House Rep. Jim Clyburn, the most influential Black congressman and a South Carolina native endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday.
Right ahead of Saturday's primary, Clyburn tweeted his support for the former vice president. Clyburn described Biden as a good person with a record of helping South Carolina. Clyburn also noted that, "In South Carolina, we choose presidents," and that he wants Biden to become president.
I know Joe Biden.
I know his character, his heart, and his record.
Joe Biden has stood for the hard-working people of South Carolina.
We know Joe. But more importantly, he knows us.
In South Carolina, we choose presidents.
I’m calling on you to stand with @JoeBiden.
— Jim Clyburn SC-06 (@ClyburnSC06) February 26, 2020
Clyburn, initially, was not going to go public with his endorsement of Biden, who he already concluded he was going to vote for. However, last Friday, while he was attending a funeral, an elderly woman told Clyburn, "I've been waiting to hear from you," the representative said at a news conference.
"I want the public to know that I am voting for Joe Biden. South Carolina should be voting for Joe Biden," Clyburn said.
Before receiving his endorsement at Clyburn's press conference, Biden said a few kind things about Clyburn at a National Action Network breakfast.
"A lot of folks talk the talk. Very few people walk the walk. And Jim Clyburn is a man of enormous integrity," Biden noted. "Jim, you’re one of the finest men I’ve ever met. Not just in public life, but period."
Jim Clyburn is a voice of powerful moral clarity that is heard loud and clear across this country — in our capital and beyond. He reminds us why we’re in public service in the first place — and I’m proud to have his support. pic.twitter.com/6Lh970vjYu
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) February 26, 2020
In addition to praising Clyburn, Biden took a moment to shade the current presidential frontrunner, Sen. Bernie Sanders, subtly implying Clyburn kept the public's interest at the center of his work, unlike Sanders, who he thinks has not accomplished much while being a senator of Vermont.
For the sake of his presidential viability, Biden is dependent on the Black vote this Saturday in South Carolina. The pressure for Biden to get the support of Black people in South Carolina — a state where 61% of Democratic primary voters were Black people in 2016 and that has a Black population of about 30% — is a necessity for him to prolong his campaign.
Super Tuesday is a week from now, but for Biden, South Carolina is his "firewall."
During the South Carolina Democratic debate, viewers at home saw Biden get aggressive. He was determined to demonstrate that he was the best candidate for president, using his record in the Palmetto State.
At the debate, Biden brought up the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015. He talked about his involvement with former President Barack Obama in securing an investment of $500 million into South Carolina's economy as much as possible. And most notably, he promises if he were to become president, he would appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court, reports The Hill.