After privately meeting with mystery Senate candidate Alvin Greene at a Columbia television station this afternoon, South Carolina State Rep. Bakari Sellers came away believing that Greene is sincere but perhaps misguided in his much-scrutinized bid for Senate.
“I don’t believe he’s a plant,” Sellers told TPMmuckraker in an interview after his meeting with Greene. “I think he just kind of doesn’t know what he’s getting into.”
Sellers added: “I don’t think there’s anything nefarious going on. I think he actually did save his money,” a reference to the $10,440 candidate filing fee the unemployed Greene paid in March. (Greene has said he used savings from his military days.)
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) today said he believes Greene, who did not campaign but nevertheless handily beat a well-financed and politically experienced opponent.
Greene was at South Carolina ETV for an interview (which you can watch below). Todd Rutherford, another Democratic state representative who met with Greene today alongside Sellers, told TPMmuckraker, “Before I got to my third question, I could tell that something was awry,” adding, “I don’t know whether everything is OK.”
Rutherford, an attorney, said that if Greene were his client, he would move for a mental evaluation. “If there’s a joke he doesn’t get the joke. If someone paid him to do this, they certainly exploited someone who is vulnerable. It’s not even funny, it’s just sad.”
Sellers, who says he asked Greene to step aside today in light of revelations about a felony obscenity charge, believes that Greene does have strong political feelings. “I think he truly has a desire for change — I cant deny that,” said Sellers. “Apparently there is some talent or some divine intervention. … [But] right now is not the time for him to run.”
Nevertheless, Sellers said every indication is that Greene will stay in the race.
Here’s the new interview with Greene conducted today:
(This story has been updated with comment from Rutherford.)