February 19th, 2009
05:56 PM ET
9 years ago

Clyburn: Stimulus opponents are insulting African-Americans

Clyburn is the highest-ranking African-American in congress.

Clyburn is the highest-ranking African-American in congress.

(CNN) - Democratic Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina said Thursday that GOP governors who oppose the stimulus bill are giving African-Americans “a slap in the face.”

Clyburn has been sparring with his state’s governor, Republican Mark Sanford, who has been a leading voice of opposition to the stimulus package. But the highest-ranking African-American in Congress said his frustration with the bill’s opponents isn’t limited to Sanford.

“The governor of Louisiana expressed opposition,” Clyburn said of the bill at a roundtable in Columbia, according to WIS TV. “Has the highest African-American population in the country. Governor of Mississippi expressed opposition. The governor of Texas, and the governor of South Carolina.

“These four governors represent states that are in the black belt. I was insulted by that,” he said. “All of this was a slap in the face of African-Americans. It had nothing to do with Governor Sanford.”

A spokesman for Sanford, Joel Sawyer, accused Clyburn of playing the race card.

“Representative Clyburn is no stranger to playing the race card, because he has no defense for the runaway spending and the deficits contained in this so-called stimulus bill that will hurt our economy,” he said. “Spending money at the federal level that we do not have represents a future tax increase on all South Carolinians, regardless of their color - and in the process of doing so, he's ripping off everyone he claims to represent.”

Sanford indicated Thursday he was leaning towards taking the federal money despite his opposition to the bill.

Filed under: James Clyburn • Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Rick

    It never ends.

    February 19, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. naqib

    Oh... the Race card...

    Change you can believe in!

    Couldn't be that the Stimulus package is a joke... of course not... must be racism...

    PS: DOW at 6 year low today... nice job fellas

    February 19, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. dave

    News flash all of them will take the money because if they don't they will be voted out next election.

    February 19, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Carolyn Greene

    Any time a person has to use race to put someone down or to use it as ridicule , is lacking in their own life. If they were secure with theirselves race would not even come to mind.

    February 19, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Rumsfeld

    Please Representative Clyburn, do not turn the stimulus bill and the resulting opinions into a RACE issue.

    Just add race issues to political issues and then top it all off with partisan issues and we have a recipe for further disaster.

    alcohol issues....
    gender issues...
    behavior issues...
    social issues...
    family issues...
    relationship issues...

    Please god, will it ever end?!!

    February 19, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. indevoter

    I hope everyone from Sanford's state AMBUSHES his office with calls regarding his infantile statements. Idiot.

    February 19, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. rob

    come on we're not stupid only 12 cent of every dollar is going to help the economy. this is just Obama giving money to Democrat pet projects and calling the Race card is not an excuse anymore. Wake up America !!!

    February 19, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Minnesotan

    Republicans seem to hate minorities, facts, honesty, truth, justice and the American Way. Hope they keep up their fervent jihad to become irrelevant, considering how much damage they've done to taxpayers and our economy.

    February 19, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Ken in NC

    You know, if these Governors are having such great problems with the Stimulus Funds they should make the people of their states aware of the fact that they are not going to accept any of the funds.

    Oh Gee, they can’t do that because it is political suicide. Well they will take the money and then complain. Yes, that is the politically correct thing to do. It appears that Republican leaders are doing everything they can to cause bumps and problems for President Obama in his efforts to pull us out of this mess while many of their party are so angered at them that they are either becoming Independents or Democrats. The Party Of NO just doesn’t get it. They do not realize that this a time when all Americans should be standing together to pull our country back from the brink of total destruction

    February 19, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Luke Brown

    Sanford has bankrupted South Carolina.

    It's schools are the worst in he country, and he has no plan except a tax break for people whose kids are already in private school. ISouth Carolina has become the most violent state in the country under his leadership, and he cut law enforcement by one-third. It is the state with the highest rates of stroke and heart attacks, and he has cut almost every health care program and even the public hospitals. South Carolina has the third highest unemployment rate in the country and he has done nothing except cut back on programs that would help those who have lost their jobs.

    He has provided the rich in SC with tax cuts. When the Bush Administration was pushing through its tax cuts for the rich - which added TRILLIONS to the national debt - Sanford was cheering all the way on that one.

    In South Carolina most of the African Americans are poor and have borne the brunt of Sanford's arrogance. Clyburn was too easy on him.

    February 19, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. ray ray

    Good lord! Here we go AGAIN....

    Bush get's cartooned for 8 years... but the FIRST time Obama gets cartooned... ITS RACIST.

    The new Attorney General calls Americans COWARDS for not fitting his opinion about race discussions.

