Former Democrat Artur Davis says Obama’s ‘high-flown words have faded’

Former Democratic Congressman Artur Davis (Ala.) blamed President Obama for the poor economy during his remarks to the GOP convention Tuesday night and said Obama's failure to turn things around was partly why he felt compelled to switch to the Republican Party.

"Some of you may know, the last time I spoke at a convention, it turned out I was in the wrong place. So, Tampa, my fellow Republicans, thank you for welcoming me where I belong," he said to applause.

Davis said he was partly blinded by the glitz and glamor of Obama in 2008.

"Maybe we should have known that night in Denver that things that begin with plywood Greek columns and artificial smoke typically don't end well," he said, referring to the 2008 Democratic convention. "Maybe the Hollywood stars and the glamor blinded us a little: you thought it was the glare, some of us thought it was a halo.

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"But in all seriousness, do you know why so many of us believed? We led with our hearts and our dreams that we could be more inclusive than America had ever been, and no candidate had ever spoken so beautifully," Davis said.

"But dreams meet daybreak: the jobless know what I mean, so do the families who wonder how this administration could wreck a recovery for three years and counting. So many of those high-flown words have faded."

Aside from broken promises for an improved economy, Davis said Obama let him down by resorting to negative attacks after he had promised to rise above partisan politics.

"Remember the president saying of negative politics and untrue ads, 'not this time?' " he asked. "Who knew 'not this time' just meant 'not unless the economy is still stuck and we can't run on our record?' "

He ridiculed Obama's promise to slow the rise of the oceans and allow the Earth to heal. 

"Who knew the plain English version of it was, 'middle America, get ready to shell out 60 bucks to fill up your car,' " he said.

Beyond the criticism of Obama, Davis sounded at home with the GOP, with his calls to control the federal debt. He also called on other disappointed Obama supporters in 2008 to support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. 

"Now, America is a land of second chances, and I gather you have room in this close race for the estimated 6 million of us who know we got it wrong in 2008 and who want to fix it," he said. "May it be said of this time in our history: 2008 to 2011 — lesson learned."

"There are Americans who voted for the president, but who are searching right now, because they know that their votes didn't build the country they wanted," Davis added. "To those Democrats and independents whose minds are open to argument: listen closely to the Democratic Party that will gather in Charlotte and ask yourself if you ever hear your voice in the clamor."

Davis asked Americans to consider whether the Democratic call for a higher deficit sounds like compassion, or "recklessness."

"When you hear the party that glorified Occupy Wall Street blast success; when you hear them minimize the genius of the men and women who make jobs out of nothing, is that what you teach your children about work?" he asked. "When they tell you America is this unequal place where the powerful trample on the powerless, does that sound like the country your children or your spouse risked their lives for in Iraq or Afghanistan?"

He also invoked a former Democratic president, John Kennedy, who asked what citizens could do for America, and said today's Democrats ask "what can government give you."

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