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. California Gary

    thunderbolt........as opposed to the wonderful economic stewardship we got from the GOP? Sorry, but the timing on when the country ran into the ditch happens to coincide with when we had a GOP president at the wheel.

    August 28, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. ghostriter

    Thunderbolt, judging by your statement, I doubt you read Obama's book or many other books that didn't include See Spot Run.

    You do know that Ryan's plan takes the same $700 billion out as well.....right? And that Romney said the same thing about you not building that as Obama....right?

    And yeah, those mean old unions are causing such trouble. Wanting a livable wage and all that. If you believe a welder is making $50 an hour and just standing around, you are more gullible than the RNC hopes you are.

    August 28, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. snowdogg

    Why is there such a thing as the Congressional Black Caucus? Is this not considered a racist organization?

    August 28, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. GaryB

    Thunderbolt...

    That's a big bit of revisionist history. Although the Dems did have a majority in both house's for the first two years, with the death of Ted Kennedy (early during Obama's first term), they lost the supermajority in the Senate, opening almost all legislation up to filibusters by the Republican party. The Republicans reacted by filibustering far more legislation in a three year period that at any other point in US history. So yeah, the Republicans have pretty much blocked everything.

    As for Dems not being able to balance a checkbook... from 2003 until the start of 2007 the GOP controlled both houses of congress and the presidency. During that period, they engaged in a borrow and spending spree the likes of which have never been seen before in America, eradicating the budget surplus and multiplying the national debt. The terrible thing is, our infrastructure was crumbling at the same time that this Republican spending spree was going on. Yeah, we did have a couple wars (one very optional war), but were also giving money away hand over fist to already profitable oil companies and giving billions to Republican political cronies in the form of no-bid contracts. When it comes to fiscal responsibility, the republicans actually have a really terrible track record. Sorry, but those are the facts, and no matter how many times you repeat the completely unfounded Republican lines, that doesn;t make them true.

    August 28, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Thunderbolt wrote:

    ok, now tell me how the republicans blocked everything.
    ----------------
    You shouldn't have broken up with Lightfoot. He's been telling you that liberals have conservatives on tape saying that their plan was to block everything the president wanted to do. In fact, the Republican leader in the Senate reminded his caucus that their number one goal was to make Pres. Obama a one term president.

    August 28, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. ghostriter

    Thunderbolt, why do I have to keep typing this? Sen Kennedy pasted and Scott Brown assumed the seat in Jan 2010. Making it less than one year.

    Well, since you like to blame the recession on democrats, why did the republicans, with Bush in the white house and both houses of congress AND a 5-4 majority on the SC not do anything for 6 years about the housing crisis that they knew was coming? Why was Bush talking proudly about increasing home ownership? Why did he manage to de-regulate the CRA in 2003? Why? Especially since what they did pass in that time as tax breaks and Medicare part D. Seems to me that they could've done alot. But all they managed was tax breaks. Shows you where they stand.

    August 28, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. ghostriter

    truth hurts, when republicans had all branches of govt from 2000-2006, they rammed tax cuts and Medicare part D down our throats. Seems to me that folks like yourself had your mouths wide open then. Don't be shy now. Though I wouldn't call beating the republicans filibuster ramming anything but the republicans own gamesmanship BS back up the other end.

    August 28, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Willie12345

    We're talking about the Black Democratic Caucus, right ? There is no Black Caucus.

    August 28, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. NOBAMA2012

    Good for you Mr. Davis. Welcome to our party. In our party, we dont care what race or color you are, as long as you have the love for the country. Mr. Davis knows better that the dems have been telling people that republicans are racist but that is a lie and it is the other way around. People are waking up to the dem lies

    August 28, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Respond

    I would like to now what Liberals think real diversity is. Conservatives aren't looking to use blacks as tokens. Conservatives are simply seeking out the best of the group. With this approach, we get better diversity, not some kind of handout to everyone diversity.

