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Former Dem Artur Davis, Squarely in Romney's Corner

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - July 6, 2012

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“There is no deficit-hawk wing of the Democratic Party today. There is no wing of the Democratic Party that deeply cares about this issue,” he said. “They think it doesn’t matter because they have got bigger fish to fry, like expanding government . . . but it’s not where most of the American people are right now. Nobody is saying the Democratic Party is going to die and disappear; they’re not going anyplace. But they happen to be wrong on this issue.”

Davis pointed to the Clinton administration as an example of better times, recalling a “Democratic president who aggressively defended all values of his party, but still managed to find a way to reach across the aisle to Republicans.” Clinton’s leadership, he said, helped “bring the Democratic Party back to a place of believing in fiscal responsibility. That spirit, he said, has diminished with Obama at the helm. Many Democrats who cared about this issue, he said, either lost their re-election bids or simply decided to leave Congress.

When asked by RCP about the decline of the Blue Dogs, the coalition of moderate Democrats which saw half its members defeated in the 2010 midterms, Davis suggested the president was to blame: “They can’t really state their opinions on issues; if they do they aren’t taken terribly seriously. They are Blue Dogs without a bark or a bite.” Presidents, he noted, “drive politics.”

The former congressman appeared quite happy in his new role as a Republican, and said he felt comfortable in part because the party takes the deficit issue seriously. There are likely to be more such appearances by Davis on behalf of Romney, but will we see him speaking at the Republican convention in August?

“I have no expectations of playing any kind of a role,” he told RCP. “I don’t have any plans to [go to the convention]. Wouldn’t say I wouldn’t.” 

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Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at chueyburns@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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