Congressional Black Caucus blasts Artur Davis over party switch
August 28th, 2012
09:24 AM ET
2 years ago

Congressional Black Caucus blasts Artur Davis over party switch

(CNN) – Members of the Congressional Black Caucus disparaged former Rep. Artur Davis Tuesday, blasting the former Obama supporter for endorsing Mitt Romney this cycle.

Davis switched party affiliation from Democrat to Republican this year, two years after he failed to capture the Democratic nomination in his bid for the Alabama governorship.

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He's been in the headlines recently as a top surrogate for the Romney campaign, attributing his switch to the GOP to what he calls President Barack Obama's transition to the far left.

Fourteen members of the caucus, however, strongly took issue with Davis' decision and described his party move as a political ploy.

"Given the magnitude of your recent transformation, we can only conclude that, rather than a true conversion, your actions are the result of a nakedly personal and political calculation or simmering anguish after failing to secure the Democratic nomination for governor of the State of Alabama in 2010," the members wrote in a letter addressed to Davis.

The letter comes the same day as Davis, a former member of the caucus himself, is scheduled to speak in a primetime hour of 9 p.m. ET at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

His high-profile speech draws a sharp contrast to his convention role four years ago, when he seconded Obama's nomination at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. At the time, he served as a co-chairman on Obama's presidential campaign.

Davis said he had hoped Obama's presidency would make a huge dent in race relations, as well as move the Democratic Party further to the center. Speaking on CNN two weeks ago, Davis also pointed to Vice President Joe Biden's controversial comments–in which he told a Virginia crowd that Romney's regulatory policies would "put y'all back in chains"–as an example of why Davis is disappointed in the current administration.

"It ought to embarrass President Obama," Davis said. "President Obama has talked so movingly about our country moving beyond race, and his own vice president makes this kind of comment yesterday? It was wrong and the president ought to be embarrassed by it, and the president ought to say it was wrong."

The 14 caucus members also referenced the former congressman's previous statements of support for Obama and Democratic views on big issues, including Wall Street reform, the stimulus bill, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
"We regret that you have chosen this course, but are confident that the American people see your pronouncements for what they are and come to the same disappointing conclusion of your former colleagues," the letter stated.

The letter was signed by the following members of Congress:

Chairman Emmanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
Rep. Corrine Brown (FL-03)
Rep. G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Rep Donna Christensen (VI-AL)
Rep. James E. Clyburn (SC-06)
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (MI-14)
Rep. Donna F. Edwards (MD-04)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
Rep. Barbara J. Lee (CA-09)
Rep. John Lewis (GA-05)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY-06)
Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (AL-07)
Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS-02)

soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    Artur Davis will be well rewarded by Bishop Romney.

    If he changes his religion to Glen Beck's, and takes the silver at Fox as a political consultant/trainee, his indoctrination will be complete, and he will be given the green light for that Alabama governor position he deserves.

    Artur, be sure to bow and kiss the Bishop's ring, you got to publicly show the respect.
    A little grovelling is in order, but don't take too long, the line of republican kiss ups will be extensive.

    August 28, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Amazing

    The actions of the Black Caucus are no different than what Republicans have done to Mr. Crist. Mr. Davis and Mr. Crist are entitled to change their minds. Whether you agree with their decision is irrelevant, because it is their right to do so. I disagree with Mr. Davis' comments but have no issue with his personal decision to switch political parties. But, let's stop pretending only one side acts this way.

    Regarding Mr. Davis' comments on race relations, he is wrong in his accusations about the President. He also fails to demonstrate any tangible action that Republicans have taken on race relations. He is correct that Biden's comment was over the top. But, if he was really bother by this comment then he would call out his fellow Republican, Allen West who has made several statements using similar language as Biden. Therefore, I must conclude his outrage over Biden's comments is not personal but political since he doesnot hold his peers to the same standard of behavior he wishes to hold Obama to.

    August 28, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. lil

    Davis is lying to you, I saw him on morning joe over a month ago telling Joe that he was changing political parties. This was long before Biden' s chain comment. He is lying to you just as he lied to the people of Alabama for all those years.Its all about him not the people.

    August 28, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. yogi

    @ Heythere. Is that all you can come up with? Nobody can compare to the ultimate flip flopper, nobody has shown as little courage and back bone as Romney. His boredom cannot be an excuse to seek the presidency, he is not qualified, period.
    Obama 2012.

    August 28, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair asked:

    Isn't the Congressional Black Caucus bipartisan? Republicans can't be in the CBC???
    ---------------
    Yes, it is a bipartisan group. Enrollment isn't mandatory. Ask Allen West why he hasn't joined the group.

