Rep. Davis to Bill Clinton: your political support will suffer
January 19th, 2011
11:34 AM ET
12 years ago

Rep. Davis to Bill Clinton: your political support will suffer

Chicago (CNN) - One of the Chicago's most well-known federal lawmakers has a harsh message for Bill Clinton: the former president hurt himself politically with African-Americans after he campaigned Tuesday for Rahm Emanuel's mayoral bid.

That's what Rep. Danny Davis said on Wednesday as he boarded a plane from Chicago en route to Washington.

"People have always – especially African-Americans for a long time – have regarded former President Clinton as a friend, political ally and as one whose goals and objectives may have been similar to theirs," Davis said. "And so I think that this will take away a bit. And there are individuals who have been former Clinton supporters who no longer will."

Davis said he does not believe Emanuel, former Obama White House Chief of Staff who also worked in the Clinton administration, will win the Chicago race. But should he, Davis said: "He will be good for some people." When pressed to explain, Davis said an Emanuel administration in Chicago will benefit insiders - not African-American communities.

CNN asked Davis if he'd expressed his belief with the former president himself.

"No, I have not attempted to speak with President Clinton," Davis said. "I think he understands full well. You know my father used to tell us something about this whole business of advice.He'd always say, 'A wise man don't need it. And a fool won't heed it.'And so, I think he [Clinton] knows the consequences. And would be willing to risk the consequences in order to accomplish something else."

Davis was also a candidate in the Chicago race. But he dropped out on December 31 and urged African-Americans to coalesce around former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley Braun, who is African-American.

When asked how he'd respond to critics who might say his criticisms of Clinton and Emanuel amount to sour grapes, Davis told CNN, "Sore loser? I'd say they dont know anything about Danny Davis. And their comments are irrelevant to me."

Though Davis is critical of Clinton's backing of Emanuel, he did offer some praise.

"I think he will continue to interact. And I think that his popularity will remain high," Davis said of the former president.

Emanuel's campaign refused to comment on Davis' statement.

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "As far as African-Americans are concerned, if there's an African-American candidate, that's all you need to know to make your decision."

    Well, at least we can rely on the delusional teatards to come out and remind us that racist idiocy sure does still exist in sufficient quantities such that it's not automatically "playing the race card" for someone to piont it out. Two things:

    First, just like Davis' statement, yours is baseless, which is what makes it wrong.

    Second, before you go opinting at polls showing how the minority community voted overwhelmingly for Obama, let me remind you that (a) no data exists to support the idea that they went to the polls and voted for the black dude solely beacuse he was black, but excessive amounts of data exist, including simple empirical experience of living through the election of 2008, that Obama motivated all sorts of people to vote for him and ran one of the best campaigns in decades and (b) when it comes down to brass tacks, statements like "oh yeah? well they all voted for Obama just because he was black" (or my favorite, "the Dems just want to give amnesty to illegals because minorities vote for them") do nothing more than shine a light on the fact that election of a minority POTUS in part through massive minority voter turnout and support for him is what kicked the proverbial hornet's nest with people like you and your teatard're desperately afraid that "they" are taking "your country" away.

    January 19, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Two of the 10 commandments of Chicago style Democratic politics in one press conference. Threaten and discriminate.

    January 19, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Son of CSM.Wiggins

    @Betterdays no don't support a person who runs for office because they are black . I didnt support micheal Steele, I don't support Herman Caine , nor any other Black Conservatives because I disagree with there. Policies.

    January 19, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. gary

    Just another old black person playing the race card. The race issues could die a peaceful death and hopefully everyone would get along with each other if these old "you owe me something" people would let it die.

    January 19, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Phil in KC

    Ha! Clinton doesn't support their guy so now they don't like him? He's not supposed to have his own opinions? Do they expect him to be their lackey now? They need to get over themselves. Most people have never heard of Davis. Everyone knows Clinton. Davis is just a Representative. Clinton is a former President. They need some perspective.

    January 19, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Chipster

    Davis shouldn't be in politics at all if he takes these things so personally. Supporting Emanuel does not mean Clinton rejects Davis or Mosley-Braun as unqualified. He simply feels Emanuel is the most qualified candidate. No matter who he supports, the others would have preferred to have his support but I hope Moseley-Braun is more mature about it than Davis.

    January 19, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. James Keating

    It is a sad commentary that a political figure in this country is still allowed to be a racist.

    January 19, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Alan

    As a Chicagoan, I am so disappointed with Danny Davis and the so-called "Black Caucus". His insistence to inject race into the race for mayor by choosing a "consensus black candidate" belies the ability of a black candidate to be identified by any other attribute than the color of their skin, and reduces the likelihood that a black candidate could win a city-wide election. This is identity politics at its worst, and to the detriment of some great potential black candidates.

    January 19, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Kyle

    I don't get it – Bill Clinton isn't running for office, so why the heck should he care about "political support"? He's endorsing who he thinks is best for the job.

    January 19, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Dennis

    I didn 't realize that Bill Clinton was running for office. Who cares if his support drops.

    January 19, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    Sounds like a blatantly racist statement to me. Support black people running for office or risk losing support from black people? Is this fool serious? Seems racism is alive and well in the black community.

    And why should Bill Clinton care about risking the loss of support? He isn't running for anything. And besides, he doesn't really have it if he runs against a black candidate, as Hillary found out in 2008.

    January 19, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. ken

    What? Just becuase someone doesn't do want you want them to, you receive a "cold shoulder." It saddens me that there are still people that would rather play to race card so speak then look at qualifications, stand on issues etc. This type of rhetoric will only fan the flames......Davis, grow up, take a long hard look at your "prejudices," stop being a victim and start leading ALL the poeple in your community and state!

    January 19, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. steve

    clinton is supporting whats his name just to be in the spotlight. anything clinton says or does goes towards that end. clinton was a lousy president and will always be regarded as such!!!

    January 19, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. couldn'tresist

    I was just wondering. At the 11th hour, who did Davis support – Hillary Clinton or Obama?

    January 19, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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