apology, and the taxpayers of Cambridge should keep their taxmoney – he should be fired!

    July 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Andrew

    Of course they are going to give him hell. They have nothing else to do. Negative Negative, No, No, No that is all they do. I am sick and tired of that moronic party (republicans) of degenerates.

    July 23, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. hms

    I am not suprised that Republicans would defend outwardly racist police behavior. If the professor had been from "real America" I'm sure they would be acting differently. I hope they continue to defend racial profiling to make it obvious to everyone they are an irrelevant relic that judges/proviles people by the color of their skin

    July 23, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. James E. Slack

    His comments were appropriate. His is the primary responsibility for law enforcement in the U. S. A. The Attorney General nworks for him. He had just one thing wrong; the police Sargent action probably wasn't racially motivated. I think the arrogant stupidity exhibited is probably a reflection of Sgt. Crowley's immaturity, unprofessional attitude and shoddy training.

    July 23, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. jody in NY

    OK. The republicans have nothing better to do then waste money on an ad compaign against the president. I am just about sick and tired of the two parties slinging mud against each other. Is it not about time they start working together to solve the problems of the United States instead of keeping themselves busy by acting like children. It is time to GROW-UP.

    The President and any one else is allowed to state their own opinions get over it.

    July 23, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Anny

    If this doesn't show you how racists the GOP is then nothing else will......the cop should have to say he's sorry and so should the police department.......and now so should the GOP.......by the way I am a white and I have seen with my own eyes racial profiling here in Okla. so I know it happens everywhere else........the cop is racists and so is the GOP

    July 23, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Bpin

    Obama needs to apologize. If this had been Bush and the roles were reversed and Bush would have said "I am being a little biased here", he would have been run out of office. There are two sides to this story. Gates would have you believe he did nothing wrong. The cop states he had every right to put him under arrest. A US President has no business whatsoever taking sides in this issue like he did without more facts. I lost a great amount of respect for Obama last night, and I think a whole lot of Americans did.

    July 23, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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