    Now, anyone that disagrees with a Pork bill RAMMED through the Congress (24 hrs to read 1100 pages) – is now a RACIST.

    Hell...let's just cover all the bases.... unless your a black democrat – you are a racist. Is that good enough, Mr Clyburn??

    February 19, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. Staunch Democrat




    February 19, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Renee

    Clyburn is an idiot. I thought once we had a "black President" these rabid morons would shut up about race, but it never ends, does it? Always blaming whitey for something. Dam&, I'm sick of it!

    February 19, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. Tom

    SHUT UP... The stimulus bill had NOTHING to do with race...

    I wish I was black, I could blame all my hardship on race...

    February 19, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. Max

    What a bogus argument. If you disagree with Obama, it surely must mean you're racist. It can't possibly be that his idea is complete garbage.

    February 19, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  16. Matthew, Detroit

    Wow, Pull the Race Card. Yes tell the AG where racism comes from. It comes directly from a black congressman.

    There is an original trick. Clyburn needs to get over himself.
    Why is it racially motivated to be against spend spend spend.

    Apparently it is very pro african american to wastefully spend and create a bigger welfare state. Is that what african americans want is a hand out. How about getting them jobs. How about creating safe neighborhoods. How about raising the standard of living by requiring people to work. How about employing everyone black white green. Maybe with business incentives to pull people off the welfare rolls and give small business a tax break for hiring or building in the city.

    February 19, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  17. JTCnVT

    If Sanford and these other GOP governors are so opposed to the stimulus bill they should not take the money for "shovel ready" projects and anyone employed in their states should continue paying the previous tax rate. The "shovel ready" projects is an investment in the countries future, what do we need another bridge collapse to realize our infastructure is fallin apart around us. This bill is meant to try and stop job loss which will also stop the loss of tax revenue. Stupid GOP, tax cuts is all they see but if no one is working there are no taxes to collect anyway.

    February 19, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    OH COME ON!!!!! I supported the bill and opponents of it make me very angry, but COME ON!!!! They oppose it because they wanted more tax cuts to destroy the tax revenue and capital with which Obama and the Dems in congress would have to work. They opposed it because they want a Dem administration and Dem congress to fail. They opposed it because they still can't admit that their ideology does NOT dictate to reality and that the facts and evidence are contrary to their claims that trickle-down voodoo actually works. DON'T CRY WOLF. It ruins our credibility.

    February 19, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. L for Legend

    Taking the money in spite of his opposition, how hypocritical.

    February 19, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. Typical White Person

    Black Belt? Where the heck is that? This spending bill is for blacks? You have got to be kidding me. This is why we can't talk about race in this country, Holder!
    Before you yahoos start in with the "if you are against the spending don't take the money" let me tell you I will be happy to forego the money if I can also forego the debt that goes along with it!

    Please, God, let states start breaking away so the true Americans who believe in personal responsibility and hard work will have a place to go. And then we will see how long it takes Obama to go bankrupt without the people who actually work and pay taxes.

    February 19, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  21. Jothedemocrat

    Why are the republicans acting like they are they only one who pay taxes in America?
    Their response to every problem is tax cut and small goverment. They are against every spending even if the money is to be spent to fix America.
    I mean i've never seen such HYPOCRITS in my entire life.
    Another thing is when I hear the poor or those living on food stamp calling democrats socialist (like if socialism was a bad system) it's just shows how dumber and dumber people are becoming in this country. ONLY RICH PEOPLE DON'T LIKE SOCIALISM.
    No system is perfect.
    SOCIALISM render people lazy and Capitalism makes the poor become the slave of the rich. COMMUNISM cease freedom from induviduals

    February 19, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Patrick

    For crying out loud.....do we have to play the race card at every tun if issues don't fall your way? Knock it off, it's you, yourselves, that are insulting African-Americans and I might add, ALL AMERICANS.

    February 19, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  23. webster208

    This is becoming habit-forming. Every time a minority group wants to get its way, it plays the race card. They use their sense of victimhood to manipulate a situation, or even an election. Clyburn should be ashamed of himself.

    February 19, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. Michael

    So now opposing a bill by Democrats is racist. Next thing any one who opposes Obama will be charged with a hate crime.

    February 19, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Gene

    I personally don't believe that this is some racist plot. Could be something else in common.. like.. hmm... these are die hard "Red" states. Not a surprise.. every "conservative" state leader is opposed to the bill.

    That being said... I say if they want to save money.. whatever money is allotted to their state should be put back into the government pot and their state shouldn't receive any of those funds. If the people of that state disagree with this decision.. they can vote out their representatives on a future date.

    February 19, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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