June 10th, 2010
03:24 PM ET
4 years ago

Lawmaker questions mental health of S.C. candidate

State Reps. Bakari Sellers and Todd Rutherford met with Alvin Greene for roughly an hour in Columbia, where Greene was taping television interviews.
State Reps. Bakari Sellers and Todd Rutherford met with Alvin Greene for roughly an hour in Columbia, where Greene was taping television interviews.

(CNN) - Two African-American lawmakers in South Carolina met privately with Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene on Thursday to express concerns about how that state might be portrayed if he moves forward with his surprising and somewhat bizarre candidacy.

One of the lawmakers asked Greene to abandon his Senate bid but was politely rebuffed. The other came away from the meeting with the impression that the Democratic Senate nominee is battling a mental impairment.

State Reps. Bakari Sellers and Todd Rutherford met with Greene for roughly an hour in Columbia, where Greene was taping television interviews.

Sellers said he asked Greene to abandon his bid but was unsuccessful.


"Many of us don't believe that he is representative of the values of the Democratic Party in South Carolina," state Rep. Bakari Sellers told CNN.

Sellers said Greene "looked long and hard at how African Americans and South Carolinians will be portrayed" around the country, but said he would remain a candidate. The election results become official at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Both Rutherford and Sellers said they wanted to meet Greene out of "genuine concern" for his well-being, after his out-of-nowhere victory over Vic Rawl in Tuesday's Democratic primary attracted a flood of national attention.

"I feel like he is being exploited, like there is a joke going and he doesn't get it," said Rutherford, who did not press Greene to drop his bid. "It is troublesome at best. I think his mental capacity may prohibit him from getting the joke."

He said Greene should undergo "some sort of mental evaluation" if he is to continue in the campaign. If it turns out he is mentally impaired, Rutherford said, "we are all in on this exploitation of someone that is vulnerable."

Still, Rutherford said he came away from the meeting that Greene does have, in part, a real political agenda. "He thinks that African Americans are being rated unjustly by the justice system, which is true, and he thinks our state can do better."


Filed under: 2010 • Alvin Greene • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Ken in NC

    One of these lawmakers left the meeting with the impression that the Democratic Senate nominee is battling a mental impairment. What qualifies him to come to that conclusion? Has he done an indepth study of the US Congress and found our politicians, Democratic and Republican members of Congress, are all suffering from that same mental impairment?

    The guy sounds like he is spot on in his opinions but who al I to say. I have no impairment other than being broke, busted and disgusted.

    June 10, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Bill McConkey

    If we gave a mental health scrutiny to the Teabaggers and GOP "leadership" there wouldn't be enough left for a game of solitare.

    June 10, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Is he related to Rand Paul because the Republican/Tea Party sure didn't know what they were getting when they voted him in. Haven't seen Paul lately, maybe his mental health is being checked as it should.

    June 10, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. rdepontb

    This article has some extremely libelous quotes, don't you think? Who is this guy to make the judgment that Greene is mentally impaired? Is he a trained psychologist? Who are you to publish such a statement??

    June 10, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    What is probab;y making these Democrats scard is the fact that this guy has run a campaign and won without campaigning. So far he has beat the establishment at their own game and did it without spending huge sums of money and calling his opponets all kinds of names. This is funny.

    June 10, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Pat F

    You bonkers, conspiracy minded Dumbocrats are just TOOO funny for words! Why, with Jim DeMint likely to win with something like 75% of the vote, would the GOP bother setting this guy up?

    I admit it's hilarious to see the Democrats trying to figure out how to deal with this half-witted, homeless porn hustler who scooped up 60% of their vote. But aren't Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefner big Democrat supporters? Porn hustlers are as critical to the Democratic party as small business owners and farmers are to the Republican party. You know what they say – you are known by the company you keep.

    June 10, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. trock

    Leave it to the "good well meaning brothers" to try and talk the victorious "brother" out of his rightful win. And since they couldn't convince him to drop his bid, they decided to make personal attacks. What's next? Black on Black hatred?

    June 10, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. LYNETTE IN CA

    It saddens me that two African Americans went to ask an African American not to run against Jim DeMint! That's the real tragedy here.

    June 10, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. geecee

    All you nitwits that clalm Obama isn't qualified because he nver held a job, seem to forget that he was a University of Chicago lecturer in Constitutional Law for 10 years. And I am sure he didn't do it for free! He has written two best-selling books, and that was BEFORE he was elected President. He is a Harvard-educated lawyer, was elected Editor of the Law Review at Harvard. He worked (and I emphasized "worked") as a community organizer in Chicago's southside. You think that was easy? It was probably tougher than working the politics in Washington, DC. You have no idea what "tough" is until you have worked inner-City politics. Get educated you dimwits, and stop saying President Obama isn't qualified. He is far more qualified than Bush was and any candidate you guys had running in 2008. So stuff it!!

    June 10, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. jacko

    Definitely smacks of racism–and from democrats, no less! why no hue and cry about racism from the media? Imagine if that was a republican saying those things! this man was voted in fair and square–who are the dems to try and sabotage his victory?

    June 10, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. howard bartlett

    Since when is being "sane" a precondition to service as a politician? Were that the case, we would have no one in Washington!

    June 10, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    A. If you were the DNC and deciders as to which states to pour the Dem resources into, would you make SC a high priority?

    B. CNN forgot to mention the handwritten checks the guy used to pay his $10,440 registration fees with, which look quite suspect (images are online).

    C. He ran no campaign, no advertisements, made no appearances, etc. Clearly, he doesn't belong doing this.

    D. SC Dems still voted for him and gave him the primary. While this shows that they're almost as crazy as SC GOPers, you still have to give it to the GOPers. They actually know what they're candidates are like, have done, how they behave, the idiocy that comes out of their mouths and yet they STILL vote for them.

    June 10, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. Bob from pittsburgh

    Chris wrote:

    ""Hey, THIS guy is JUST as qualified and has as much qualifications as Barrack Hussin Obama has to be U.S. President.

    I do not believe anyone can ague with that!!..""

    Chris take note.. is ""Barack"" ""Hussein"", also note the spelling of ""argue""..

    Now what did you mean about qualifications?

    June 10, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Bob in SC

    Well, at least the 2 candidates now are on equal footing.

    June 10, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. Adam in Colorado

    It's going to be hard for anyone to be Dimwit. Why should Greene not have a chance? I'm seriously curious about what an unemployed vet in SC has to say about the issues. As far as his "felony" obscenity charge; sounds like a he'd be a real X-factor in a debate.

    June 10, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. sifto77

    Bush must have done it! what a bunch of democratic racists! trying to get rid of an african american candidate voted in fair and square!

    June 10, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. matt

    Let me get this straight, this is a right wing conspiracy?. i also see a comment saying at least democrats have the courage to admit their own are mentally impaired. So now we have already determined the guys a nut because the SC democratic party got emabrrassed on a monumental scale. Of course. Way to go dems, you never cease to amaze me!

    June 10, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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