    August 28, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. crabman

    why do we still have or need a black caucus or even the need

    August 28, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Larry L

    I must agree with some of the right-wingers here. Nothing stops a black person from being motivated by greed, bigotry, homophobia, fear of the N.R.A., and religious extremism. That sort of person belongs in the Republican Party.

    August 28, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. UDidntBuildThat

    Who knew Romney had such clout to "buy" people off. Why if that were true why stop at one black guy? Hey Romney, just go into the black neighborhoods and start buying them off. Heck the Dems been doing it with welfare & entitlements for over 50yrs now. So why not?

    August 28, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. NorCalMojo

    Very conformist subculture. Sad.

    August 28, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. Listening

    Such a double standard in this country. Its soon going to be red states governed by red law and responsible for red debt and blue states governed soley by blue law and responsible for blue debt. We are more closer to that than north vs south. Dems (blue) believe conseratives (red) have no right to be a part of the political process and its pretty much vice versa. Segregation by political party will have to occur in order for both sides to realize that we need each other and look beyond differences to appreciate one another.

    August 28, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. gord

    if things dont work out ,he can allways flip again

    August 28, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Al

    Remember that the black caucus is not about supporting anyone that believes in personal responsibility. They only support the party of hand outs.

    August 28, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. ja

    let him go with good riddance, the world is full of snakes , he will be another steel or cain

    August 28, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. nunzi

    Same thing happened with me! I was a registered, very politically active Democrat for MANY years & then, as I observed what the Democrats were doing to our State of California, I could no longer be a part of this Socialist-turned-party! This is NOT the party of JFK!

    August 28, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. UDidntBuildThat

    Rudy NYC
    Look at what the Dems are doing to Davis now! Remember how well the Dems treated Arlen Spector when he switched party to join up with them? Where is Spector now that Obama and the Dems used him up and kicked him to the curbed? Name one example of the republican ever doing that to anyone?

    Fact of the matter is the Dems do not like anyone to think for themselves. Is Obama talking about jobs, economy and debt? No! Look at the Dems convention platform. Contraception, abortion, immigration, scare tactics, and issues that no one cares about b/c we don't have jobs!!!!

    August 28, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. BB

    You know he is getting some serious threats for not being in lockstep with the Congressional Black Caucus and Obama. Individual thought is frowned upon.

    August 28, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. coyoteliberty

    Wow. If I remember my history, it used to be a cause of celebration when one of your brothers managed to escape the plantation. The times, it seems, they are a changing.

    August 28, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Ken

    This guy is a political opportunist just as Allen West and Herman Cain are. They know that conservatives are looking for, and will reward hansomely, any black man that will speak out against President Obama. Davis will soon find that he is going no place in the Republican party either.

    August 28, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair asked:

    Isn't the Congressional Black Caucus bipartisan? Republicans can't be in the CBC???
    -----
    Yes, it is a bipartisan group. Enrollment isn't mandatory. Ask Allen West why he hasn't joined the group.
    ----------
    If it's a bipartisan caucus, why is the chairman "blasting" Davis for switching parties? It shouldn't matter if it's bipartisan, right?

    August 28, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. yogi

    @ UDidntBuildThat.
    It is amazing how backward your thinking is, the Karl Rove playbook tactic is really getting old. And you are screaming about jobs? Did the Republicans present ONE bill the last two years? As far as the social issues, look where they originated. Sincerity is apparently not in your playbook, for very few Republicans actually.

    August 28, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Wilson

    It is going to be such a landslide for Romney in November,,,,,IF Obama allows the election to happen. He is in panic mode already, after all, there is only one reason for DHS and SS administrations to buy all that hollow point amunition.

    August 28, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. Lizzie

    If its a republican switches it's called evolving when a democrat switches then he is un-American and a flip flopper.

    August 28, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    coyoteliberty wrote:

    Wow. If I remember my history, it used to be a cause of celebration when one of your brothers managed to escape the plantation.
    --------------
    Davis is too self-absorbed to realize that he returned back to it. Republicans will discard him as soon as the election is over because he is a proven turncoat. He cannot ever be fully trusted in right wing circles.

    August 28, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. Kyle

    Anyone who switches political parties never had a grasp of the underlying ideologies of his or her party. They are blowing in the political wind. They are opportunistic beings, not fully aware of the political parties or themselves. With this in mind, I have never understood Independents.

    August 28, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair asked:

    If it's a bipartisan caucus, why is the chairman "blasting" Davis for switching parties? It shouldn't matter if it's bipartisan, right?
    -----------------------------
    What does the chairman "blasting" Davis have to do with partisanship? Davis threw the first punches and they were below the belt. He would get the same treatment had he stayed a Democrat. Look at what they did to Newark Mayor Booker.

    August 28, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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