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. Tony

    All of a sudden, everyone is insulted by someone. We have become a nation of petty whinners if we don't get our way.

    February 19, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. Dayahka

    So where was the governor when George Bush took a surplus and turned it into the largest deficit in history? How come he suddenly found religion–after Obama was elected? Could it be the governor is himself playing the race card–opposing a stimulus bill, but really opposing Obama? And even after such strenuous opposition, he's still going to take the money and run. This would be like someone opposing abortion, but permitting it if a relative or friend was involved; or supporting the Ten Commandments in public, but allowing murder, adultery, and theft. The utter hypocrisy of the Republicans is beyond being repugnant and detestable.

    February 19, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Linda in MS

    I am a Democrat and I have to say I find Rep. Clyburn's remarks way off the wall. I don't know how he can say that the rejection of the stimulus bill by these governors is a slap in the face to black people only. It is a slap in the face to all the citizens of these states, who are some of the poorest in the entire country. I also don't think that the aim of this law and of the President is to make poor folks rich through handouts. Mr. Obama never once said that was the case, although many ignorant people believe he did. Mr. Clyburn just did a great disservice to the black residents of the aforementioned states with his comments.

    February 19, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. MDM

    Wow....can someone explain how trying to be fiscally responsible for your state is a "slap in the face" to blacks?

    Most federal monies distributed to the state's come with strings attached – either in matching funds by the state or interest charges. How is reviewing long term financial impact to your state anything other than what these officials are paid for?

    February 19, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Sue

    It's always a race thing–get over it. I'm sick of hearing this as an excuse for everything.

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

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

    I think that says it all.

    No one whines like a Rebublican with their hand out.

    February 19, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Kyle

    This Democrat says: Shut up Jim.

    February 19, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  8. Mike in NYC

    If you're going to play the race card, make sure there's at least a remotely logical reason for doing so.

    Clyburn must figure he can say anything, no matter how stupid and arrogant, in the age of the Great One, and get away with it. And the fact is, he's probably right in thinking that. What a country.

    February 19, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. Melvin

    Sanford does not care for South Carolina!!

    He is just playing a political game that will fail and America will Raise

    Hypocrate shalow and stupid that is whatt you are

    February 19, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. Dan J

    Exploiting his race to get something done. Maybe it's idiots like this that Holder was referring to.

    February 19, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Dems be dopes

    A bit confused.......

    Last I looked dollars do not discriminate between black and white.

    People, like this idiot Representative discriminate between black and white.

    February 19, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. Matt

    What is up with Black Americans this week? Holder cause us a bunch of Cowards, yet offers no solutions only his opinion and critisism. Rev Al needs some attention so he thinks a cartoon chimp is suppose to represent Obama and ignores the obvious connection to the story of the chimp going wild that happened a day or two earlier. Now this dummy thinks all blacks got a slap in the face yet offers no reasoning for this comment.

    Why do these people get a free mic to just say anything they want without any explaination or backing things up with facts?

    February 19, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Matthew, Detroit

    And its okay to say the "N" word if you are black.

    That does not make any sense. Maybe Clyburn should look in the mirror.

    February 19, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. Melvin

    Republicans don't care about Black People or Poor People or Immigrants

    they are settle and don't want to share the piece of the pie with anyone

    Please more spending for the People

    February 19, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. Haha

    What a joke.... How the hell is that in any way an insult. That man is a bigot and a liar.

    February 19, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  16. Alfred E. Neumann

    Wow, insulting African Americans. It just get any nastier than that.

    Wow, this story makes the problems with the economy pale in comparison.

    Wow, let us push aside the large numbers of unemployed – African Americans have been insulted.

    Wow, let's alert Al Sharpton – there's money to be shaken down.

    February 19, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. Marge

    Every time you turn around a black politican yells race card race card, racist. This is ridiculous. Refusing to accept the idea of the stimulus is NOT racist. IT IS REPUBLICAN.

    Republicans are trying everything they can do to make this administration look bad and keep them from pulling us out of their's and bush's mess. Give it up. It is bad enough the republicans are fouling up to we have to listen to this racist stuff again.

    Most white Americans especially democrats, don't see black as blacks they see everyone as Americans and if the black politicans would accept that fact we would put an end of racism for once and all.

    February 19, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. Oregonian

    @Matthew Detroit
    There is no welfare in the bill, although there are extended unemployement benifits and additions to Social Security. In addition there are small business tax breaks as you are requesting. There are also number of spending bills that will be used to create or retain jobs. Read the bill, don't just listen to Rush. He didn't read it either.

    February 19, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    I was thinking it was more of an insult to EVERYONE in the country that the GOP opposed the bill on the grounds that Obama and the Dems would not push it through based entirelly on the GOP's tired, disproven, tax-cut trickle-down fairy tale. I bet Obama was pretty insulted when he invited them to the White House and they told him that's what they wanted instead of bringing fresh new ideas to the table. I bet the rest of congress was pretty insulted when the GOP said it was their way or no way. And I'm pretty sure there's a majority of the country that's pretty insulted they continue to play these silly games and impede our progress.

    February 19, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  20. Simmy

    Rep. Clyburn is correct. Sanford was a full-blown racist when he lived in Charleston, SC. It is evident by his attitude now, that he would rather see his residents suffer, than vote for a Stim-Pack giving money (as he sees it) to a Black man. Leopards don't change their spots. Jindal has "dark" skin, but he does not categorize himself as a "minority." He feels that Blacks are inferior. They all pretty much share the same beliefs; they just put a different spin on their ideologies. The truth will set you free, if you have the courage to admit it. Eric Holder is speaking the truth.

    February 19, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  21. Elmore

    He is going to take the money....I never would have guessed!

    February 19, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    A Lesson In Civics:

    What the Republicans are doing is criminal,it is tantamount to embezzling tax payer money and failure to comply with Congress obligation as mandated by the Constitution of the United States of America. Congress is obligated by Article I, Section Eight, Clause One of the Constitution "To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

    So far, the Republicans have not been in compliance with their duties and obligations to this nation.

    February 19, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. single mom

    "The Black Belt"? What is that supposed to mean? Martial arts? What is it with politicians these days?

    And as there are federal taxpayers in those states, their governors are not hypocritcal if they take stimulus money. Why should they turn down funds that their citizens put into the federal pot of money?

    How about if we cancel ALL credit payments and we ALL start from scratch? No blackmarks on the credit report
    ... oh, gee, the banks might have to come clean about how they hiked interest rates and fees. Talk about loan sharks!

    February 19, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. John

    Stimulus opponents insulting African-Americans?

    Might as well just come right out and say what everyone already knows:

    The only use Republicans have for minorities is as token figureheads.

    February 19, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Brett Holladay

    While I don't agree with these governors opposition to the stimulus package, I also don't believe their opposition is based on race. All of these governors are ultra-conservative and are therefore against large amounts of government spending. It is part of their ideology, not prejudice. For example, take Clyburn's governor Sanford. Mark Sanford vetoed a unanimously supported bill to build a monument to fallen police officers at the State Capital!!! Of course his veto was over ridden but he still vetoed it of principle against, in his opinion, wasteful government spending. I think you can do better than the race card Jim.

    February 19, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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