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. heliocracy

    Haha I wish him luck, a former Democrat in a party that thinks Mitt Romney is too liberal.

    August 28, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. ghostriter

    udidn'tbuildthat, why do you keep insisting on lying to the good posters on CNN? Do you not remember Sen Kennedy passing away? Do you not remember Scott Brown taking the position in Jan 2010? That would be less than 1 year of having a filibuster-proof majority. Which is a shame since without said filibuster, republicans might just have to deal with a better economic outlook today, instead of the republican record filibustered economy we have now.

    August 28, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Thunderbolt

    Listening to some talk about flip flopping is amusing. Look at Obama as a senator, or evan running for President. Then look at his policies, his tactics, and the many issues he has changed his mind on (supposedly). You should have read his books before you voted, in my opinion.Dems talking about flip flopping is like peeing while standing in front of a fan.. Where is the hope? I'm ready for the change.One thing is for sure, Obama will say or do anything to stay in power. He is your friend till you give him a contribution, then you are evil because, despite all the government over reaching you managed to be proffitable. The republicans are going to ruin medicare.........but taking over 700 billion dollars from it has absolutely nothing to do with it..............yeah right........go do some research on Barney Frank, freddy, fanny, acorn....Oh those poor unions that are bankrupting city, after city. I knew a guy that was bragging about his union. How he made 50.00 an hour, would make one weld at 8 in the morning and wait there till 5, for a union stewart to come by and approve the weld. Then wonder why people are tried of their antics. Or how about this one. We couldn't get outside help from other countries with the gulf spill because of union contracts. We don't need anymore dem logic, or policies for that matter...............I won't be staying home on election day> I will be pushing that button for Romney and hoping for the real change that Obama promised before being voted in......What a total disappointment............

    August 28, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    @Ancient Texan – The Romney/Ryan Plan takes out even more and uses it for a tax cut on the 1%. The ACA spending cuts to Medicare reflect the fact that fraud and waste are reduced. Also, the insurance company cottage industry of Medicare middlemen that Bush created gets dismantled. The savings also reflect the fact that more people will STAY on private insurance because companies can no longer boot them out when they turn 65, which is why Medicare was created in the first place.

    August 28, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. Art

    "Leave the plantation"?!? Really Lance?

    The reasons the GOP does so poorly with African Americans (and Latinos) are simple: (1) they mistake tokenism for real diversity, and (2) they don't even try.

    I don't know Mr. davis so I can't speak to his motives, but they raise a good point when they mention the Obama initiatives he has supported and the fact that he became a Republican when he lost a primary for the democratic nomination for governor. The charge of "sour grapes" seems plausible.

    What I do know is that one or two out of 35 million African Americans does not make the Republican Party "diverse".

    The second point is that if you want someone to come to your party, you have to send them an invitation. The "southern strategy of the '70's and '80's, the Willie Horton ads of the '90's, and the some of the viscious anit-Obama rhetoric has convinced many African Americans that they are seen as the enemy by the Republican Party. Then Republicans don't do more than token efforts to speak to the African American community.

    A recent NBC poll gave Romney 0% of the African American vote. I've never heard of such a thing. Satanism would have a higher approval rating in the Bible Belt!

    Changing demographics in America are destiny. We're on the way to being majority black and brown, and the GOP is on it's way to the "ash heap of history."

    August 28, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. sonnie3

    Commons Sense is What Mr. Davis is useing here. Good for him as he will Be Good For America and the liberties and freedoms our forefathers fought and died for GOD BLESS AMERICA.

    August 28, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. truth hurts

    ghostriter - udidn'tbuildthat, why do you keep insisting on lying to the good posters on CNN? Do you not remember Sen Kennedy passing away? Do you not remember Scott Brown taking the position in Jan 2010? That would be less than 1 year of having a filibuster-proof majority.
    And the Democrats wasted the time on jamming Obamacare down our throats. Obama could care less about the economy.

    August 28, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Just Me

    Arthur Davis unfortunately has jumped onto a sinking ship (Romney Campaign). He has essentially sealed his political faith. He cannot run back to the Democrats, and when Romney loses come November, it will be all over for him. I guess he forgot that one should never burn bridges they have crossed because they might just need them some day.

