ATLANTA Former U.S. Sen. Zell Miller criticized President Barack Obama's recent travels overseas, telling a group of mostly Republican lawmakers today that the White House Chief of Staff needs to put "Gorilla Glue" on Obama's chair to keep him in the Oval Office.
"Our globe-trotting president needs to stop and take a break and quit gallivanting around," said Miller, a Democrat well known for zinging his own party.
Two black leaders who know Miller well said they were not offended by the suggestion that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel employ a bottle of Gorilla brand adhesive.
The Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights leader, noted the glue is a brand name. "I ignore it," he said. "I consider the source and go about my business."
Democratic State Rep. Tyrone Brooks, who leads the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, said he wasn't bothered by Miller's comment, but that it came a few years too late.
"It would have been much more appropriate that he suggest that Karl Rove used some Gorilla Glue on George Bush and Dick Cheney," said the Atlanta Democrat.
Miller made his comments to more than 1,000 lawmakers at the American Legislative Exchange Council, which met in a packed hotel ballroom in Atlanta. It wasn't the first time Miller has bashed his party's leaders. He earned the ire of fellow Democrats when he took the podium at the 2004 Republican National Convention and accused his party of being soft on national security.
Miller, a former two-term governor in Georgia, won praise from the state's black leaders during his tenure for appointing minorities to high-ranking positions, including his naming of Leah Ward Sears to the state Supreme Court. She later became the first black female to serve as chief judge of any state's top court.
Also during his speech, Miller called Obama's decision to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay "nuts" and likened the federal stimulus package to a Paris Hilton spending spree.