June 19th, 2008
05:28 PM ET
7 years ago

Clyburn: Some House Democrats might not endorse Obama

Clyburn said it's important for members of Congress to evaluate the mood of their constituents.
Clyburn said it's important for members of Congress to evaluate the mood of their constituents.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Thursday he expects some Democratic legislators to hold back from endorsing Barack Obama because it could prove politically unwise in their congressional districts.

On CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Clyburn was asked if some Democrats might follow the path of Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren, who said last week he would not endorse Obama because the presumptive Democratic nominee holds liberal positions that are out of step with his constituents. (Yesterday, Boren clarified that he will indeed vote for Obama.)

Clyburn said “most Democrats in the United States Congress are going to be very supportive of this campaign” but predicted that others may be more hesitant.

WATCH Clyburn's interview from The Situation Room

"A lot of them are going to look at their congressional districts and see how the congressional district voted,” Clyburn said. "And they'll be holding back, waiting to get some signal from their constituents as to how they ought to conduct themselves."

It's justified for some conservative Democrats to withhold their support, Clyburn explained.

"That's how it should be, Wolf," he said. "It’s one thing for us to have a big tent party. But it's also another thing for these candidates to stay in close touch with their constituents. And I understand that."

Clyburn, who accused of Bill Clinton of using racially-loaded language during the Democratic primary and once told the former president to "chill," thinks Clinton will eventually campaign for Obama - on his own terms.

"I think that President Clinton will come to this campaign when he thinks its best for him to do so. But I expect him to be very supportive of the Democratic ticket."

soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. hypocrits all

    Shame on you for expecting the Clintons to support the very people who stabbed them in the back and sacrificed them... just to pander to African Americans who threatened to black out the vote... and the newbies who threatened to stay home.

    Stealing a nomination is not the same as winning it.

    The people know hwat happened.

    June 19, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. baljeet

    Well Mr obsma enjoy the campaigne because you will not win the general election. Polls don't tell the real numbers . Hillary supports will be taking there votes to Mccain because DNC has no respect for hillary or her supporters.

    June 19, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. Lisa

    I find it hypocritical and cowardly that he will not publicly endorse Sen. Obama but will willingly admit that he'll vote for him.

    How does this prove ANYTHING to your constituents?

    June 19, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. Debbie

    My problem with Obama has nothing to do with his race. While there are no doubt racists who won't vote for him, there are also plenty of Democrats with fully justifiable reasons for not voting for the disingenuous empty-suit. Many, like myself, would not hesitate to vote for a qualified black candidate. Heck, I would have voted for Barbara Jordan for president 30 years ago! So, please, enough with the divisive accusation that unless you vote for Obama, you're a racist. That's a stupid, insulting, untruthful, and desperate thing to say.

    June 19, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. JIM...TX

    You don't think perhaps that Iraq guy might lie about that conversation to derail Obama's campaign just to keep a Republican in office who would for the next 100 years keep sending BILLIONS to that god forsaken country and their politicians?????? Beats working for a living!!!

    June 19, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  6. HAMAS

    HAMAS for obama or brother will bring us to POWER

    June 19, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. Eccles

    How has Obama run a dirty campaign? I haven't seen anything that would suggest that.

    June 19, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. Independent in Des Moines

    hmmmmm.....sounds fishy:

    Just what do you expect any president to do about souring gas? Even if they started drilling today offshore, it would be a couple of years before we started to see benefits from it.

    And you might want to drop the race card.

    How about this: I think you are racist because you didn't vote for Hillary because she is white. I think you are sexist because you didn't vote for her because she's a woman. Your argument is plain ignorance.

    June 19, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. What if?

    BEWARE THE REPUBLICANS ARE BUSY TODAY ON HERE WITH THEIR MAKE BELIEVE DEMOCRAT COMMENTS………………………MCBUSH NEED YOUR HELP, HIM CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT HE OWE YOU FOR EACH COMMENTS TODAY..................

    ONE QUESTION? IS THIS THE SAME TYPE OF BULL-- THAT HILLARY WOULD HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO BY HER OWN PARTY?

    June 19, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. David Newport, OR

    If they are an elected Democrat...I am 100% confident that their constituents already knew this about them. Endorsing a candidate has nothing to do with how you vote. Some people are more worried about being re-elected than doing the right thing....this is always true.

    June 19, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. Nevada Independant

    Why is this even an issue?
    Of course elected officials are going to consider their constituencies when they decide on endorsements.
    Never the less, the number of Dems who won't endorse Obama will be very small. He's proving to be quite a popular guy.

    June 19, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. I AM NOW AN INDEPENDENT!*********

    I AGREE WITH DEBBIE ABOVE!

    June 19, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. kayla

    the time for change has come. get over it you obama haters

    June 19, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. J.B.

    I simply don't grasp the inherent contradiction in the trinity of being a Democrat, voting according to the wishes of your constituency, and representing a Republican leaning district. What comes out of this conundrum is the following outcry: Why are you a Democrat ?

    June 19, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Linda from Prescott AZ

    I keep reading, but I don't see in fabric in a lot of these comments. Hatefulness doesn't solve a thing.
    McCain is a senator in my state and we'll be surprised if he can carry it. He's using tired arguments.

    June 19, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. I AM NOW AN INDEPENDENT!*********

    OBAMA IS TALKING TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF IRAC?
    SCARY!

    June 19, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  17. Fred

    Politicians generally do whats best for them and their voters. However, those decocrats that decide not to support Obama should not expect any favors if Obama wins.

    June 19, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. Lisa

    Something is fishy about Obama and i'm still undecided. He has absolutely done nothing to win over Hillary supporters. Saying she's was a great leader just proved my point, she was better qualified then him. He makes it worst everytime he prises her.

    June 19, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. FEDUP

    Kennedy, Kerry and Richardson all went against their constitutents. Kennedy, with his cancer, probably won't have to worry about re-election but Kerry and Richardson should. this whole election has been awry. Race or racist is mentioned on every blog, it is so sad.

    June 19, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. Realistic

    These districts would not have supported Hillary either; they are so conservative (and backwards) that Bill Clinton is seen as a great evil. There are parts of America that it would be better without (defined by much of the "Old South" where Jim Crow still lives, albeit in the closet).

    June 19, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  21. RRE

    YES WE CAN WRITE IN HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT.

    June 19, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. addy

    OBAMA 08 FULL SPEED TO THE WHITE HOUSE
    POWER TO THE PEOPLE

    June 19, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. jm from sc

    For years, the Democratic party has always enbraced the nominee, what is the difference this time?

    June 19, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. Daniel Wagle

    I am tentatively supporting Obama since he says he supports gay rights. However, he may not mean this, given how he didn't really mean he would pull out troops from Iraq or Nafta, etc. The black church has an ignominious history of homophobia as well as anti-semitism, which by the way, also makes his "support" of Israel questionable.

    June 19, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. John

    Obama is not a person that can be trusted! Shame on his dirty campain and trasting the Hillary. The democrat's had thier big chance two years ago when they took control of the Congress and did nothing but sit on the cans. Now we inherent a lier like Obama. I think our dying country can't have Obama in the White House. I will be voting for McCain.

    June 19, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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