Congressional Black Caucus blasts Artur Davis over party switch
August 28th, 2012
09:24 AM ET
10 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. scott

    They are upset that one of them actually gained some sense.

    August 28, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Lionel

    What a traitor. American's do not like traitor and Arthur Davis is no exception.

    I wonder how much the millionaires and billionaires paid him to switch sides.

    August 28, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. Donkey Party

    What a fool. And as far as Davis saying the President and the Democratic Party have gone "too far left", is garbage. The Democrats, if anything, have been pulled father to the right over the years, and there are stats and data to prove it. Just another GOP myth (LIE).

    August 28, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Lib

    As for what Biden said, sure it was a gaffe, but moving to a party that has been making these types of comments about the POTUS even before the president took office just shows the Caucus to be telling the truth. How can he use one instance in comparison to many to justify his move? I am sure Davis and Mitch McConnel will get along fine. He should fit in very well with the party of "birthers". What a traitor. This is a man who is desperately trying to make it up the ladder at any cost. His own family should be repulsed at him.

    August 28, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. PHIL TJ

    He is an opportunist not a black politician. Black people stand for the truth. Does he know Martin LurtherKing?

    August 28, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Nathan

    Davis is an opportunist who dosen't understand that his biggest obstacle to becoming governor of Alabama is not his party affiliation but his skin color. While he is accusing the Democrats of moving to the left the Republican party has moveed to the far right. While he wants to note a comment by Biden that he considered inappropriate he has failed to comment on the countless racist comments and innuendo about Obama these last 4 years. Blacks in Alabama will see him for what he is and whites already see enough to not vote for him. What a fool.

    August 28, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Isn't the Congressional Black Caucus bipartisan? Republicans can't be in the CBC???

    August 28, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. JR

    Maybe they should consider changing their name to the Democrat Congressional Black Caucus for clarity of purpose.

    August 28, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Sheri Agnew

    Oh, but it's ok for Chris Christi to switch...ya, huh, huh, we see how you play.

    August 28, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. TraceGDC

    So. Let me get this straight: Mr. Davis hoped that President Obama would move the country towards the center, so he moves pretty far to the right in reaction. Why didn't he move to the center and fight as an Independent? Nothing he says about his disfavor for the Democrats speaks of a rational or moral opposition to the Democratic stance on issues, rather an opposition to their tactics and strategies in light of elections. Mr. Davis is merely looking for political gain as an opportunist. He'll fail in his "new" allegiance with the right... they'll use him, prop him up for a time, and discard him in time.

    August 28, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. TiredODaCrap

    Sounds like someone realized that he put his faith in the WRONG person 4 years ago. Funny that the others in the CBC would rip him for the move claiming politics. Can't imagine why they would stay behind the man – unless, of course, it was a political move!!

    August 28, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Jeannine

    The CNN interview of Congressman Rubio yesterday was one of the worst ever. If (think it was Wolf Blitzer-gray hairand beard) can not control his own political views he needs to get on the next plane north, and wait for next week and the Democrats. He was not paying any attention to what Rubio was saying, constantly interrupting Rubio, and was constantly trying to get Rubio mixed up and off subject. There are too many young reporters that deserve a chance at interviewing for a political converntion, whether Republician or Democrat... Give them a chance.

    August 28, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. steven harnack

    Sounds pretty tame compared to what Republicans are saying about Gov. Crist, who had already seen how Republicans react to someone who decides to represent the people instead of the party.

    August 28, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. oldbikerbeatch

    So, because a member of the BLACK CAUCUS opposes a failed BLACK politician there's a big to do and the members of that caucus jump all over him... After listening to his comments on WHY he opposes Obama, my respect for Congressman Davis took a HUGE leap. And my respect for the so-called BLACK CAUCUS evaporated as I realized theirs was a politics of race, and solely of race. This is because Obama has utterly failed in any and every thing he has done while occupying The President's Office. HE has made so many things about race, manipulating people's emotions and dividing people based on the superficiality of skin color. He WASTED an opportunity to help the nation heal further from the vicious race-baiting of Louis Farrakan, Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton,,, Eric Holder and others. Mr Davis is an admirable man that has had the courage to turn away from a failed politician that Obama embodies and support Mr Romney, a man that can return our nation from a dangerous path.

    August 28, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. tlc1

    So, if anyone uses 'chains' in a speech, it's derogatory? The comment was about the proverbial chains that wall street and the banking industry have on ALL of us – it was not about slavery. I'm as liberal as liberal can get – this guy jumped party's using whatever he could to reason away his changing sides so he can further his political career. Too bad he jumped aboard a sinking ship...

    August 28, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    need a RECALL on Rep. Artur Davis by the Democrat because Davis switched party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. The people elected davis as a Democrat.

    August 28, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Russ

    It never ceases to amaze me that so many women, blacks, hispanics, gays and poor people continue to support and vote for the party that is so against helping them. What am I missing here? I guess stupid is as stupid does.

    August 28, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. bb

    Congrats to Mr. Davis for doing the right thing. The good lord appreciates your bold move.

    August 28, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. Jeannine

    Why is it that NO ONE mentions NAFTA when discussing the economy. H. Ross Perot told us what was going to happen when you give control of jobs in America to foreigners. Why hasn't the current congress repealed NAFTA, or adjust NAFTA and bring the control of corporations back to the USA.?

    August 28, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. 8.3% is a paid GOP shill

    He really IS.

    August 28, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. ffortnightly

    I expect more of this. Race-based politics doesn't work for long. Eventually you have to stop hating everyone who is different and move on with your lives. It would be different if black Americans weren't a minority. It would also be VERY different if white voters acted the way the CBC wants black voters to act. If white voters expressed so much racism we would never have any black elected officials at all. That's the truth of the matter. Circle the wagons as your own peril or join the rest of America.

    August 28, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Bob

    independent thinkers need not apply here.

    August 28, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Jeff

    Voting for someone because they are black is just as racist as not voting for someone because they are black.

    August 28, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. brian in denver

    Sounds like a classic case of "sour grapes"

    August 28, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. urwrong55

    Right on Artur!

    August 28, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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