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

Lawmaker questions mental health of S.C. candidate

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/10/art.greene.scdp.jpg caption ="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. gt

    this guy will fit in real well with nancy , obama and reid... birds of a feather....

    June 10, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Victim of GOP Taliban

    As if someone that is unemployed magically comes up with a spare $10,000 to file? He says allegedly that his "friends" gave him the $?

    Hatred and bigotry family value GOP members probably did this on purpose to sabotage the Dem's.

    June 10, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Reggie S

    Hell... what's one more person in Washington with a criminal past?? I say let him go ahead. He may shock everyone again in the general election.

    It's sad that the Democrats are doing everything under the sun to get this guy to drop out because the person they WANTED to win the primary did not. (He wouldn't have defeated DeMint anyway in the general election- not in backwards South Carolina) If he met all the requirements for running for election when he qualified, then he has the right to continue. (Let's see if by some miraculous chain of events his trial date gets moved up.)

    What they really need to be focusing on is the Governor's mansion.

    Tread real careful SC Democrats. (Let's hope no one in the WH makes the mistake of asking this guy to quit as well.)

    June 10, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Angus McDugan

    I guess the democrats, liberals, and progressives are racist. Obviously the good democrats of South Carolina want this man in office, so why are these politicians trying to ruin this man's reputation?

    June 10, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Reynolds Jones

    Alvin Greene won the primary. Alvin Greene IS the Democratic candidate in SC for senate. I am a Democrat, though not from South Carolina - my partner and I support his candidacy.


    Alvin Green 2010: The people's choice

    June 10, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Mitch

    A Mental Fitness Exam...that should be mandatory for all US Senators!

    June 10, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Naqib

    "Democratic Senate nominee is battling a mental impairment."

    And this surprises anyone?

    June 10, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Joel Miller

    South Carolina is De Mintally impaired. No matter how mentally impaired Greene may be, he will still be a better Senator than the incumbent.

    June 10, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Ron

    What this simply proves is that the typical voter is uninformed and knows nothing about the candidate or why they might be qualified. This is the reason Obama got elected because the informed voter can quickly determine Obama was not qualified to be president (and is becoming more clear every day). In fact Obama has never even worked in the public sector or, for that matter, never has had a real job. Now we have a candidate in SC that the voter knows nothing about. Is he qualified? He very well may be but why is the SC voter NOW trying to find out? Scary where uninformed voters are making mistake after mistake and can only expect it to get worse.

    June 10, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Jeremy W

    Let me get this straight.

    "Many of us don't believe that he is representative of the values of the Democratic Party in South Carolina,"


    He said Greene should undergo "some sort of mental evaluation".

    lol. enough said. guess if you don't agree with Dems, you are mentally handicapped

    June 10, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Joaquin

    It looks like some cross-over voting dirty tricks at work in South Carolina. I guess propping up an unknown, inexperienced, maybe mentally unstable, maybe felon as the opposition is the only way Republicans can insure that Gomer (Jim DeMint) gets reelected. As a former resident of South Carolina whose ancestry in the state goes back to 1720, I find the politics and attitudes of the state appalling. It would serve these racist Republicans right if Mr. Greene could beat Mr. DeMint. What if– all the 41% of African Americans actually did vote and did vote for Mr. Green?

    June 10, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. DIANA

    So what's the difference between him and anybody else in South Carolina. Did he say he was going on an Apalacha hike?

    This story doesn't say why they question his mental state.

    June 10, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. jerry

    Alvin is fine, it's those SC Democratic morons that voted for him who needs their mental health questioned.

    June 10, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. phoenix86

    Actually when you look at Greene carefully, he has MORE experience than Obama did when he was elected.

    Leave it to the dems to go after African-Americans who are not "their kind" of African-Americans; racism of the worst kind.

    June 10, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. George

    There's probably nothing wrong with his mental health. He's just a jerk who is horribly unqualified for the job he wants. The mentally ill are the ones who voted for his nomination, knowing not a thing about who they were voting for. They're all just voting out of anger, which is what produced the Gingrich years in the '90's. South Carolina wouldn't elect Jesus Christ himself if he were a Democrat, so what difference does it make who they nominate? He's as good as anyone else they have. It's all just blustering meanness there anyway.

    June 10, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. SocialismBad

    If he's battling a mental impairment then he'll fit right into the DemocRATic Party!!!

    June 10, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. geecee

    At least when Democrats see that one of their own is mentally impaired they step in and try to get the guy to realize he has issues. The Republicans never do that and just let their mentally unstable candidates keep on running for office.

    June 10, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. kpinatl

    NOTHING BUT A PLANT BY THE SC GOP!!! Let's get real people. This man had no job, no political background, possible FELON!!! and he wins. I hope the attorney general of SC or someone from the government investigates this and the GOP gets busted for trying to "rig/steal" another election.

    June 10, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. Futon Torpedo

    Omg! LOL!! This is funny. It's not Mr. Greene's fault for having slipped through the cracks and not have been vetted. LMBO!!! This is downright hilarious.

    June 10, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. anthony

    Does it really matter what his mental issues are. Don't most have in congress already have some form of impairment. That being said I believe that his issues are genuine and he may bring attention to congress about the need for better services for mentally challenged people.

    June 10, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. Joyless

    This needs to be fully investigated. This man did not have 10,000 dollars. He is being used and the Republican party set this up. They have been laughing at this fiasco all day! Only in South Carolina!

    June 10, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. ted

    The real reason for the meeting is that the SC Democratic party doesnt think that Greene can win in November and want him replaced

    June 10, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Augsbee

    What can this person possibly bring to the people of South Carolina? What a waste of a Senate seat.

    June 10, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. rachel

    You mean out of all the crazy S.C congress people there are and have been he's the one they are worried about?

    June 10, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Mance Lotter

    The joke here is just too obvious. Hahahaha. Democrats are awesome!

    June 10, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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