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. Desiree

    Dude. That was not cool.

    July 23, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Audrey Fryer

    The cop said it himself "I asked him to step outside". This means Mr. Gates was in his own home – so on what basis did the cop have to question, let alone arrest the man, fingerprint him and mugshot him. Did he have a warrant? Does this mean that every person in American, black or white, now has to answer to any cop that comes to their door and prove that you own your own home? STUPID STUPID STUPID!!!

    July 23, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Neil

    When the President made comments about the actions of a local police office, is when his comments became usable against him(Obama).
    It is unbelievable that this story is still being pushed to the top of CNN's list of 'breaking news'.
    I wonder if a black officer would have asked a white homeowner to step outside, due to a call to the department about a possible break-in, would the Prez mentioned that racism is a problem in America???

    Let the cop do his job...

    July 23, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Hugo

    I think the President has acted stupidly in even commenting on something he has little information on, no I'm not talking healthcare, I'm talking about this DB Gates. This is a prime example of the racism that "people of color" have toward authority, the guy was wrong and his own childish actions resulted in a free ride downtown.

    July 23, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. ~~ July ~~

    The National Republican Congressional Committee should not get in this when they are posting all over the net jokes about race, emails from their party about monkeys, watermalons and so on AND a witch doctor with Obama face on it ...... really? NRCC ... really???

    July 23, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Mariann Pepitone

    Obama involved himself because Gates is black and a Harvard Professor. Obama graduated from Harvard and probably knows Gates. I disagree with Obama. He should not get involved but he did because the policeman is white. Obama favors his black side more. I agee with the police, no apology is necessary. Gates showed the other side of himself and he sounded like the people that live on the southside of Chicago. This policeman was doing his job and he did a good job. Now if a black policeman arrested Gates there would not be a backlash from him or Obama. Apparently Obana has racial tones also and no one was aware of it.

    July 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Bill NY

    Funny James Crowley seems like an acronym for Jim Crow.
    He should quit while he's ahead. Saying that he worked on that basketball player who died, some people will be inclined to believe that he wanted to make sure that the basketball player never got up. Saying that he's sure he did the right thing. I hear people joking that he did the white thing.

    July 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Anna

    Give me a break...the repugs would have complained if he avoided the question and didn't say anything at all like it was some conspiracy or something. They did act stupidly and need to apologize. I think they need to even be focusing on this Repugs...aren't there better things to devote our country's time to besides becoming the party of no and we can't and he shouldn't, blah blah blah...give some solutions instead of all the complaining.

    July 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. Pearl

    Pres Obama doesn't need to know what happened in the home. Afterall, Gates and the police officer agree that an ID was produced. Therefore, the arrest has more to do with personality differences/traits or prejudices and very little to do with one upholding the peace & protecting the public. Prof Gates dared ask the officer for his badge & was treated with disdain & anger b/c he knew his rights. What a stupid reaction from the NRRC!

    July 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. John Riggs

    This is what happens to the President when he can not read prepared answers. Where is his respect for the police? What kind of example did he give the country?

    July 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. josh

    Yes the officers were wrong. Some people always think the worse of blacks. I am a black man and I am stereotyped at times. Yes racism exsists and putting an African American in office doesn't mean racism no longer exsists.

    July 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Kathy

    I have to say that it looks like the President is going to be questioned for everything he does. If he happens to take the side of someone, whether he has all the facts or not, it looks like he will be crucified for it. I think that he should be allowed to do his job. He is doing a wonderful job. We voted for him. Let him do his job. I agree with his comments in regards to the arrest of Harvard scholar, Mr. Gates. I do believe that our country is still based on ethnicity...Look at how those children were treated when they wanted to go swimming and the pool kicked them out for "over crowded" conditions. The remarks that were made while they were in the pool were racial in nature and truly uncalled for. What kind of nation are we that we have to "pick" on children and people who don't deserve the criticism. We are still a nation based on bias and ethnic demands. If you aren't white, then you aren't right...isn't that one of the sayings? Let me tell you what I think, and I am white...I think that if God wanted us all to be the same color, He would have made us that way. We are different colors for a reason. Nothing in life is easy, but we as a country are making it even harder. I say this to all of you...Shame on you! Shame on you for allowing this stupidity to continue....and that is what it is: plain stupidity.