    August 28, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. max

    @Thunderbolt. Isn't it apparent that neither party has our best interest at heart? The income disparity over the past 20 years has become dramatic due to our wonderful represetatives passing, or not passing, laws that help the well off and leave the lower classes left holding an empty bag. All ths name calling and finger pointing is childish and pointless. We need to get people in to our government that can do right by the majority of the American people because these Bozos are ALL, and I mean GOP and DEM, are destroying the dream and replacing itwith a nightmare. If we did what they were doing in our jobs or our everyday lives we would either be fired or put in jail. Ridiculous!

    August 28, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. ghostriter

    Respond, diversity ISN'T telling black folks they should look for a paycheck instead of a welfare check. For starters. You can also throw in not accusing black folks of voting for Obama simply because he's black when black folks have supported democratic candidates to the tune of over 90% since republicans decided the southern strategy was the way to go.

    Actually, Mr. Davis said similar comments on the Mike Gallagher show. Might wanna check that out. He's one of yours.

    August 28, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. truth hurts

    ghostriter - truth hurts, when republicans had all branches of govt from 2000-2006, they rammed tax cuts and Medicare part D down our throats.
    ===========================================================================================
    Seriously??? Democrats voted for these as well. Bush was handed a recession from Clinton and then 9/11 which nailed the budding recovery. They reduced taxes to spur growth and as a result got 52 consecutive months of economic growth and low unemployment. Obama is just too dumb to learn from recent history.

    And Medicare part D was welcomed by the elderly who were spending huge sums of their limited income on prescription medicines. I sure haven't noticed any outraged seniors saying to stop jamming this program down their throats like we have seen with Obamacare!

    August 28, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. ghostriter

    BTW, if Allen "Kanye" West, Herman "Big Daddy" Cain and "Money" Mike Steele are the best of the black folks you guys could get, you have already lost.

    August 28, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Dem Leaning Independent

    He reminds me of Dick what's his name. Remember the one who was in Clinton's cabinet and is currently a Fox news (I use this term loosely) pundit? Good riddance I say.

    August 28, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. REG in AZ

    To switch just declares his real loyalty, like with most Republicans, that being a willingness to be a "puppet" for "the money" in serving their interests while accepting their power, influence and mega-bucks in support and just giving the people the subterfuge to con and control. Obviously he feels his political ambitions are better served that way and he has no conscience or concern for the people.

    August 28, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. truth hurts

    Respond - I would like to now what Liberals think real diversity is
    ===============================================
    It's all about the skin color. Nothing more, nothing less. Diversity of thought is not tolerated in the collective. Just ask all those Blue Dog Democrats that have gotten drummed out of the Democrat Party by the "progressives"/socialists/communists.

    August 28, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. college_student

    Respond and others: Why is it in the latest polls give Romney 0 % (read zero percent) support among black voters?

    August 28, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Ken in NC

    The Congressional Black Caucus should back off former Congressman Artur Davis. The man has the right to make a complete fool of himself so let him.

    August 28, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Expat American

    Good for you Mr. Davis. Welcome to our party. In our party, we dont care what race or color you are, as long as you have the love for the country.
    ---
    You know how to clear a red state Walmart?
    Leave a Koran by the pork rinds.

    August 28, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Avid

    P L E A S E find Margaret Hoover another job – her voice is like one of the midgets in the Wizard of Oz! Makes you start to run to change channels. Do you not listen to these people before they start broadcasting?

    August 28, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Big Bob

    I don't see Allen West in the caucus. He's a black man in Congress, no?

    August 28, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. truth hurts

    ghostriter - BTW, if Allen "Kanye" West, Herman "Big Daddy" Cain and "Money" Mike Steele are the best of the black folks you guys could get, you have already lost.
    ===========================================================================================
    Don't forget, Condalezza Rice, Colin Powell and JC Watts.

    Of course the Democrats have the criminals Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters still sitting in the House.

    August 28, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Alan

    I guess he wasn't promoting the BCC robotic party line. So much for free speech and association.

    August 28, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Who cares about the CBC?

    The CBC is a bunch of hypocritical bigots, calling black GOPers Uncle Toms, etc. They are no different than the racist Republicans (S. Thurman comes to mind).

    August 28, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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