Former Obama Campaign Co-Chair: Every African-American ‘Knew What Buttons’ Biden ‘Was Trying to Push’

By Melanie Arter | August 17, 2012 | 11:23am EDT

( – Former 2008 Obama campaign co-chair Artur Davis said Wednesday that everyone in the audience at Vice President Joe Biden’s rally in Danville, Va., knew “who the y’all was” and “knew what buttons he was trying to push by talking about chains.”

“Romney wants to let the – he said in the first 100 days he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules – unchain Wall Street. They’re gonna put you all back in chains,” the vice president said at a rally in Virginia on Tuesday.

Davis, a former Democrat who served as U.S. congressman for Alabama from 2003 to 2011, announced in May that he was leaving his party and registering as a Republican in Virginia where he now lives.

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“If I can be direct, I’ve spoken to a few African-American audiences in my day. Every African-American in that audience knew who the y’all was, and every African-American in that audience knew what buttons he was trying to push by talking about chains,” Davis said, while campaigning for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Arlington, Va.

“And interestingly, you know politicians are funny when they get caught, when people heard Vice President Biden’s comments and called him on it, the Obama campaign has been in backpedal mode for the last so many hours. They’ve said, ‘Oh, when he was talking about chains, he just meant economic times. Politicians talk about chains all the time,’” Davis said.

Davis, who is expected to speak at the GOP national convention in Tampa, Fla., said the Obama campaign’s attempt to “backpedal” on the issue has added insult to injury.

“Ladies and gentlemen, they’re adding an insult to our intelligence to the insult they made to the civil discourse. People in that room knew what the vice president meant,” he said.

Davis credited the African-Americans at the rally for not applauding Biden’s comments.

“And I will say this, it is to the credit of the African-Americans in that room that if you actually watched the tape, you actually don’t hear a lot of applause when Biden made his comments. You hear what appeared to be some boos and some shock. So it’s to the credit of the people there that they understood him very well and rejected what they heard – doesn’t lift him up, but it lifts them up,” Davis added.

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