    July 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Sherri

    President Obama has stated "he is President and must be careful what he says; he doesn't have the luxury to make off hand comments" President OBama has violated his own standards; he must think before he speaks. His remark is carless and inflammatory to the situation. This isn't a comment that a statesman, a diplomate would make. Mr. President has a lot to learn.

    July 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. David P. Kronmiller

    Republicans need to do their job and stop playing politics. They are a disgrace to political discourse and are making a mountain out of a mole hill while the rest of us struggle to get by. Obama said nothing wrong – expressed his own opinion – and the officer clearly did something incorrect and should apologize.

    July 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. J. L. W.

    Inappropriate for the president of the United States to get involved in a
    situation like this.

    July 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Debra from Georgia

    Let us be clear. It was the responsibility of that cop to disfuse the situation upon knowing that Dr. Gates was rightfully in his home. It is not against the law to yell at a policemen, the man was wrong. He should have taken the high road. Just like the GOP, they take every opportunity to be stupid. A bunch old White men.

    July 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Mark

    Obama was right and he should include the Republicans and their irrelivant criticisms. Appartly the GOP would prefer a Soviet style police force when you can be arrested in your own home for no reason other than a stupid neighbor doesn't know you. If the police want to come in my house I want to see a warrant, without it, it is a home invasion. Since I'm white, in redneck Phoenix, I'm not likely to be arrested.

    July 23, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Yes, I believe his words could have been better but, it is the truth. How can the GOP who so believes that you should be safe against government in your own home, deny this was wrong. Oh yeah, they have never been pulled over driving while black.

    PS. I am a proud white woman that believes this is so wrong. Coming from Dallas....they even have a new cable show: Dallas DNA thanks to our former DA Henry Wade and all the wrongful convictions.

    * The right to carry a gun is not the only amendment to the constitution, we used to have 27.

    July 23, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. phoenix86

    Without knowing anything about the incident, Obama took a side against police. That illustrates Obama's policy on everything. Don't believe me? Look at his position with respect to Honduras.

    Obama's a tired joke.

    July 23, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. La Fontaine

    The president admitted not having all the facts in the matter. Nonetheless it is appropriate for him to address it, as the situation speaks to a larger and broadly accepted societal problem. I also believe that police have the duty to remain above the fray. Beligerence towards police is not against the law, particularly in the confines of your own abode. You're a public servant. If you can't handle being yelled at by a worked up citizen, you need not be a cop in a free democratic society. The fact that charges were dropped against Mister Gates speaks volume.

    July 23, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. RJN

    I have heard Obama dodge questions saying he didn't have all the facts so he can't rush to a judgement. Didn't stop him this time!!!
    The only person who acted stupidly was the president saying that comment. ( He even admitted he didn't have all the facts).
    Racisim is alive still today because the black people will not let it go away.
    Why not question his friend Mr. Gates as to why he made the comment to the police of "Only because he is a black man in America would he be treated this way". That is a RACIST statement if I've ever heard one. Question your friend first !!!!!
    Were in the world is Al Sharpton????? He should be all over this story.

    July 23, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. The Unshrub

    The NRCC would critisize Obama if he saved a baby from a burning building. What's new!

    July 23, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. Chris, Atlanta GA

    And the AP just reported that the police offer who was allegedly profiling is the teacher of the course that teaches officers in Cambridge about racial profiling. In other words, he is clearly knowledgeable about what "profiling" is so that makes characterizing him a bigot or profiler pretty rich in my opinion. Wonder if Obama will walk back his criticism, it might be pretty hard with his foot in his mouth.

    July 23, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. kenn

    The GOP I would think should have plenty on their plates to put there energy into at this time and place in current history. I am a hard working tax paying black american that has a home in a nice nieghborhood that has expeirenced the cop stare down and follow just going to my home. This exist in the U.S. so why are we acting like this is not a stupid situation that was mishandled. The truth is the truth and I am at a lost for words for why we as americans any color, any polictical background can't handle our president stating the truth. Let me ask you if this, if a white affuleint american had this happean to him would this be a stupid situation?

    July 23, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. mrbistre

    once again, the republicans have nothing on which to base a debate except yet another phony umbrage. Not only do they have NO contstructive ideas to add to the dialogue, but they spend all their time pretending to be offended by something as obviously true as racial inequality in the law. (By the way, wing nuts, if you think that this is "reverse racism" then you too are just making things up)

    July 23, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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