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. tidho

    Democrats think expanding government is a good idea even though every program is either inefficient (budget defecits) or ineffective.

    I'd say if this guy has a mental impairment he'll fit right in.

    June 10, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. 8 years of the Bush Error = How many years of recession and unemployment?

    No worries, Sue Lowden's mental capacity apparently thinks the chicken crossed the road to jump into the arms of her OB-GYN!

    June 10, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. obama victim

    aren't all democrats mentally impaired??

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

    Why stop with Alvin Greene? Believe me, there are plenty of suspect candidates this year who might benefit from "some sort of mental evaluation" . . . including those already holding office.

    June 10, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Tonton Ali

    Oh now he crazy?

    June 10, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. RCasson

    I can look at this man's face and tell something is wrong. He is not all there. And I am a black woman saying this. He might even be a GOP plant. Whatever the case is, he needs to drop out and SC voters need to not vote for people they know nothing about.

    June 10, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |

    Greene, I take it, is black?

    June 10, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Slick William

    Alvin Greene for President 2012!

    June 10, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    Bizarre candidacy? Are we talking SC? The whole freakin' state should be on Xanax!!!
    It's too bad that he probably won't beat the biggest lunatic of them all . . . . dimwit! 🙁

    June 10, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Larry

    LOL. Republicans, are you watching? Even this guy got 114,000 votes in South Carolina. And no one knows who he is.

    They're just voting DEMOCRAT!

    June 10, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Karen

    I question the mental health of many politicians past and present 🙂

    June 10, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Greene said "no" to The Establishment. He must therefore be crazy.

    That seems to be the logic here...

    June 10, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Martin


    Asking an African American candidate to undergo an mental evaluation is not a smart thing to do. It reeks of literacy tests and poll taxes. I admit i never heard of that guy before he became the nominee, but the same goes for the guy who lost.

    On the other hand, if the Democrats care so much about SC why not vet your candidate beforehand or put up a guy with a heartbeat that can beat this obvious Republican plant. Now the GOP will get another senate seat and we will have filibuster galore or worse...

    June 10, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. Jim In Miami

    In a state where the democrats stand little chance of victory – I believe that Alvin Greene is the ideal opponent for Jim DeMint

    June 10, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Chris

    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!!

    Run on!

    June 10, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Nunya

    What a useless article. Absolutely nothing is said in the article about why these questions are being asked.

    June 10, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Where are these claims of lunacy coming from? What behaviour has transpired to lead these two "brothers" to believe that Greene is a nut?
    Other than his unexpected candidacy, and "out of nowhere victory" where is the aberration?

    I don't see what stemmed the concern.

    He is spot on in his assessment of the Justice system, and his uncontestable view that South Carolina can do better. It certainly cannot sink to lower depths. Maybe a little taste of unvarnished 'crazy' might be just what this State needs. Who knows?!

    I will tell you that this picture of him would not allay anyone's fear to the contrary!

    June 10, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. MN Hockey Mom

    Isn't everyone in South Carolina mentally impaired??

    June 10, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. ja

    seems most policticans have the mental condition, current gov hiking, Tenn approved guns in bars, Arizonna on immigration, Tex on school textbooks, the stupid list are endless

    June 10, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Patsy, Texas

    RON: I am an informed voter, voted for President Obama, glad I did,
    and thank you very much for your uninformed opinion of voters.

    June 10, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. Eric

    Well, based on the liberal response to conservative concerns about Barry Soetoro Dunham's effectiveness and lack of executive experience, I'd say these two African-American politicians must be racist.

    You see, if you merely question or challenge a candidate (who incidentally happens to be "of color"), that makes you a racist.

    So, join hands with me, and say it and spray it like the delusional hippies do..."YERARACIST!!!"

    June 10, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. David in Houston

    Judging by some of the comments on here it appears the GOP needs to change their platform to either a) start supporting Planned Parenthood, or b) stop supporting inbreeding.

    June 10, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. PalmReader

    phoenix86 June 10th, 2010 3:53 pm ET

    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.

    No, Phoenix86, race BAITING is the worst kind of racism. It is something you do very well.

    June 10, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    People vote based on "looks"?

    He "looks" impaired.?????????

    SC people are ALL crazy. Hope they secede when TX and Alaska go.

    June 10, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Pearce

    It seems to me that he's not crazy, but the all the people who vote for him are...so maybe that was his plan in the beginning and is actually smarter than everyone.

    June 10, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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