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. ghostriter

    udidn'tbuildthat, look at how republicans blasted Collin Powell. He was once considered to run against Obama. When he chose to support Obama, republicans lost their minds. Remember Rush's kind words? He's the one who 1st started saying that black folks were gonna vote for Obama no matter what.

    So yeah, republicans have a great track record of dealing with folks who may think differently.

    August 28, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. JGS

    I thought they were non-partisan

    August 28, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Jeff

    I guess the Black Caucus is not so supporting of diversity within their ranks. Especially shameful to see Rep. John Conyers signing onto something like that. Disturbing to see John forget the civil rights that he has 'championed' all these years go by the wayside so easily.

    August 28, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Its coming

    The next civil war is coming and it will be the makers vs the takers. I feel sorry for the takers who are opposed to guns because they'll be the first to go.

    August 28, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. The Unsub

    Come November and lets give President Obama a second term! Romney, please release your tax returns and your birth certificate! FORWARD!!!!

    August 28, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Arthur Daviss is a tragic example of political Stockholm sindrome. He has learned to love the rich and powelful and the corporations that have taken our democratic process hostage. I would call Dr. Phil.

    August 28, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. DENNA

    Maybe he thinks his life will be better under the Republicans. Don't count on it Buster. You do know that Republican govenors are trying like crazy to suppress the black vote, don't you? YOUR life won't be any better at all. If they get away with this, they will be trying to destroy other rights.

    August 28, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. CBR

    Mr. Davis has cast his lot with the Republican Party. After reading some of his writing it is plain to see that he can no longer serve as a Democrat. He has chosen to view history and issues in a very conservative manner and to back up his thoughts with some of his own facts. Tweaking history to match your own thoughts is a little self-serving.

    August 28, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "If it's a bipartisan caucus, why is the chairman "blasting" Davis for switching parties? It shouldn't matter if it's bipartisan, right?"

    Because they're not blasting him for switching. That's a straw man, just like pretending that the issue with Mittens' taxes is whether he paid them. The issue here is WHY he switched, not THAT he switched. That's abundantly clear from the letter, so stop pretending otherwise.

    August 28, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. yogi

    @ Its coming
    There are two ways to live your life: either from fear or from love. You seem to choose the first one as so many of your fellow republicans do. How sad.
    Obama 2012!

    August 28, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. A. Quatroni

    He's only doing what he knows is right for this country. If you think Osama. . . . oops, I mean Obama, is doing a good job, then you're either on welfare or a person of color. Although people of color are starting to come around now and realize that he's not helping them either. This country is in the worst shape its EVER been, HOW can you still believe that Obama is doing a good job?

    August 28, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. daveinla

    BCC has always been a very intolerant organization.

    August 28, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. GOJO

    An opportunist looking for a handout from the Repubs.

    August 28, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Reggie from LA

    What is at the bottom of this whole hullaballoo is that Davis is making a switch on convenience, not on conscience or ideology. Try to understand, Davis wants to be a Governor and he doesn't care which party manages to give him the role, he'll take it. Now he's a shill who's joined the ranks of "Obama didn't give me what I wanted. I thought he cared about me, sniff-sniff crowd." Their a crowd who paint their faces or show up in movie productions whining about how Obama didn't meet their personal needs, sniff-sniff.

    August 28, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. Reggie from LA

    A. Quatroni
    This country was in it's worse shape toward the end of 2007. Your recollection of history and reality is a bit dull. Probably representative of your ability to gather your own information from someplace other than Fox. Do some research. Besides, Obama took office to be the Presdient for ALL of us (you too, dullard), but apparently, the GOP/TP blocked the majority of what he could do to make it even better than he has. Signed, someone other than the stereotypical profile you're trying to bully.

    August 28, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. Thunderbolt

    Congress has the lowest numbers in history. The dems can't evan produce a budget for the last three years. And the tactics that this administration has used make me sick at my stomach. How dare you think for yourself Mr. Davis? Oh please...about the only thing recognizable from the dems is the finger pointing when someone else is at fault....and the finger pointing when they are trying to deflect blame for the failure of their policies. Besides that, there isn't much of what use to be the dem party left. Its been over run by people with big ideas, but no common sense what so ever.....

    August 28, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Nato

    Mr Davis is sour grapes since he lost his run for the governership in Alabama. He blame it on too much support from black people and too little support from the democratic party. This is his revenge and also courting the white vote for expediency for a later run for office. As a Alabamian, I assure you that you will not get the white vote this time nest around either.

    August 28, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Dennis

    I guess they are tolerant until they aren't. Good to see the Reverend Cleaver from Kansas City at the top of this list. This is a man who wants to raise everyone's taxes, but doesn't want ot pay his own. Taypayers are getting stuck for a $1,000,000 loan on whichhe defaulted.

    August 28, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. Richard

    I hope when he gets treated badly by the repubs he becomes an independent. Please don't come back with hat in hand wanting to be a Democrat again.

    August 28, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. WDrouin

    Wow! Did anyone of you think that maybe Mr. Authur didn't like the direction the DEM party was taking? This is the man who seconded Obama in 2008! I suspect that he didn't get CBC funding for the governorship because of his views on the direction that the DEM party is taking. 13 out of 14 CBC are DEMS!! The CBC isn't very happy with the Obama flip flop on gay marriage either!

    August 28, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. DENNA

    @A. Quatron – He's only doing what he knows is right for this country. If you think Osama. . . . oops, I mean Obama, is doing a good job, then you're either on welfare or a person of color. Although people of color are starting to come around now and realize that he's not helping them either. This country is in the worst shape its EVER been, HOW can you still believe that Obama is doing a good job?
    Republican policies are what brought this country to its knees. You CANNOT run two wars AND cut taxes. That is the worst math formula there is. If Mitt manages to fool this country into putting him into the White House I can promise you that unless you are wealthy, your life will not get any better. I worked for 46 years and am now retired. I do not wish to now have RomneyRyan cut Medicare or anything else I paid taxes to support when I was working. As a woman, I don't think a party that allows a Todd "iegitimate rape" Akin should be running this country. We may all find out that having a black man in the White House is not the worst thing that can happen to this country.

    August 28, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. Tom

    Democrats cannot stand it when people are cognizant of the truth. THAT'S the inconvenient truth.

    August 28, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    Artur, you and Herman Cain are made of the same Republican cloth. It fits you, being Republican: color of skin don't matter, LDS SAYS you OK; you are sociopath, and that is what it takes to join the grand ole party.. You will be a governor in Republistan, it is in the cards, the dice are fixed, no more hardship.

    Get with Herman, he will show you how to sell Gansta pizzas, make booty calls like Clarence Thomas, and steal more money than you can dream of. Poor people, they are behind you, in the past, beneath you. And if you are into congressional boy pages, they got a republican for that. Airport bathrooms for a down low, they got an expert. Need untouchable holy man? Catholic archbishops, Pentocostal snake handlers, LDS secret rituals, are ready to go. Church and state, same business, two sides of the same coin.

    You made it, the Bishop will protect you now. Sit back and wait for orders, you got a lot of work to do.

    August 28, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. Nica

    This is politics... "Yeah, we could of, maybe, I was thinking about it, yes, no, it could be construed as..."

    August 28, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. DRTSAT

    Of course they blasted him. They don't want a black man being Republican. It clashes with the values of the party. I have news for you, he can do what he wants! Also, you politicians, Republican and Democrat, had better start placing the country ahead of party politics or your terms in Congress or any Government service will be short.

    August 28, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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