    August 28, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. sonnie3

    Good for Mr Davis. He has seen the light and is going to help defend our Liberties and Freedoms that our forefather fought and died for. God Bless America.

    August 28, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. cashmeremafia

    It's his prerogative – is a nasty letter really necessary??

    August 28, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Thunderbolt

    ok, now tell me how the republicans blocked everything. I'll act like I don't know that the dems had majorities in BOTH house and congress for Obama's first two years. And the last one's of Bush's administration as well. I'll also try not to remember that Reid hasn't let anything passes by the house, on the floor of the senate. Obama failed because of the republicans blocking everything......... You guys are about as sharp as a butter knife. You can't balance a checkbook, but somehow think you can run the country anywhere but i n the ground. How many dems have touted modern day leaders that hate America? One thing is for sure. The dems aren't my party. Yesterday,today, or tomorrow.

    August 28, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. eli

    Once again it is all politics. This man could care less who or what he is as long as he gets what he wants. Just like all politicians.

    August 28, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Benbuttons

    Apparently he wasn't racist enough for the caucus.

    August 28, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. truth hurts

    cashmeremafia - It's his prerogative – is a nasty letter really necessary??
    Yes, they MUST destroy him personally and professionally and damage his credibility as it strikes at the core of their bizarre beliefs. No one must be allowed to escape from the Democrat plantation and especially escape and join the Republican Party. Their success and freedom might cause a stampede to the doors.

    August 28, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Thunderbolt

    Oh yeah, lets not forget compromise. The republicans won't compromise. Well lets see where compromise got us. The housing bubble, the banking bubble, failing economy. etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc. I would rather say no than make a bad situation evan worse. One thing is for sure, they will definetely try to destroy this man's reputation, livelyhood,and career for going against their wishes.....Congradulations Mr. Davis, I hope you do well with the republicans, and I hope it isn't just a tactic to undermine the party's efforts to straighten out this mess....................

    August 28, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. Ed1

    Good to see at least one democrat has enough sense to see the lies his party is saying on just about about everything that comes out of their mouths.

    Obama has put this country at great risks because of his no leadership skills and Joe, Nancy, and Harry doesn't make things any better with all the BS class warfare they are creating because they don't have anything they can say good about the job Obama and his party have done the past three years.

    August 28, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. yogi

    @ truth hurts.
    Is it because the truth hurt you so much that you keep lying?

    August 28, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. independent

    A moderate in the Republican Party is like a snowball in He!!

    August 28, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Norm

    For all the equality we seem to preach, we still like to label things "black" and keep them separate.
    And when I say "we" I mean "Black" America.

    August 28, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. truth hurts

    Joe from CT, not Lieberman - Frankly, it sounds like he wasn't much of a Democrat anyway
    yeah, and he probably isn't really black either. Just keep trying to rationalize buddy. It's fun to watch. When all he really did was open his eyes and mind.

    August 28, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. nothing new here

    Personally, I think this is more "politics as usual", and Davis is out to protect his own interests.
    But I can say that for most politicians in office.

    August 28, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. nothing new here

    I cannot say that I am really thrilled by either party at this time.
    I strongly believe in personal freedoms and limited government, and a strong economy. But I do not believe that our government should enforce one religious belief over another. Government should stay out of religion, and vice versa.

    August 28, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. yogi

    Read the post of "ghostriter", that is the truth, not your incoherent babbling. I understand that you feel very comfortable in the republican party, you don't need to explain. And by the way, your English needs some help as well.

    August 28, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Name oman

    Mr. Davis, the Republicans conventional show piece to be their mouthpiece. When he serves his purpose and the GOP is done using him, it will not be his party. So he still will cry whether he wants to or not .

    August 28, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Independent

    @linda Collins....are you kidding me??? Who are the ones ALWAYS bringing up race? I will give you a is not the Repubs!!!! Dems have to be the most racist party I have ever seen, the more I read these blogs, the more I see the truth!!! All they cry about is everyone wants Obama out cause of his race, THAT IS BS, I am not a repub and I want him out because he has FAILED as president!!!! NOTING TO DO WITH RACE, GET IT? I have done a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, articles, journals, research papers, etc. And the most racist people I have read are from the LEFT!!!!!

    August 28, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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