AL Congressman who supported Obama in 2008 to speak at GOP convention
Former Democratic Congressman Artur Davis, who recently declared himself a Republican, will deliver a speech at the GOP convention in Tampa later this month.
Davis, 44, who served in the House as a Democrat from Alabama from 2003 to 2011, said in a telephone interview that he has been given a speaking slot at the Aug. 27-30 Republican convention in Tampa. He said he was not sure yet of the day on which he would speak.
But Davis said he planned to speak for millions of Americans who, like him, had traced a path from hope to disillusionment with Obama. After spending his entire political career as a Democrat, Davis declared in May that he has become a Republican.
"The one thing that I can bring to the table is to be something of a voice for that group of people," Davis said in announcing his speaking slot.
Davis has since become a vocal advocate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Virginia, where he now lives. On Wednesday, he spoke on Romney's behalf at an event in Ballston, attacking Vice President Biden for a recent comment that Republicans would put voters "back in chains."
Davis accused Biden on Wednesday of spreading "racial viciousness" and said the vice president's comment "ought to embarrass President Obama." He said in a CNN interview: "It's a divisive tactic that's insulting to African Americans. It's insulting to the American people." He added, "It was wrong ... and the president ought to say it was wrong."
At the convention, Davis said he would speak about areas in which he felt Obama had failed to deliver on his promises from 2008.
"President Obama - Senator Obama - ran on two broad themes," Davis said. "One of those broad themes was reunifiying this country. And another broad theme was turning this economy around.... I'll certainly be talking about those two failures."
Davis actually gave one of the seconding speeches for Obama during the Democratic convention in 2008. His transformation to Republican was not entirely unexpected as he has been a vocal critic of the president since 2010.
Romney should tap one or two more of these Democrats who have become disillusioned with Obama to speak at the convention. Their personal journey away from the president will find an echo in millions of their fellow citizens.