Even before the speeches had begun at the Republican National Committee, the GOP gathering and agenda were harshly criticized by assistant Democratic House Leader James E. Clyburn and Patrick Gaspard, the Democratic National Committee executive director.
“This is really Romney’s convention reinvention – an Etch-a-Sketch moment,” Gaspard said, in a conference call with reporters. “He has embraced the most strident voices in his party.”
Clyburn, who represents a district from South Carolina, said that America had come to a “fork in the road.” He added: “The question is which road will we take. The lower road, to those failed policies that got us where we are, or the high road, working to stretch the middle class and addressing the educational opportunities for our children.”
Gaspard focused a good deal of his criticism on Artur Davis, the African-American former Democratic congressman from Alabama, who switched parties and was selected as a speaker on behalf of presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Republican convention.
Four years ago, Davis spoke at the Democratic convention on behalf of Obama.
Davis’ change of parties and support of Romney was dismissed by Gaspard as being the product of “sour grapes” from a man who lost a challenging race for governor of Alabama.
Clyburn and Gaspard also offered sharp condemnation of Romney campaign ads that accuse President Obama of removing work requirements for welfare recipients.
Democratic leaders have complained about the ads, saying that Obama had simply responded to requests from a number of governors, many of them Republican, to provide the states more flexibility in how they administer their welfare programs. They say the Republicans have sought to inject racial politics into the campaign by bringing up the topic of welfare.
“It’s not just a reprehensible tactic, but an out-and-out lie,” Gaspard said.
BET Politics - Your source for the latest news, photos and videos illuminating key issues and personalities in African-American political life, plus commentary from some of our liveliest voices. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)