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. V.P.

    This time I believe that the V.P. was correct when he said they'd have us back in chains. I don't trust Romney any further than I can throw him. This Davis character really should be ashamed of himself!

    August 28, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Alan

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

    August 28, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    "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."

    Even if you infer in both extreme directions, his switch has naught to do with skin color. Do you people read and understand context clues?

    August 28, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Erlinda Brent

    Let him go. Ideally, we SHOULD be beyond race. Truthfully, we aren't. It is going to take more than Barack Obama to get us beyond the color issue, and it shouldn't be his responsibility anyway. It might happen in a few generations, but in the near future, we should be addressing other things, and concentrating on solutions. There is a whole block of people who have blatantly said that their goal is to get Obama out of office. The same people blame "liberals" for bringing up the race issue. The times are a'changing, but not in a fast manner.

    August 28, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. G Jack

    Rosa Parks sat down so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so President Obama could run. President Obama ran so I could have achange. Enough said......

    August 28, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. ghostriter

    Truthhurts, you guys dissed Collin Powell when he supported Obama. Remember Rush's kind words? Condi has the good sense to keep race outta things. JC Watts? Right. I'd rather have Thomas Sowell.

    Funny, I don't see Rangel of Waters in prison. Of course, Cain paid to keep his indiscretions quiet. Didn't Steele preside over the RNC when they were broke and had meetings in strip clubs? Nice. Isn't he speaking in Tampa? And Mr. "78 members of congress being communist" is just the black and less masculine version of Michelle Bachmann.

    August 28, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. bluegillonthefly

    @college_student – it's racism. Even someone graduating under today's low standards ought to understand that.

    Welcome, Mr. Davis, to the party of Lincoln. The party that ended slavery. The party that believes in giving people tools and a chance instead of a hand-out paid for by others. The party that believes in pulling the wagon instead of riding in it. What I don't understand, though, is why you expected President Obama to bring the Democratic Party more toward the center. President Obama is not a centrist, has never been a centrist, and has always been pretty honest about that. While I do not respect his views – he's a fool – I at least respect that he is honest about it. Mostly. He's probably even more of a leftist than he presents himself to be, but he's certainly a leftist (as opposed to a true liberal). More honest, I believe, than Mitt Romney is. Romney is, I believe, much less of a conservative than he presents himself to be, and is more of a mix of center-left Republican and corporatist.

    August 28, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. crazyvermont

    bad bad boy,,,,,,you became a repub. No big party tent CBC I see

    August 28, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Russ in Md

    I didn't know that it was possible to un-do a lobotomy but it must be fact because he is actually thinking for himself instead of the liberal collective.

    August 28, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. something to think about

    Theres no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Both represent their Lobbyist paymasters on Wallstreet, and in Big businesses.

    As long as you have banks and corporations shelling out money to influence politics, your vote doesnt matter.

    I want to write in a vote of NO CONFIDENCE on the ballot. I wonder what theyd do if a landslide vote of No Confidence came up?

    August 28, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. ghostriter

    truthhurts, 13 house democrats voted for the tax cuts out of 200. And 12 in the senate. How does that equal both parties voting for it? By bad, I forgot that conservatives like to make up numbers.

    August 28, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. tm1946

    Loyalty is a good thing but isn't it supposed to be a two way street. If AfroAmericans want to blindly follow the Black Cacaus and Pres O based strictly on the color of their skin, I guess they deserve 18% unemployment.

    This is politics and economy, who will help you and your family. I would suggest all the Pres and elected people did was leave you in the dust. Biden said "ya"ll gonna be back in chains", it might be better if he sadi what he did to improve you fife beside sit and Washington, ignorring you until he wanted your vote.

    August 28, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. SCMark

    Reading the list of who signed the letter - only about a third of the CBC - reminds of one of the things I'm looking forward to the most in this upcoming election: not seeing Jim Clyburn's name on my ballot.

    August 28, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. over the hill

    His swtich makes perfect political sense to me. Joining the other five or six known Black Republicans, he can probably cut a much better deal with them, garner strong support from the base and perhaps get some cush appointment in Washington if Romney wins. So, it comes down to (1) stay with the Dems and get nothing if the pres is relected, or (2) become a rising star among none in the republican party. He may drink bitter waters for his choice, but it sounds like a smart career choice to me.

    August 28, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. ?

    Why the h ell is there a BLACK caucus? Is there a white Caucus? An asian one? perhaps a hispanic one? What a way to divide people. Yea back in the 50's that was accepted. But today, this is AMERICA, we all are either Democrats, Republicans, independents, Illegal aliens, or apathic citizens. There is not white this or black that..........if there is, then YOU are responsible for creating an atmosphere of racism.

    August 28, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Mud cakes

    Why the h ell is there a BLACK caucus? Is there a white Caucus? An asian one? perhaps a hispanic one? What a way to divide people. Yea back in the 50's that was accepted. But today, this is AMERICA, we all are either Democrats, Republicans, independents, Illegal aliens, or apathic citizens. There is not white this or black that..........if there is, then YOU are responsible for creating an atmosphere of racism.

    August 28, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. ValarMorghulis

    The guy is so stupid he can't even spell his name correctly.

    August 28, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. truth hurts

    ghostriter – truthhurts, 13 house democrats voted for the tax cuts out of 200. And 12 in the senate. How does that equal both parties voting for it?
    =========================================================================================
    Is this a trick question or are you really this clueless???!!!

    August 28, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Thunderbolt actually wrote:

    Oh yeah, lets not forget compromise. The republicans won't compromise. Well lets see where compromise got us. The housing bubble, the banking bubble, failing economy. etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc
    -----------------–
    You need to stop listening to your sources of information. You are embarassingly misinformed.

    All of that legislation that was passed in the early 2000s that created the housing bubble and the banking bubble, which resulted in the economy sailing off of a cliff, was passed by a Republican controlled Congress and signed into law by a Republican president. And you forgot about their deregulaton.

    August 28, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. Mary

    So, the black caucus doesn't think a black person should be Republican???

    August 28, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. DaisyinNY

    I saw Mr. Davis on Morning Joe. During the program he strait out said. In the democratic party people like me are a dime a dozen, but in the Republican party they treat me real special. I personally an glad he no longer is a Dem and I think his party switch was a good one, he will fit right in.

    August 28, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. Flipper

    Yet another glittering example of the hatred and intolerance spewed by the Left when an African-American gets "uppity" by switching parties. What does it matter if this guy switched parties....he's still black, right? Oh...not the type of black that the Democrats want. I see how that works.

    August 28, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Mud cakes wrote:

    Why the h ell is there a BLACK caucus? Is there a white Caucus? An asian one? perhaps a hispanic one? ....
    -----------
    Here's another one that is embarassingly misinformed. Yes, there are those groups. There's even a Jewish oriented group. In fact, there are more conservative groups than liberal ones. The worst one of them all is the Tea Party Raucous in the House.

    August 28, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. ghostriter

    tm1946, sorry, but the unemployment rate for college educated folks is 4%. Democrats are promoting furthering education. Romney and republicans want to shut down poor folks route to education.

    Educated blacks will trend toward the guys looking to help black folks get educated. You know, teaching folks to fish. That is not blindly following. That is intelligent.

    Now if you wish to blindly follow republicans who will take your medicare and SS away, so be it. Considering that you are probably using those already, you will need us. Us educated folk tend to be alright.

    August 28, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. ritmocojo

    The proverbial raisin in the proverbial rice pudding.

    August 28, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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