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. Daryl from Seattle

    Why is it anytime someone brings up racial prejudice or unfairness, they're accused of playing 'the race card'? And why are Republicans so against spending now?? They weren't complaining when Bush was creating the deficit we're in. They spent trillions of dollars on wars that aren't doing anything for our citizens except getting us laid off.

    February 19, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. MICK in MESA

    What's with playing the race card on an ecomonic issue? The 60's are over already!
    Get with it Clyburn – It's all about the obstructionist GOP, not your race.
    Your comments are really cheap opportunism to grab the lime light and intellectually insulting to those of us – regardless of our skin color – who know it's a ideological fight over economics not a race fight...

    February 19, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. Gracie

    THIS is EXACTLY WHY the Republicans are going to continue to LOSE more seats in the Senate and in Congress.

    YOU have these Governors and Senators in the South who still have a LOT of racists mentality dictating their governing policies, despite the fact they are hurting their own state!!! I've never seen such lunacy in my life.

    YOU have Mark Stanford of SC and LIndsey Graham is a PERFECT example. They would RATHER make their STATE pay the PRICE even more for their stupidity when it comes to the Stimulus package, based on their greedy political ambitions.

    FINE..... DON'T TAKE THE MONEY!!! Let's see how long it takes your constituents to figure out that they've been royally SCREWED AGAIN by their own incompetent, stubborn, bigot and selfish Governor and Senator!!!!

    February 19, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. gerryluimes

    Here we go again: Playing the Race factor? Both sides are doing it.
    Time to stop. Remember there is only one race,the Human race!
    As for spending,think of unfettered Free Enterprise of the last eight, or so, years.Where did it end up in the universe,led by the good USA?
    I'd say: High time for more controls even by Government.. Greenspan himself has made a 180 degree turn and proclaimed that nationalisation of banks is a sound possibility...Call it socialism if you like,but please do not get hung up on Capitalism only.
    A bit of government involvement does NOT necessarily create a
    welfare state.Government interference can be, and should be very timely as it is today.

    February 19, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Jo Anne M.

    Race card being abused again.
    It's played out.
    People realize it is being used to manipulate and deceive.
    There is nothing racist about being against the spending of trillions of taxpayer dollars.
    Clayburn, get over yourself.
    You are an aging activist trying to recreate the 60s.
    That tactic is played out. It is not even relevant to the subject.

    February 19, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Mr Clyburn would etter serve his constituents by focusing on SOUTH CAROLINA and not worry about Texas, Louisianna, or Mississipi.

    February 19, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. Kevin

    Until the RNC continue to be ignorant about matters that plague African Americans like me, then they will never be accepted by us.

    February 19, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |

    I've really just about had it will all these Negro Politicians!

    When all else fails, PULL THE RACE CARD!

    Look at Bobby Rush in Chicago, he's the direct reason Roland Burris
    is now seated, UNDESERVEDLY!, in the U.S. Senate. And now,
    everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY wants his lying butt gone.

    With blacks, everything under the sun is about race, and nothing else!

    Put a sock in it!

    February 19, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |

    The thing that is frustrating is why these governors continually go on every available network that will let them air their frustration. But when it comes down to it they know they will take the funds. Due to the state of our states and how the american people are hurting. Do what's right for the people you swore to serve.

    February 19, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. jim

    Yeah. That's right. Take the money Sanford. Criticize the bill, rip it to shreds, say the spending is hurting our economy, but make sure to take the money you hypocrite !!!! Unbelievable. Keep playing politics GOP, I hope you partisans on either side get thrown out of office. You clowns still don't get it ... America is looking for you idiots to work together. Saying one thing and doing another Sanford ... You're a moron.

    February 19, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. chris

    not in agreement with "slap in the face of African Americans" as w/o the funds all of different ethnic backgrounds suffer also; however he is spot on in that it is 100% hypocritical to say "it won't work";then take the money.

    Just stand on principal and don't take the money. The state Legislature can still take the funds and the folks who voted for the Gov's will decide if they made the right decision in due time.

    February 19, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. See Thru.

    James Clyburn is a "slap in the face" to African-Americans.

    February 19, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. California Girl

    Why do white people go insane with rage whenever someone indicates racism may still be a problem in this country?

    February 19, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. Reggie

    I'm African American, and I don't see how this insults African Americans . . .unless you are saying provisions in the bill specifically target African Americans . . . .It is no secret that African Americans have a higher unemplolyment rate even in good times. But to automaticlaly link race to this is race bating at it's best . . . .everything can't be about race . . . .

    February 19, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. bern

    Race card or not, Barbour, Sanford and any other governor who refuses the funds hurt all their state's citizens no matter the race. They don't care. Barbour's family made millions ripping off oil and gas rights from poor blacks in Yazoo County, Mississippi in the 50s and 60s. He is set and does not give a hoot about the his state or its people.

    February 19, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. jimmie tucker

    have them read the willie linch letters

    February 19, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. AZ

    come on Clyburn, get off the race card. Let me get this.

    To oppose the stimulus plan is a slap in the face of African-Americans. Come on. That's like saying George Bush was right on every thing he said.

    Sounds crazy. Yeah.

    February 19, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Maryann Rose

    The Governors who are against the stimulus plan, should refuse the money.

    Their citizens will be so proud that their Governor is looking out for them and standing up for his convictions.

    February 19, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Melissa M

    If the state's budget is sound and they don't need the money, why take it? Maybe saving the taxpayers a few dollars by not spending money on unnecessary projects is the wisest way to go. Personally, I prefer politicians who respect taxpayer money over those who waste the money.

    February 19, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. Willy Brown

    All shut up with this crap Congressman. It's a free lunch plain and simple and I don't like paying for it!

    February 19, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. Susan

    Everything is racial. isn't it?

    These people make me believe that Rush Limbaugh is an intellectual.

    February 19, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Thank You! I was wondering how much time would it take to finally voice this reaction! I always wandered how come some oppositions came from Louisiana where the help is no needed....now if officials are taking the money even after opposing the plan then supervision needs to take place openly on which projects will be selected to create jobs and which help will be given to help the most vulnerables!

    February 19, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Independent Black Woman!!!

    @Clyburn you need to shut The H_LL UP ....I am an hard working african american and is very pleased with all Americans although we may have different Views ......you are not speaking for me...you old Racist Goat !!! I am sick and tired of you and Sharpton

    February 19, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. Ethan

    Please. Pulling the race card once again. How about calling ourselves all Americans if you are born in the US? Leave the African, Asian, Mexican, etc prefix out of it. I'm a descendant of Swedish and German heritage. You don't hear me or any other white people calling ourselves European-Americans.

    February 19, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |


    February 19, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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